An enjoyable outdoor space is perfect for relaxing and hosting guests. However, how do you create an environment that’s attractive and functional? The key is to balance hardscape and softscape elements. Keep reading to learn how to balance these two elements to create a harmonious outdoor oasis.
Hardscape elements in landscaping are inanimate. They include patios, retaining walls, stone slabs, walkways, gazebos, fountains, statues, fences and more. These objects are typically made from materials such as wood, concrete, stone and other solid materials. They are the foundation of your design and serve a practical purpose. Moreover, they turn an untamed outdoor environment into a well-defined area for entertaining.
Softscape elements in your outdoor space are living, organic components. These include plants, flowers, grass, shrubs and trees. These elements are ever-changing and (usually) temporary. They help make your space beautiful and can even provide privacy and soften harsh hardscape elements. When choosing softscape features, consider your climate and planting zone, as well as maintenance requirements.
It’s important to balance hardscape and softscape components when creating your outdoor sanctuary. Too much softscape can appear jungle-like and overgrown, while too much hardscape can look harsh and sterile. The proper ratio of elements depends on your personal preferences and the size of your yard.
There are many ways you can balance these two elements. For example, you can trail vines along a pergola or gazebo. You can also use retaining walls to create an area for plant beds. Additionally, you can utilize planters by lining walkways or hanging them on a plain wall to add vibrant plant life. When designing your outdoor environment, consider starting with hardscape elements to build a foundation for softscape ones.
For more information on how to balance hardscape and softscape features, see the accompanying resource.
Infographic created by Sweep-All, a driveway sweeper provider