Nothing compares to the pleasure of having your own front or backyard oasis at home. So how can you design the kind of outdoor paradise that you’ll love for years to come? One key lies in knowing how to balance hardscape and softscape, the two categories of features you can use outside. Hardscape describes all the parts of a yard that are fixed, inanimate, manmade and nonliving: elements such as concrete, stone and wood. Softscape, on the other hand, refers to the living things, including trees, bushes and flowers.
While simply adding plants can itself make a big impact on a property, says Ridgewood a property management in Boise, it’s through the combination of landscaping with fixed, inanimate, manmade features that you can truly create a wow-worthy space.
Ready to start brainstorming? Here are a few principles to guide your design.
Think About the Big Picture
When you’re planning an outdoor space at your property, always start with the overall aesthetic you’re looking to achieve. Browse garden photos for inspiration, save ideas you like and then use these to come up with a concept or theme that appeals to you. Having this big idea in mind can help you make all the individual decisions for your project.
Incorporate Elements That Serve Double-Duty
As long as you’re installing hardscape features, why not look for options that will serve multiple purposes? A storage bench provides not only seating, for example, but also a place for keeping outdoor tools out of sight. A gazebo or trellis can add architectural interest, as well as a place on which climbing ivy can grow. As you’re thinking through your space, be asking yourself where items can meet two or more goals.
Bridge the Gap With Planters
One outdoor feature that offers both hardscape and softscape appeal is a planter. Bonus: Planters are moveable, adaptable and available in a wide range of styles. Use them to bring living plants to a large patio or more structure to a large garden. Arrange them along pathways or stairways to add interest and color. You can even turn planters into a sort of privacy fence around any outdoor area.
These are just a few of the ways you can balance hardscape and softscape at your property. To learn more about harmonizing these elements, take a look at the attached resource. You’ll find a breakdown of softscape, hardscape and how to balance them.
Infographic created by Sweep-All, a driveway sweeper provider