Differences Between Hardscape & Softscape Landscaping
If you’re considering sprucing up your backyard by adding modern landscaping features, it’s good to understand some basic principles and terms of landscaping such as hardscape and softscape so you can integrate different elements in a way that makes your home stand out. Reputable contractors offer a wide range of different features such as pavers, retaining walls, and patios, and their skilled installers can easily carry out any project at your property in San Diego, CA and across the area. Understanding the difference between hardscape and softscape can help you better communicate your ideas to your contractor, so keep reading to learn more about it.
What are hardscapes?Hardscapes are everything in your backyard that’s made of stone, bricks, and concrete. Basically, all the hard stuff makes your hardscape. Some of the most common hardscaping features include walkways, patios, retaining walls, sitting walls, pergolas, fire pits, grill surrounds, landscape lighting, stone benches, water features, and even swimming pools.
What are softscapes?Softscapes, on the other hand, are quite the opposite – it’s all the soft, living stuff in your back or front yard, and it can be temporary or permanent. It includes everything from grass, perennial flowers, and succulents to shrubs and trees. Mulch and soil are also considered elements of softscape.
What are the elements of hardscapes and softscapes?These opposites each have their own distinctive features that you can customize to your own style and preference, but also to the natural characteristics of your landscape. The characteristics of hardscape go as follows:
- All hardscapes are inanimate objects.
- These objects are unchanging and solid.
- Hardscape can be manmade, such as a planter or any outdoor structure, or natural, such as stone.
- The different materials of hardscape produce different effects on the environment. For instance, pavement prevents the soil from soaking up water, consequently increasing runoff, thus causing contaminants to reach streams. On the other hand, porous materials, including permeable pavers, allow the soil to soak up water.
- Hardscape can be beneficial to softscapes such as a garden since it keeps the ground in place and reduces the possibility of erosion.
- Consider what different types of living landscape components there are. These include trees, flowers, ground cover, shrubs, and many more.
- Bear in mind that they constantly evolve, growing and adapting to climate and other environmental conditions.
- They are soft to the touch. Imagine touching the blades of grass or the leaves of perennials or trees. Watching them causes almost the same effect as laying your hand on them, and a skillful combination with hardscape can make an impressive sight.