About Me

Contractors Keep Us Sheltered

Look up at the ceiling over your head, and also think about the roof above it. You are lucky to have that shelter. Of course, you worked hard to afford it, but that point aside — someone else worked really hard to build it. Our point here is that without construction workers and contractors, we would not have homes in which to live. We all value our homes, and of course, we value the other buildings we spend time in, too. Everyone has a different way of showing their appreciation for this work. Our way is to write about construction on this blog. Your way could be reading about construction on this same blog!


Contractors Keep Us Sheltered

Achieving Balance In Your Yard: Combining Hardscape And Softscape Elements

by Glenda Perkins

Whether you're in the process of designing and creating an attractive, functional outdoor living space for a newly built home or are contemplating a major facelift for your current property, it's important to understand the concepts of hardscaping and softscaping.

Hardscape refers to the hard elements in your landscape — think walkways, patios, and retaining walls — while softscape represents the living parts of your landscape, such as flowers, shrubs, and trees. By effectively combining these two key elements, you can achieve a harmonious balance that enhances the visual appeal, usability, and long-term value of your property. Here's what you need to know:

Starting with a Plan

Just as you would sketch a blueprint before building a house, planning is key to creating a balanced landscape. Consider the size and shape of your space, the architectural style of your home, and how you plan to use the yard. For example, if you love to entertain, you might allocate more space to hardscape elements like a patio or fire pit. If you're a gardening enthusiast, your design might be heavy on the softscape, with plenty of space for flower beds, herb and vegetable gardens, and trees.

Creating Balance Through Contrast

One of the most effective ways to achieve balance in your yard is through contrast. Pair hard, geometric hardscape elements, like a square patio or straight walkway, with soft, flowing softscape elements, such as ornamental grasses or curved flower beds. Similarly, the natural, rough texture of a stone wall can be beautifully offset by the smooth, green leaves of a nearby shrub.

Fusing Function and Form

While hardscape and softscape each have their own roles, they're most effective when used together. A wooden deck (hardscape) is much more inviting when surrounded by colorful flower beds (softscape). Likewise, a garden path (hardscape) can guide visitors through your garden, highlighting the best of your softscape elements. Always think about how hardscape and softscape can complement each other to enhance both the beauty and functionality of your space.

Being Mindful of Maintenance

Remember, balance also extends to maintenance. Hardscape elements require less upkeep because they aren't composed of living organisms, while softscape elements, like plants and grass, will need ongoing care. Consider your willingness and ability to maintain your landscape when designing your space. You might choose durable pavers for a low-maintenance patio, for example, or opt for native plants that require less care than their exotic counterparts.

To learn more, contact a hardscape service in your area.