A well-balanced blend of softscaping and hardscaping will create an attractive and functional landscape design.
What are the differences between hardscapes and softscapes?
What is a hardscape? Hardscaping includes design elements that are solid, hard wearing, and non-living. Materials used for hardscapes include concrete, bricks, pavers, stone, metal, and wood. Examples of hardscape include paved areas, driveways, retaining walls, built in outdoor furniture, patios, fences, outdoor kitchens, decks, lighting posts, water features, arbors, and pergolas.
These pieces of your outdoor living puzzle can create focal points, defining edges, and access to different areas of your lawn. They can also be transformational when using your backyard for entertainment or relaxation. You can think of your hardscaping as the foundation for your softscape, all while being low to no maintenance.
What is a softscape? Softscape refers to the horticultural components of a landscape that do not have impermanent and ever-changing. This includes living and fluid elements such as your soil, turf grass, and trees. Softscapes are also comprised of all your perennial or annual plants, flowers, vines, and shrubs and ornamentals. These softscape features can create a beautiful mix of color and texture to your outdoor living space. All the signature tropical foliage and palms that you find in Florida lawns are part of your softscape.
With living elements in your yard, it is important to consider the maintenance required for your plant life to thrive. Either the homeowner or a lawn maintenance company will need to manage your softscape if you want to ensure your yard’s beauty. With seasonal droughts and extreme heat in the Tampa Bay area, these natural pieces can need consistent care to survive and look their best.
At Fieldstone, we offer turf and ornamental care that includes weed control, fertilization, micronutrient application, and insect and disease control for one low monthly price. Residents in the St Pete and Tampa, Florida area can use Fieldstone’s expert services. We also offer lawn aeration, tree and shrub pruning and trimming, irrigation services, mosquito control, flea and tick control, and fire ant control services for an optimal and comfortable outdoor space. When selecting your softscape, it is key to plan for the care it will need.
Why do you need both hardscape and softscape in your landscape design?
When a home overloads their yard with hardscaping, it can cause your space to look to commercial in nature. Turning your front yard into a parking lot will reduce your home’s curb appeal and in turn, your home’s value. On the other end of the spectrum, too many softscape elements can cause your yard to look like an unkempt jungle, and meanwhile be extremely difficult to navigate. Too many living elements will drive up water usage and maintenance costs. However, there is a sweet spot in balancing these two forms of landscaping. Incorporating hardscape and softscape in your landscape will create an attractive landscape design. Hardscaping can even be beneficial to your softscape as it can better tolerate foot traffic and reduce soil erosion.
Striking a balance between the two, you will have an outdoor space that mixes beautiful natural elements with the necessary separation to be aesthetically pleasing and useful. Our landscape design-build team can integrate key softscape and hardscape elements to transform your lawn to a visually impressive and practical space. Fieldstone Landscape Services in Tampa Bay creatively combines your features to bring your dream yard together cohesively.
If you live in the Tampa, Clearwater, or Saint Petersburg area and want to upgrade your front or backyard- contact us today!