5 Tips for Blending your Hardscaping and Softscaping
To give your Medford Lakes, NJ outdoor area the best in terms of beauty, authenticity, and balance, your hardscape and softscape should work together to form a cohesive design. While hardscape forms the basis of your useable outdoor living space, your softscape provides the touch of nature necessary to make your backyard an enjoyable natural setting. The first step to balancing these areas of your New Jersey landscape is a great construction plan. This should include the basics, such as drainage, soil erosion, and base preparation for hardscape, but also aesthetic elements that unite the two. Here we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can blend and balance your softscaping and hardscaping for a seamless, cohesive outdoor space that you can be proud of.
Find the Perfect Balance
In landscape design, there are two types of balance, symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical balance is more common in the formal landscapes of homes with a traditional style, offering straight lines and neatly trimmed shrubs and bushes. Everything that is located on one side of the central axis is reflected on the other. Asymmetrical designs have different objects and shapes on both sides. Their axis is more discrete but the final look is a similar visual mass on both sides. This same principle can be applied to balancing softscapes and hardscapes. The shapes and structures in one can be reflected in the other. A tall outdoor fireplace, for example, can be balanced by incorporating similarly sized trees in the softscape. Organic shapes and curves built into the edges of patios can be reflected in the free flowing outlines of plant beds, etc.
Balancing the surface area of hardscapes and softscapes is equally important. A huge paved surface can seem daunting if not balanced by an equal measure of greenery. Likewise, a small patio can seem lost in the landscape if surrounded by huge swathes of lawn, trees and plants.
Add greenery to your hardscape
One way to soften your hardscape and blend it into the surrounding landscape is to place plants in key points. Retaining walls are ideal for incorporating raised plant beds along the edge of a patio or in central positions. Likewise, planters can be placed on steps, the tops of pillars, or along the top of low walls. This will help achieve the impression that your hard and softscapes are not mutually exclusive from one another. It can also soften the hard lines of paved or built up areas to give them a more natural and inviting appearance.
Focal points and accents
In a similar fashion, elements included in your softscape can accent the color and texture of the materials used in your hardscape. Focal points such as fire pits, water features and rock features are an excellent way to achieve this. Retaining walls that run throughout your softscape design also offer the opportunity to showcase your selection of the vertical units used in your patio spaces. This is a great way of ensuring unity and achieving a landscape that flows visually from one area to another.