Integrating Hard and Soft Landscaping

Posted on 01 April, 2017 in Landscaping, Schools Integrating Hard and Soft Landscaping

Large home gardens, schools, commercial and public areas can benefit from the integration of hard and soft landscaping. Not only will the contrast between hard and soft elements look fantastic, but the combination can transform a previously unusable space into a functional outdoor area.

Hard Landscaping vs. Soft Landscaping: What’s the Difference?

When creating a new garden or outdoor space, you should consider both hard landscaping and soft landscaping items.

As the names suggest, hard landscaping includes manmade, built features, and soft landscaping includes natural elements (and artificial items designed to look natural, such as synthetic turf). Paved areas, paths, pergolas, stone walls, and rock features are hard, and plants, trees, shrubs, grasses and anything natural are soft.

A space featuring exclusively hard landscaping can result in an outdoor space that feels too built-up and lacks the beauty and calming effects of nature. All soft landscaping can reduce the usability of the outdoor space and can become difficult to maintain. By combining the two, you get the best of both worlds.

Investing in a Combined Hard and Soft Landscape

When it comes to designing an outdoor space, ask yourself what’s most important. Maybe it’s the way your garden looks, or how much use a community space gets. Or maybe you want your students to spend more time running around outside. Whatever your motivation, a combined hard and soft landscape can help you achieve your desired outcome.

Let’s have a look at some of the top benefits of merging hard and soft landscaping.

School Landscaping

Quality landscaping in Darwin schools can enhance the quality of life for the students. Natural elements will make the school landscaping look inviting and can give students a much-needed energy boost throughout the day. Hard landscaping will promote the use of outdoor areas and open up a number of additional lunchtime activities.

Landscaping in Urban Areas

In urban, built-up areas, the clever use of hard and soft landscaping can create functional outdoor environments that help to keep city settings green and environmentally rich. A landscaped area open to the public is a great way to build a sense of community.

Commercial Landscaping

For businesses, the appearance and presentation of their commercial premises can have a huge impact on potential clients’ first impressions. Hard landscaping can be used to direct customers to your front door, while keeping the entrance area clear. Soft landscaping can promote an environmentally friendly message and help your business frontage stand out from your competitors.

Hard Landscaping Items to Consider

Integrating Hard and Soft Landscaping

So what types of landscaping elements are thought of as ‘hard’? And, what kinds of uses and effects do hard landscaping items have? Let’s have a look at hard landscaping items to consider:

  • Paved areas and paths: ideal for directing traffic to a front door or entranceway.
  • Timber, concrete, or brick features and edging: can be used to separate garden beds and walkways.
  • Timber, concrete, or paved sitting or standing areas: increases the functionality of an outdoor space.
  • Rock or stone features: can be used to divide distinct areas.
  • Sculpture: used to add visual interest.
  • Pergolas or sheltered areas: perfect for outdoor environments that require all-weather functionality.
  • Water features, ponds, and fountains.
  • Sand pits and playgrounds: can be installed in both public parks and large back gardens.

Soft Landscaping Items to Consider

Integrating Hard and Soft Landscaping

Now let’s take a look at the most common soft landscaping items you may consider for your landscaping project:

  • Native trees and plants: these are usually fairly hardy and low maintenance.
  • Turf: this can be natural or synthetic.
  • Layered plantings of shrubs to tall trees: this planting technique will add depth to a garden.
  • Plant displays or featured “green walls”: these add a WOW factor to any outdoor space.

Looking to Have Your Outdoor Space Landscaped?

Whether you're redoing your home garden or making over a public space, the professional integration of hard and soft landscaping is the way to go. Give us a call today on 0408 083 383 and we'd be happy to discuss your landscaping needs.

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