When planning a comprehensive landscape, it’s important to integrate landscape components such as hardscapes and softscapes for a cohesive design that is beautiful and functional. Hardscapes are permanent structures that require installation and construction, such as patios and fences. Softscapes are the natural living components, such as plants and trees.
A few common hardscape components include the following:
- Terraces. Terraces provide a seamless way to turn an unwanted slope into a series of beautiful steps or step gardens. Terracing can be accomplished with landscaping timbers or retaining walls.
- Walkways, benches, and gazebos. Not only do these elements add architectural detail, but they are often the most used features of a landscape. Walkways, benches, and gazebos are available in a wide variety of designs and materials.
- Decks and patios. Combined with an outdoor fireplace, a cozy deck or patio is great for entertaining.
- Garden ponds. Self-enclosed systems can include waterfalls, bridges, fountains, and even fish.
- Lighting. Use spotlights or fixtures to draw attention to particular aspects of both the landscape and the home.
- Fences. Not only do fences provide security and privacy, they can substantially improve the attractiveness of a landscape.
A few favorite softscape components used to enhance the landscape are:
- Trees, shrubs, and ground cover. The Pennsylvania climate provides perfect conditions for many plant varieties. Combinations of these can create a visually pleasing scene characterized by contrast, proportion, scale, and balance.
- Mulch, grass, or ivy. Woodlawn’s landscape designers use ground-cover alternatives to add texture to a garden. For unused sections of the yard, the low-maintenance options of mulch, pine straw, and ivy may be preferred.
- Flower gardens. Many homeowners incorporate both perennials and annuals into the garden design. For example, pansies are annuals that are often planted in the late fall to provide color throughout the winter months. In the spring, summer flowers are planted to replace the pansies.