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When you think of landscape design, it is easy to focus on the big things like an outdoor kitchen or a swimming pool, but the softscape can make or break the appearance of the landscape. Don’t forget that softscapes are an essential part of your Hinsdale, IL, design when thinking about making changes to your backyard.
What Are Softscapes?
The softscape is all of the living parts of your yard such as trees, shrubs, plants, flowers, grass, mulch, and more. You want to have a mixture of textures, colors, and heights in the plants and other materials used in these parts of your landscape.
In contrast, the hardscape entails all of the non-living parts of the landscape such as patios, retaining walls, and outdoor kitchens. While the materials used for these features are beautiful in their own right, their purpose is largely functional for achieving the types activities that you enjoy. Softscapes add to the beauty effect and bring in more nature to offset the more manufactured areas of your backyard. Both are necessary for a well-designed and balanced landscape.
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Considerations for Softscapes
Once new hardscape features have been built or installed, that is the time for the new softscape elements to be planted. It is not uncommon for a focal tree or flowering bushes with a wonderful aroma to steal the show. A showy flower bed or symmetrical row of shrubs in a particular shade of green causes the eye to travel around the entire landscape.
Unlike hardscape elements, softscape features change with the seasons, from the pansies of late fall and winter, to the petunias and flowering bulbs of spring and summer. You want to ensure a variety of green colors in the plants and trees, along with the colors of the blossoms.
Think about how gorgeous ivy can be climbing over a retaining wall or clematis with its yellow flowers looks trailing over the top of a pergola. The softscape is what gives a landscape its personality.
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Trees are an essential feature of most well-planned yards. You want not only the height that trees provide but also the shade from the heat of the summer days. Trees can also be a dramatic focal point of a landscape bed, especially an unusual variety of specimen tree.
Hedges are shrubs planted close together to function as a border or natural fence for your property. They can create a sense of privacy without hindering the breeze or being visually less than attractive the way some fences can. A hedge can also be a wind blocker to protect your property during storms.
Shrubs can be large or medium sized, depending on where they are placed and how they should function. Many shrubs stay green all year, which helps the landscape retain some color in the winter months.
Flowers have the most impact in a landscape, and bring color and liveliness to your yard. If you want to improve your Hinsdale, IL, curb appeal, colorful flower beds would add to the beauty of your yard and home.
If you are contemplating an upgrade to your landscape, don’t forget about the impact that carefully chosen and implemented softscape elements can bring to your landscape.