Hardscapes add form and structure to your landscape, while softscapes bring in a touch of nature and lessen the severity of masonry elements. The best landscape design seamlessly combines both hard and soft features. Try these landscape construction ideas to merge your Peekskill, NY, softscapes and hardscapes.
Proportion and symmetry are the secret to good landscape design. To create symmetry, a landscape designer might imagine a line down the center of your yard and try to create visual balance on both sides. This doesn’t mean mirroring the elements on either side of your yard, however. The goal is to select objects with similar proportions that work well together.
Creating balance between softscapes and hardscapes is also important. A large patio can feel stark and unyielding without any greenery. While a yard without any masonry or structures may feel incomplete. A combination of tall and low-to-the-ground features also helps create a sense of balance. A landscape with a lot of trees will benefit from the addition of benches and low walls. A flat yard will look better with vertical elements, such as a pergola or fireplace.
Raised Planting Beds
Raised planting beds add both structure and greenery to your patio. They can help define outdoor spaces and direct the flow of traffic. With the addition of coping, a well-built masonry planter can also double as a seating wall.
A raised planting bed creates optimal growing conditions by providing deep soil and keeping weeds and pests out. A combination of flowers, plants and shrubs will add interest and create balanced planting beds.
Raised planting beds are extremely versatile and will complement any landscape design. While they are often constructed from natural or manufactured stone, they can be built with a variety of materials. For an ultramodern landscape, consider planters built from sleek concrete units. Brick planters will fit a more formal backyard. And with unlimited masonry options, it’s easy to match new flower beds to existing hardscaping features.
Soften a retaining wall or walkway by adding a border bed. A flower bed will bridge the gap between lawn and masonry, creating a seamless transition between the different materials. For vertical hardscape features, layering plants from short to tall will visually reduce the weight of the hard element.
Consider curved flower beds to offset square or rectangular retaining walls or patios. Lining a walkway or patio with plants will help direct the flow of traffic while adding interest and texture.
Designing a patio with gaps for greenery will break up a large expanse of masonry and add interest and texture. Strategically placed cutouts can create walkways or separate different areas of use. When filled with shrubs or tall grasses, spaces between stones or concrete pavers become vertical features that add movement and texture.
Adding space between pavers for groundcover will soften a walkway. Bringing in flower pots will add color and greenery without interrupting the masonry. Consider large groupings of pots to create the illusion of natural greenery and balance a large hardscape.
Trees and Shrubs
Trees, hedges and shrubs provide balance for large masonry elements. A well-placed tree can offset the visual weight of a fireplace. Trees planted near an outdoor living room will provide shade and greenery. Overhanging branches will give hardscaping elements the feeling of being surrounded by nature.
Adding hedges alongside a patio will create a living wall that can increase privacy. Hedges can also provide shelter from the wind and create shade.