How to Decide between Hard and Softscaping
A well landscaped lawn adds that little extra curb appeal. Photo Credit: Zach Klein
A dilemma many homeowners face when going on the open market is creating curb appeal. You either have it or you don’t. To solve this setback, many sellers are turning to hardscaping or softscaping, in hopes of attracting more buyers. But even if you’re not trying to sell your home, you still might want to enhance the free space in your yard.
So which is better, hardscape or softscape? Let’s take a look at the upside of both. Hardscaping is using concrete, wood, rock, and brick to beatify your landscape or yard. It entails adding paths, walls, fencing, and patios. Accent the design with flowers, trees, and shrubbery to create a park-like setting. Gazebos are a popular focal point of attraction, along with fountains or even Greek gardens. These redesigns will reduce the amount of maintenance you put into the yard. Planting trees and creating flower beds where grass used to grow makes for less work.
On the other side of the fence, softscaping provides long-lasting plants, trees grasses, and low maintenance ground cover. The trick is finding the right vegetation for your neck of the woods. Softscaping adds the color and life to your landscape. To do it yourself, make sure to include soil, annuals, bulbs, shrubs, ground cover, and trees, then go to work. Softscaping is the icing on the cake of any landscape. You use less water than a traditional grass lawn, it brightens up the curb appeal of your home, and it’s good for the environment.
Hardscaping is not very eco-friendly. Generally speaking, man-made materials are not very permeable. Stone or masonry patios deprive the soil of water and harden the soil. This is problematic. When it does rain, the ground is unable to soak in the moisture effectively and the water runs off carrying toxins with it. In the end, there is no choice to make. Hard and softscaping go hand in hand, creating a wonderful blend of foliage and structure. Choose hardscaping materials that are made from sustainable materials to start.
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