Last edited 15 Dec 2020

Soft landscape



[edit] Introduction

The term ‘landscape’ refers to an area whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors’ (ref European Landscape Convention). For more information see: Landscape.

Softscape or soft landscape includes all types of plant life, from flowers and trees to shrubs and groundcover. All of the living horticultural elements of landscape design are soft landscape components. The term is commonly used by gardeners and other members of the landscaping profession, such as practitioners of landscape design, landscape architecture, and garden design.

Soft landscaping is a term used to describe the process of working with natural materials and other landscape elements that do not involve construction. This can include elements including turf, trees, hedges, shrubs and so on.

Soft landscape contrasts with hard landscape, which is the non-plant material used in landscaping, such as retaining walls, paving material, driveways, walkways, decking, steps and so on. For more information see: Hard landscape.

[edit] Creating a suitable soft landscape

The materials that are used for soft landscape naturally change and evolve over time, driven by growth, the climate and other conditions. Seasonal components can also play a significant factor in soft landscape planning, particularly when there is a desire to create a vibrant environment throughout the course of the year.

Plans for soft landscapes range from natural shapes accented by bright plants and grassy textures to more structured and artificially formal designs.

[edit] Planning for maintenance

Careful consideration should be given to the amount of maintenance that these elements will require to stay in good order. Lower maintenance soft landscape ideas include:

Soft landscape materials are frequently supported by hard landscaping elements. Ideally, they should work together to create a cohesive space that is integrated into to the environment around it.

The Landscape Institute (LI) is the Royal Chartered Institute for Landscape professionals and an educational charity. It was founded in 1929 (when it was known as the Institute of Landscape Architects), and the first President, Thomas Mawson, was one of the first professionals to use the title 'landscape architect'. For more information see: Landscape Institute.

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