Landscaping Techniques

Landscaping Techniques

The practice of Landscaping Harrisburg PA involves a mix of techniques to change the appearance and usability of your home’s outdoor space. It includes the addition of plants, changes to existing terrain, and the construction of structures like fences, walls, and decks.


Look for ideas at botanical gardens, arboretums, and your local garden center. Also, visit nearby homes with interesting landscapes.

Hardscaping is any non-living part of your landscape design that’s made from non-plant materials like concrete, wood, pavers, stone, and brick. It is often used to define areas of the garden or yard and can include paved patios, walkways, retaining walls, driveways, and more. When paired with plants and flowers, it creates a contrast that’s visually appealing.

When it comes to creating a hardscaping plan, the best approach is to enlist the help of a professional landscaping company. These specialists will be able to turn your dreams into a reality that can withstand the test of time and climate change. They’ll also be able to help you determine what size and style of hardscaping you can afford, so that your project stays within your budget.

There are a wide variety of materials you can choose from when designing your hardscape, and each offers its own unique look and feel. Stone, for example, adds a timeless beauty to any yard, while pavers can make for beautiful walkways and patios. Retaining walls are an effective way to manage erosion and create visual interest, while boulders can serve as striking focal points. Whatever you choose, it’s important that your hardscape match the architecture of your home so that it appears seamless and natural.

As well as adding visual interest, hardscaping can improve the functionality of your outdoor space. Paved walkways and patios allow you to move around your garden easily, while a pond or water feature can be a tranquil place to sit and relax. When constructing a hardscape, be sure to consider the drainage of your garden. Excess rainwater runoff can tax municipal sewage systems and wash toxins into waterways, so it’s important to use permeable hardscaping techniques where possible.

In addition to enhancing your outdoor living spaces, hardscaping can help you save on energy costs. By using materials like stone, concrete, and pavers, you can reduce your reliance on artificial lighting and heating, which can be expensive to maintain. You can also use hardscaping to make your garden more eco-friendly by capturing and storing rainwater for irrigation. This can help you save on your water bill while reducing the amount of freshwater you need to import.


Softscapes are the horticultural elements of a landscape. This includes plants, flowers, gardens, trees, shrubs, and even vegetable gardens. They include duties like weed and nuisance management, watering, grading, planting, trimming, aerating, spraying, and digging. Softscapes provide a more natural look to any landscaping design, and they help with environmental sustainability.

Unlike hardscapes, softscapes are more flexible and can be easily modified over time. They are also more cost-effective than hardscapes. For this reason, they are an excellent choice for first-time homeowners or for people with a limited budget. Moreover, they add color, texture, and depth to the landscaping. They also improve soil quality and prevent the spread of invasive species.

In order to have beautiful, functional landscaping, you need to have the right balance of hardscape and softscape elements. A landscape that has too much hardscape can be cold and uninviting. On the other hand, a yard with too many softscape features may look unkempt and overgrown. The right mix of these two elements can make your home more attractive and increase its curb appeal.

One of the most important aspects of softscaping is choosing the right plants. There are many different types of plants, each with its own benefits. For example, some plants are better suited for retaining walls than others. Another factor to consider is how much maintenance you are willing to do. For instance, some plants require yearly replacement or regular pruning. Others only need to be watered and mowed. Having an understanding of the level of maintenance you are comfortable with will help you choose the right plants for your landscaping.

The most important thing to remember when choosing softscapes is that they are not permanent. This means that you need to be prepared for the changes that will occur over time. Some of these changes will be gradual, while others will happen quickly. For example, a tree will eventually grow taller, and its roots will start to take over your garden. Having a plan for how you want your landscape to look in the future will help you avoid these changes.


Your landscape should include plants that complement the architecture of your house and its setting. Trees, large shrubs, and ornamental grasses add structure to the composition, while perennial flowers and ground covers provide color. The pacing of these plants is important to the overall effect of the landscape design.

Proper planting techniques can improve the aesthetics of your landscape and help conserve energy. Plants that are well-adapted to your climate zone, soil type, and conditions use less water and need less irrigation. If your yard contains slopes, consider utilizing the natural topography to prevent erosion and runoff.

Do-it-yourselfers can learn many landscape techniques from observing the work of professionals at botanical gardens and arboretums, garden centers, and estate gardens. Take photos to bring back home, and make notes about the plants and designs that appeal to you. When visiting these sites, pay attention to how the space is used—are children and pets allowed to run through it? Do the plants need protection from wind or rain?

The first step in do-it-yourself landscaping is to identify the focal points of the property. These can be trees, big shrubs, and tall ornamental grasses, but they may also be structures such as a gazebo or retaining wall. If you plan to use the landscape for entertaining, consider adding a water feature. These are easy to do and can create a beautiful focal point for the space.

Landscapes can be formal or informal and can be influenced by architectural styles such as English, Japanese, or French. Landscape themes are often based on geographic regions and may be applied to both hardscape and softscape elements of the landscape.

Formal landscapes are more structured and use straight lines, while informal gardens are more organic in nature. Landscape designers often use geometric shapes for hardscape and curvilinear (meandering) shapes for plant bedlines. Landscape designs can also be based on color or form themes, such as a mix of blue and white blooms or a palette of grasses with varying textures and colors. Themes can also be created by using repetition—repeating plants throughout the landscape for visual interest.


Adding lighting to your landscaping enhances both safety and beauty. Landscape lighting can also help reduce energy costs by reducing the need to use artificial light sources.

Use contrasting shapes, textures, and sizes to attract attention and draw the eye to a specific area. This technique can be used in plant selection, garden ornaments, lawn edging, and other hardscape elements.

Start by choosing high-quality plants and trees that are well-suited to the climate and soil conditions. Avoid weak-wooded trees, pest-prone shrubs, or plants that produce hundreds of volunteer seedlings. Also consider the color and look of the plants, as this will affect how the greenery complements other parts of the landscape.

Choose plants that are appropriate to the site based on sunlight exposure, drainage, and maintenance needs. Be sure to follow the planting guidelines provided with your plants or those found in nurseries and big-box stores.

Plan your landscape to create barriers for privacy and to define areas of the property. Low-growing plants can block views and provide a sense of enclosure. In some cases, these can be combined with a fence or wall for more security and privacy.

Ensure proper watering and maintenance for your plants. For example, watering in the middle of the day may cause evaporation and scorching of more delicate plants, while watering after sunset may encourage the growth of diseases or fungus. Using drip irrigation in place of sprinklers and hoses is a more efficient way to water, as the plant receives water over time rather than in an instant.

Add a touch of elegance to your landscape by using repurposed materials as decorative garden edging. For instance, you can outline your edging design with temporary spray paint before tackling the project. This will help you visualize your ideas and make the necessary adjustments. You can also opt for environmentally friendly materials such as reclaimed wood or gray Tejas crushed granite. Both are pet-friendly and less expensive than mulch, which can be dangerous for dogs who like to eat it.