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refers to the elements of a landscape
Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including the physical elements of landforms such as mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including different forms of...
that comprise live, horticultural
Horticulture is the industry and science of plant cultivation including the process of preparing soil for the planting of seeds, tubers, or cuttings. Horticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic...
elements. Softscaping can include, flowers, plants, shrubs, trees, flower beds, etc. This is a term that has been popularized in recent pop culture (2006 onwards) on television shows such as Home & Garden Television. The purpose of softscape is to lend character to the landscaping, create an aura, ambience, and reflect the sensibilities of the inhabitants.
The term softscape stands in contrast to hardscape
Hardscape, in the practice of landscaping, refers to the paved areas like streets & sidewalks, large business complexes & housing developments, and other industrial areas where the upper soil profile is no longer exposed to the actual surface of the Earth...
which represents inanimate objects of a landscape such as pavers, stones, rocks, etc.