Landscape Design: Hardscape vs Softscape


Do you want to improve the look of your home in a unique way? Are you interested in adding value and curb appeal to your home? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you need to look into landscape design and hardscape work.

Those beautiful lawns, gardens, and walkways all need to come from somewhere, and landscape design is the key to making any outdoor area beautiful. However, before you start thinking about landscaping, we need to talk about two terms you’re going to see: hardscaping and softscaping.

Is this your first time hearing those terms? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Here’s your quick guide to hardscaping and softscaping.

Hardscaping and Softscaping Defined

In its simplest terms, the difference between hardscaping and softscaping comes down to landscape elements. Hardscaping involves all of the non-living parts of your outdoor area, and softscaping involves plant life and other natural elements.

We’re willing to bet that you’ve likely enjoyed a lot of hard hardscaping elements without knowing it. Your walkway, patio, retaining wall, and even your driveway could be considered hardscape elements.

Hardscaping materials can take on many forms. For some people, it may be something as simple as concrete, gravel, or metal. Others may choose to use materials like wood, brick, tile, or certain kinds of stone.

Your softscape materials are going to be any kind of plant life that’s a part of your landscape. Don’t just think this begins and ends with grass. Surrounding trees, shrubs, succulents, and perennial flowers are all part of your softscape.

Hardscape vs Softscape: Which Landscape Design is Right for Me?

You shouldn’t think about hardscape or softscape elements as an either/or situation. In truth, the vast majority of outdoor areas are going to have elements of both.

Hardscaping can do a lot to improve the look and functionality of your outdoor area. Having a big patio for entertaining can really help transform the look of your yard. Elements like fountains, ponds, and rock gardens can give your home a unique look.

Hardscaping may help with functional elements, but you can’t discount the benefits of excellent softscaping. The living elements you add to your home could be sources of decor, food, or could even attract wildlife.

Getting Both Elements Right

When it comes hardscaping and softscaping, it’s always important to think about overall maintenance. There are some elements that are going to be more hands-on than others in both cases.

If you love the look for flowers and shrubs, but don’t have much of a green thumb, consider buying local plant life for your yard. These plants tend to be a bit more hardy and require less maintenance.

Rock gardens look fantastic, can withstand any environment, and can also be used to create some unique art. Wood gazebos and decks can look great, but they’ll have to eventually be replaced since they don’t last as long as other building materials.

Landscape Design and Hardscape Work for Your Home

In the world of landscape design, hardscape and softscape live together in harmony. Work with both so you can make your home truly unique.

Are you interested in other yard and garden content? Do you want more DIY decor tips? Keep browsing our site so we can work together to build your dream home!