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Hardscape vs Softscape

February 18, 2020

The two main components in landscape design are Hardscape and Softscape. Hardscape is the hard landscape element of landscaping, which includes driveways, paved areas, retaining walls, stairs, walkways and any other additions to the landscape that are made of wood, stones or concrete. Softscape is the horticultural element of landscaping, which includes flowers, plants, shrubs, trees, etc.



Hard landscaping involves the elements of landscaping that are solid and unchanging. Hardscaping fundamentally alters the foundation of the yard meaning that the hardscaping needs to be done before the softscaping can be done. Hardscaping, essentially, structures and establishing the general layout of the yard. For example, pathways and walls are constructed to establish the boundaries and parameters of the area. Hardscape plays a major role in water absorption. Water absorption is greatly affected by the design and materials selected to be used in the hardscaping of the backyard. For example, if you elect to go with a concrete patio, the concrete prevents water from absorbing into the soil, which increases water runoff. Permeable Pavers, on the other hand, allow for the rainwater to flow through the joints, passing through a gravel base and allowing the water to soak into the soil, limiting the amount of runoff. As you can see Hardscaping plays a major role in the structure and functionality of your yard.



Soft Landscaping involves the elements of landscaping that are living and growing. Softscape can be both permanent and temporary. Permanent features of softscaping include trees and shrubs. Temporary features of softscaping include seasonal plants and flowers. The purpose of Softscaping is to create an ambiance or aura to the landscape. Softscape gives the space the character and feel that is desired by the homeowner. Properly planning and arranging both permanent and temporary elements of softscaping is vital to create an aesthetically appealing look and feel.

Now that you know the difference between Hardscape and Softscape, fill out our contact form to speak to one of our experienced designers for a FREE estimate so that we can get started on your dream backyard.

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