Hardscape vs Softscape: What’s the Difference?

When fixing up your yard, it’s important to understand the different techniques that go into your landscaping design. Hardscaping and softscaping are the main landscaping types that occur at residential sites. Though different in materials and execution, both methods can be used together to achieve the yard of your dreams.

Landscape Design 101: The Materials

Hardscaping and softscaping refers to the heavy or light landscaping materials being used. Hardscaping is considered any non-living element in your landscape design. These materials prevent the absorption of water such as flagstone, stone, and rock. Hardscaping covers patios, driveways, walkways, water features, stairs, and outdoor kitchens.

Meanwhile, softscaping is the opposite. The “living” part of the landscape, softscape materials include grass, soil, flowerbeds, shrubs, and more. Softscaping highlights plants, flowers, color schemes, and patterns.

The purpose of hardscaping and softscaping is to use them together to create a unique, eye-catching combination. But how do you know when to use these materials?

When to Use Hardscaping in Your Landscape

The main reason for hardscaping is to protect the soil underneath. The use of semipermeable materials like gravel and brick prevents water absorption, while the construction of retaining walls lessens the loosening and erosion of the soil.

In the early stages of your landscaping plans, hardscaping is planned out first to arrange sections around the infrastructure. You can then design your softscaping around these structures to create an appealing outdoor living area. This type of landscaping is long-lasting and provides an attractive contrast with your planting arrangements.

One consequence that often goes neglected with hardscaping is the dust that rises from landscaping. This might make the area unhealthy and a source of menace for neighbors. That’s why it’s best to hire landscape design professionals to handle the design and construction.

When to Use Softscaping in Your Landscape

Softscaping will bring life and beauty to your yard. This can be permanent or temporary based on the plants you choose. Evergreen trees and shrubs are permanent inclusions, while seasonal plants and flowers are temporary. Remember, contrasting elements will make your outdoor spaces looking amazing so you will need to marry your hardscaping elements with the natural softscape items.

Softscaping requires regular maintenance to ensure your plants stay healthy but will add a lively element to your property, which is why you should consider hiring a professional landscaping team to help keep your landscaping look gorgeous all year round.

We’re Here to Help with Your Hardscape and Softscape Needs

For more information on how you can design your dream yard, we can help! Contact Your Landscapers with your landscaping ideas today.

Hardscape vs Softscape

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