Landscaping: Softscape Vs. Hardscape

Understanding the difference between softscaping and hardscaping – and how they complement one another – will give you a better understanding of how you can improve your yard.

Softscape involves mainly “soft” materials that make up your yard – soil, trees, bushes, grass, etc. Hardscape, on the other hand, involves things like rocks, concrete, bricks, and stone.

Let’s delve into these in more detail.


Softscape Vs. Hardscape

Horticultural features are the main aspect of softscape design. Consider where you want to plant your trees and bushes. Maybe you want a flowerbed somewhere in your front yard. It’s a good idea to set these up with your yard’s location in mind – which areas are going to get the most sunlight and at what times during the day? 

Softscape also includes your grass. Do you want to plant grass or lay down sod? What kind of grass do you want? 

Soil can also be considered part of a softscape design. Before planting grass or laying down sod, perhaps there are some areas of your yard that you want smoothed out or reshaped.


Softscape Vs. Hardscape

The main features of hardscape include:

  • Gravel
  • Stone walkways
  • Paved surfaces
  • Outdoor kitchens
  • Water features
  • Gazebos
  • Decks
  • Driveways
  • Etc.

Hardscape involves building stone or gravel walkways from your driveway to your front door, how your deck is set up, if you have any water features in your yard like a fountain or swimming pool, and anything else that involves hard, inorganic materials.

Areas that are more affected by drought tend to have more hardscape features in their yards. The reason for this is simple: With less water comes more dead and dying plant life, so rather than sitting around with a depressing landscape, people instead choose to install beautiful hardscape designs that don’t require water.

Bringing Them Both Together

Softscape Vs. Hardscape

There are many ways in which hardscape and softscape complement each other. There are also many ways in which they can clash. For example, a stone walkway that leads visitors along a flowerbed is a great idea, but setting up a rock wall in such a way that it blocks sunlight to your flower bed is going to lead to a lot of problems.

If you’ve recently moved into a new home or are in the process of building one and you’re ready to set up some landscaping plans, make sure to have your softscape and hardscape blueprints set up in a way that flows. You want these two aspects of your landscape to complete one another.

Consider Hiring a Landscaping Company

Whether it’s hardscape or softscape, landscaping is incredibly difficult work. Most people just don’t have the time and energy to get these projects done – and get them done right – after a long day of work. 

If you need landscaping work done, there are plenty of landscaping companies you can hire that have been doing professional hardscape and softscape projects for years. They’ll know exactly what to do, bringing softscaping and hardscaping together in a way that makes your house feel more like a home.