You’ve heard about landscaping, but what does hardscaping and softscaping mean? And why do they matter?
Hardscape and softscape are both elements in landscaping. Hardscape refers to the heavier elements in landscape design, such as stones, rocks, patios and driveways.
Softscape refers to everything else, such as soil, plants, flower and color schemes.
When hiring a landscape company, the objective is to combine both hardscape and softscape features to give the yard the right balance. Harmony is key, as you don’t want a yard with plenty of walkways but no vegetation to complement it.
Let’s talk a little more about hardscape and softscape features so that you can work closely with your landscaping company to carry out a vision of excellence.
Hardscape covers all the spaces and proportions, and it also includes the installation of sprinkler systems and systems that prevent the absorption of water. For these reasons, hardscape features are the ones that landscapers start with as they lay out the boundaries and shape of the yard. Examples of hardscape features include:
Heavy materials like stone, flagstone and rock
When the hardscaping is complete, it’s time to add the living part of the landscape, which is the softscape. Softscape features may be permanent, such as evergreen trees and shrubs, or they may be temporary, such as with perennial flowers. This is what makes softscaping so much fun, as it’s always changing to fit the season and vision of the homeowner. Examples of softscape features include:
No landscape is complete without elements from both categories, but there are pros and cons to think about as you find harmony in your space. First, hardscaping elements are typically much higher in cost. And, if you need a change of scenery in a few years, you’ll need to go through the redesign and replacing of hardscape features. Softscaping, on the other hand, is more affordable and can be easily changed. At the same time, softscape elements require more care and maintenance.