Hardscape and Softscape: What is the Difference Between the Two?

hardscape and softscape

To understand what goes into building and developing a landscape, we should consider the primary components the make outside living areas. These components are hardscape and softscape. Even though hardscape and softscape are complete opposites of each other, they are both necessary for a landscape design to work together.


Hardscape consists of anything non-living in your landscape design. As this name implies, these are the more solid design components in your yard. These components can include rocks, concrete, bricks, stone, wood, and pavers. Hardscaping can also include other man-made frameworks such as decks, pergolas, or patio covers in your landscape.

Hardscaping makes many landscaping and gardening projects possible. These projects would be challenging without at least a little bit of hardscaping because it helps to avoid issues like erosion and water drainage with buildings and elevated areas obstructing water flow. Hardscaping also enables the use of enhanced watering.

One of the most attractive benefits to having hardscapes in your yard is the minimal amount of upkeep it requires. Once you can develop the landscape that you want, you can get enjoyment out of it for many years. Depending on the amount of hardscaping and softscaping that you have, that means there is nearly no watering, mowing, pruning, and trimming needed.

Besides the various other benefits of hardscaping, having hardscape in your yard will raise the value of your property. By having this extension to your home, there is more usable square footage and the chance for future buyers to see themselves relaxing in their backyard. A vast majority of people looking to buy a house will make sure that the property has an exterior patio.


Softscaping is the use of living plants to improve your landscape design. The star of the yard may be the hardscaping used, but for you to have a well-balanced yard, it is important to have trees, shrubs, and flowers also.

Make sure that your hard-earned money is going to the right place. Think about what the best style of softscape is for your home. Take into consideration the appearance of your home and the houses around you. You want an emphasis on the beauty of your home. But you do not want to stand out, in an unwanted way, from the other homes in the neighborhood.

Next, consider other elements, like wind and direct sun exposure. If the area that you are in has a lot of wind, you might want to consider adding a windbreak. That can include a row of trees or hedges, to help cut down on the wind. Also, thinking about your property’s sun exposure will help guarantee that you are not losing your financial investment of the flowers or plants that cannot grow with that type of lighting.

It can be beneficial to consider sightlines around your property when trying to figure out the softscape placements and what you will see at different angles. Do you want that beautiful flowering shrub to be the first thing that you see when you pull into your driveway? In that case, make sure that it is somewhere unobstructed and visible from the road.

If you want to add some functionality added to your yard, you should take hardscape and softscape into consideration. Talk to the professionals at Landscape Plus to build your own outdoor haven today.

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