What’s Your ‘Scape? The difference between hardscape and softscape.
4/1/2019 2:00:00 PM

Hardscape vs Softscape

Are you designing or redesigning your landscape? It’s important for you to know there are two 

basic components to landscape design: hardscape and softscape. 

Hardscape is the hard features in your yard, such as concrete, bricks and stone. These design elements are solid and unchanging as the seasons change. 

"We implement hardscape designs by using these inanimate objects to create things like rocks, walkways, retaining walls, paver patios, outdoor kitchens, water features, decks and more to help your yard feel organized, structured, and tailored to the things you and your family enjoy about being outdoors,” says Richie Everage, landscape design consultant with Landscape Management.

Softscape is the soft, growing features in your landscape—bedding, flowers, shrubs and trees. These design elements are living and changing as they mature. Without enough plant life, explains Everage, landscaping can appear empty and/or erratic, without a design structure.

"While these elements are completely opposite of each other, they are both necessary to make a landscape design fully functional and complete,” says Everage. For example, if there is too much paving or mostly rocks, it can look like a parking lot; a yard that goes overboard with trees, flowers, and ornamental grasses without any structural elements could look like a jungle. Too much of one or the other in a front yard can compromise your home’s curb appeal, and an overabundance of either will fail to create a relaxing atmosphere in your private back yard. 

"An ideal landscape is a balance of both hardscape and softscape design elements,” says Everage. "With smart planning, even the smallest yard can be well designed and incorporate areas of hardscape and softscape.”

Landscape Management offers comprehensive landscape planning and implementation services, as well as a "we plan; you plant” option that provides landscape design consults for do-it-your-selfers. Their full-service retail yard is stocked with plants and hardscape supplies. 

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