The Difference Between Hardscaping and Softscaping

Many times, the most difficult part about any new activity is learning the lingo. From art to sports to mountain biking to landscaping, each activity has its own foreign language that seems to give the activity an exotic appeal. As you start doing the initial research on your new landscape, for example, you may notice terms that are unfamiliar to you. Experts like to show how learned they are by using fancy language. You might hear them say something like, “Achieving the correct balance of hardscape and softscape can create an ethereal landscape.” All that simply means is you need a good mix of flowers, plant life, structures, and pathways to create the perfect oasis. And so, today’s lesson on a beautiful landscape will start learning about Hardscaping vs Softscaping!

What is Hardscaping?

It really is quite simple: Hardscaping involves the manmade features of your landscape. From brick paths that lead the way to an inviting front porch to the retaining wall built around the raised garden and that beautiful pagoda that provides a cool place to help you enjoy your private sanctuary, any feature that was created by man is an item of hardscape.

What is Softscaping?

Softscaping is mostly about the flowers and plant life that is an integral part of any home garden, but it is also referenced when talking about the temporary or fluid part of your landscape, including color scheme. Softscape is the living sections of your landscape that needs continued nurturing and care.

Why is the Balance So Important?

If you have ever visited a home whose yard only exhibits flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees, you may notice something just doesn’t feel right—and your gut is right. Too much of a good thing can leave a yard looking boring and seeming to lack inspiration; the only time an excess of flowers looks good is when you’re viewing the tulip gardens in Holland, and even there you will find windmills in the background!

Too much hardscape, however, can give your yard a sterile and barren look. A brick pathway is fine, but when it is framed by flowers, the simple beauty can take your breath away. To avoid looking like you bought the floor display at the Home Depot, it’s important to soften the appearance of your hardscape with colorful flowers, towering trees, and maybe even your own personal vegetable garden.

Still Not Right?

So, you’ve done your homework and you still feel like you haven’t achieved the correct balance between hard and softscaping? Don’t feel discouraged—just give us a call and let us help! Schedule an appointment with us today and together we can build an oasis that will be the envy of your neighborhood!