The Art and Science of Construction

What's The Difference Between Hardscaping And Softscaping?

If your yard needs a full makeover, then you might need to do some hardscaping and softscaping work. If you haven't taken on a landscape project before, then read on to learn more about these two processes and how they work together to create a perfect outdoor environment.

What Is Hardscaping? 

Hardscaping work involves anything in your yard that isn't alive. This part of landscaping design creates the physical structure of your space.

For example, common hardscaping projects include fencing, paving, walkways, and driveways. You also use hardscaping materials and tools to create retaining walls, patios, and decks. Some homeowners also install buildings such as pergolas, gazebos, or outdoor kitchens and firepits.

Hardscaping work is a finite process. Once you've built something in your yard, such as a walkway or pergola, then you don't change it. You'll have basic maintenance work to do, but the hardscaped parts of your yard are permanent fixtures unless you decide to replace or upgrade them.

What Is Softscaping?

Softscaping work includes any work you do in your yard that involves living and natural things. So, for example, this work includes designing the placement of lawns, flowerbeds, trees, shrubs, and plants.

While your initial landscaping work creates these areas, they need more ongoing work in the future. For example, you have to mow lawns to keep them neat and tidy. You might change your plants over time to freshen up your yard.

How do Hardscaping and Softscaping Work Together?

If you're making minor changes to your yard, then you might take on a single hardscaping or softscaping project. For example, you might add a patio or lay a new lawn without making other changes.

However, if you want to completely change the way your yard works and looks, then you need to use these two landscaping processes in tandem to get the best results. You should use hardscaping design to create softscaping features.

For example, the layout of your hardscaping dictates how your yard will ultimately look. Walkways can create a flow around the space; retaining walls can create raised beds for plants or seating areas. Or, an outdoor structure or building can become a focal point in your yard.

Once you have designed and built your hardscaping elements, you add softscaping to them. For example, you can plan out where your lawn and plants will fit in your yard design. You can create different areas for different types of plants.

To find out more about how to completely landscape your garden and what you will need to do, contact landscape design companies.