Hardscape vs. Softscape: The Differences

August 26, 2015

Do you have a love for landscaping? And if you do, which type of landscaping do you prefer – softscape or hardscape? In case you prefer one to the other, it is advisable to love both. Hardscape involves the elements in the design of the landscape that are heavier like patios, stones, driveways and rocks. Softscape, on the other hand, involves the rest of the elements like flowers, soil, color schemes and plants.

For you to enjoy and have the best landscaping results, it is best to ensure that you combine the features of both hardscaping and softscaping. This is important so that there will be a good balancing of the landscape. The reason as to why balancing is important is because it enhances harmony in your landscape or yard. Like for example, if you will have a lot of stones and driveways in your yard, use plants such as the flowers to make the place look complete.

To help you understand better and make your landscape unique, here are some basic features of softscaping and hardscaping.

The elements of softscape

 

 



In order to have a landscape that is complete and looking alive, you will need the softscape touch. Softscape complements the hardscape elements and makes the whole place look alive and real. The elements of softscape can be temporary like perennial flowers, or they can be permanent such as the shrubs, trees, vegetation, and much more.

Another exciting fact about softscaping is that it can easily adapt to the purpose of your landscape or complement the season and time. The following are some of the softscape features:

•    Flowers

•    Trees

•    Grass

•    Vegetable gardens

•    Soil

•    Shrubs

The elements of hardscape

As much as softscape features add life and are good complements, the presence of hardscape is very important because it will determine the softscape elements to use. Therefore, you should first start by determining the hardscape elements for your landscape. This is because hardscape elements help to shape the yard and set forth the boundaries.

Also, these features help to cover all the proportions and spaces and also installing systems that are important to help in preventing water from being absorbed. Also, they encourage installation of a sprinkler system to keep your landscape evergreen. The main elements of hardscape include:

•    Arbors

•    Patios

•    Walkways

•    Fountains

•    Driveways

•    Heavy materials like stones, rocks and flagstone

•    Swimming pools

•    Gates, and

•    Stone benches

Now you know that a landscape is not complete without both the softscape and hardscape features. However, in as much as you ensure to include both categories to achieve the yard you have in mind, you should consider the following factors:

Hardscape and softscape factors to consider

•    The purpose

What purpose do you want the hardscape to accomplish for your landscape? This is because the purpose will determine the type of hardscaping and softscaping that you will do. When you mix the two, it is not possible to achieve a good complement because each will be independent of the other.

•    The type of materials

In this case, it will depend on the type of materials you want to use in your landscape. If you are a conservative person and you want to maintain your conservative nature, even in your yard, you should then know which materials will help bring out the personality well. You may also want to go for the temporal materials or even the permanent ones. The choice is entirely yours.

•    The level of maintenance

Here you need to know how far you are willing to go in order to maintain your landscape in good shape. If you prefer to have an annual maintenance, then make sure that the hardscape and the softscape elements used will hold on in good shape until the time for maintenance.

For most lawn owners, they prefer to do softscaping themselves while they get help for hardscaping services in Wayne, NJ from reliable landscaper designers. What about you? Do share with us!

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