What is the Difference Between Hardscaping & Softscaping?

Are you a homeowner wondering how you can create a stunning outdoor space? Nothing draws you outdoors more than nice weather and a beautifully designed yard that you can enjoy while outside.  But what exactly makes a breathtaking yard? Many homeowners think all they need to do is install a lawn and plant a few perennials for an appealing yard. If you fall into this category, the first thing you need to know is that your yard, just like the interior of your home, needs a good landscape design plan. Without one, you may place too much or too little emphasis on certain elements that don’t compliment each other well. Great landscaping is about blending hard and soft components of your outdoor space in a balanced way. Striking that perfect balance can create a stunning yet scenic view. It takes a keen eye, skill and experience to incorporate the right elements to provide a nice contrast. This is known in the landscaping world as hardscape and softscape.

What is Hardscape and Softscape Design?

Hardscape is a term used for hard or manmade components that are added to the yard like natural stone, brick, pavers or concrete. The main purpose of these hard features is to break up patches of vegetation. These man-made elements are a tool to enhance the design of a residential landscape. A yard with a lot of greenery can become overwhelmingly monotonous. Hardscape also gives the area structure and creates a natural separation between the green areas of your yard.

The most common type of hardscape used is concrete which is available in various colours. Brick is another popular choice because its bright red colour serves as a good contrast to the green vegetation.

Softspace, on the other hand, refers to the vegetation and natural elements of your landscape like a lawn, perennial flowers, succulents and trees. A yard with too much softscape may end up looking unkempt and chaotic. This is where concrete or brick is recommended to create paths.

Blending the hardscapes and softscapes well is the key to creating a beautiful exterior for your home. Here are some ways that you can creatively add hardscape to your landscape.

1. Design a Beautiful Patio

With the increasing popularity of outdoor living spaces, a backyard patio is an excellent addition to your home. Having a patio provides a central area in your backyard where your friends and family can come together and enjoy quality time together outside. And when a patio is built close to the back of your home, it can become an extension of your living space, increase the square footage of your home and significantly increase your home’s value.

backyard interlocking design ideas

2. Add Fire Features

Fire features never go out of style. While many automatically think of indoor spaces when they hear the word fireplace, a fireplace or fire pit is a beautiful feature to add to your outdoor living space. And the best part is that a fire feature can serve as both an aesthetic and functional purpose. A fire feature allows you to continue to enjoy your time outside as day turns to night. Fires not only provide warmth on cool evenings, but they also create an ambiance that is inviting.

3. Incorporate a Water Feature

One of the most beloved front yard rock landscaping ideas includes a water feature. A water feature can provide an oasis and a visual focal point for your yard. The soothing sound of flowing water provides a much-needed escape from the pressures of everyday life. It also gives your yard a valuable hardscape that can nicely complement your yard.

sodding landscaping for the front yard of the house

4. Feature Tile in Landscape Design

Tiles can be strategically placed in certain areas in your yard to create a rustic look. These areas include grill areas and walkways. The use of smaller tiles in various areas of your landscape can be used to break up any monotony and create a burst of colours that can brighten up the surface.

5. Build a Pathway

Hardscapes are often used to create a pathway out of brick or stone. Walkways can lead from your house to key areas in your yard and are both a visual feature and a functional one.

Contact Us

Take your backyard from ordinary to extraordinary by hiring an experienced landscaping company to balance out your hardscaping and softscaping. Our team at Ontario Quality Landscaping is the best in the business, and we’re ready to help you take your yard to the next level. Reach out to us today to learn more about our professional landscaping services.

In a World Full of Uncertainty, You Can Always Count on Quality with Us.