Together softscape and hardscape help make up your landscaping design, transforming your yard into a relaxing oasis, which can be used for basking in the scenery, to extend your living space, or for entertaining family and friends.


However, when it comes to softscape and hardscape, many people actually know what they are, as well as the importance of each for your yard; therefore, the following breakdown will help you understand both, which can then be used to create the perfect landscape.  


What is Softscape?


Living things in your yard, also known as softscaping, give your yard a natural beauty that only lush greenery can provide.  


The most obvious living feature in your yard is the lawn; however, trees, flowers, shrubs, ground cover, and any other soft, living, growing things in your landscape are also considered softscaping. 


In fact, there are various elements that categorize a feature as softscaping, which include: 


  • Live, horticultural elements that, in landscaping, are categorized by their soft touch.

  • Soft landscaping features that thrive and continuously evolve with the climate and other atmospheric conditions.

  • Yard features that are not hard to the touch, such as stone wall.


What is Hardscape?


Hardscaping, on the other hand, are the inorganic features in your yard, such as the patio, deck, brick walls, gravel paths, and the driveway, etc. In other words, it is simply the hard foundation of your outdoor landscape. 


Hardscape serves various purposes in a yard from, creating an outdoor living room to creating an outdoor kitchen for cooking and dining to creating a walking path for maneuvering your yard.  


As with softscaping, there are also various elements that categorize a feature as hardscaping, which include: 


  • Inorganic or lifeless objects. 

  • Yard features that are hard to the touch; however, they are transferable, such as stones and pavers. 

  • Solid, permanent objects.

  • Hardscaping objects can be natural like stone, or they can be human made, such as an outdoor gazebo, planter, or water feature, etc.  


How Softscaping and Hardscaping Work Together 


Though softscaping and hardscaping are totally different landscaping aspects, together, they help create balance in your yard, which makes for a more enjoyable space.  


Otherwise, a yard with an abundance of live features and solely consists of living plants can create a jungle-like look and feel to the space, which makes the space appear overgrown and uncared for. However, by adding hardscaping features, such as a stone or gravel walkway, it helps create space between your yard’s living features, which makes the yard look more organized. 


Likewise, a yard with too many hard features, such as all rocks or a single retaining wall, can make your property look more industrial or like commercial property rather than a residential structure. However, by adding soft features, such as colorful plants or ornamental grasses, it helps create a more homely feel that makes your property more inviting.  


Therefore, avoid incorporating too much of one or the other when it comes to your landscaping design, which can throw your yard off balance. Since your landscaping also affects your property’s curb appeal, if your yard’s landscaping is off-balanced, it can even decrease its resale value. 

When in doubt, you may even consider working with a professional landscaping company that can not only help you select the right features for your yard but also ensure they are incorporated in the right balance for maximum curb appeal.