When we think about landscaping, most of the time we picture plants, trees, shrubs, andflowers. While these are an essential part of landscaping, they are only half the picture. Landscaping is made up of softscaping and hardscaping.
What’s the difference between softscaping and hardscaping?
Softscaping refers to all the soft, living elements in your landscaping design. Think flowers, trees, plants, and grass. These items live and grow and change with time. Theymay go through lifecycles of blooming, dying, and blooming again, like annuals or fruit trees. Or they may grow year-round, like perennials or evergreens.Hardscaping refers to all of the hard, non-living elements in your landscape design. Think bricks, pavements, stones, and walls. These items may move, like water in a stream, or remain stationary, like a patio, but they don’t grow or change over time.
Types of hardscaping
There are many different types of hardscaping, and different materials and projects maysuit some property owners and climates better than others.
Hardscaping can include:
-Paved surfaces like driveways and walkways
-Structures like pergolas and gazebos
-Water features like fountains and streams
-Separators like retaining walls and other types of walls, fences, and spacers
-Functional elements like fire pits and outdoor kitchens
-Outdoor spaces like patios and decksHardscaping relies on materials like wood, stone, brick, and metal, and can either be natural or manmade.
The benefits of hardscaping
Adding hardscaping to your landscaping design can benefit your property in many ways. One of the main benefits is that it adds balance to your design. The hard, stationary elements of hardscaping complement the soft, living elements of softscaping. Too much hardscaping and your property can look harsh and uninviting. Too much softscaping and your property can look overgrown and messy.
Besides creating a balanced look, hardscaping also brings a lot of functionality. From a place to park your car to a fire pit to gather around with friends, hardscaping elements help the outdoors feel like an extension of our indoors. Hardscaping can also drive up the value of your home if you are looking to sell. A beautifully paved stone walkway or driveway can be very appealing to a prospective buyer.Hardscaping is an essential part of landscaping your property so it can be its most beautiful and functional for people.
If you have questions about hardscaping, talk to a professional landscaper to see what features would work best for you, and start enjoying your outdoor space!