Building a raised paver patio is an excellent option for homeowners who want to expand or raise their outdoor entertainment area and create a cozy, relaxing spot. In this blog […]
If you’re considering any landscape design on your property, you’ll likely hear the terms landscape, hardscape, and softscape. Are they the same? What are the differences?
Let’s dive into some definitions to know which option is best for your outdoor area.
What is paver landscape?
Your landscape consists of two main elements: hardscape and softscape. The landscape is the overarching term or category for both types. Landscape design is the practice of designing your yard’s hardscape and softscape.
A well-designed landscape incorporates a balance between the two elements. Beautiful properties find a way to integrate both hardscape and landscape within the same design.
While some people only use hardscaping, the result can often strike the eye as too much paving, hinting toward a commercial look. However, a yard exclusively does soft scaping might look like a jungle.
So, how do you balance the two as you plan the look of your outdoors?
What is hardscape?
Hardscape refers to the non-living elements in landscaping, such as a wooden arbor, a stone wall, or a brick patio. It is one of the two significant subcategories of landscaping.
There are many ways you can use hardscape elements to enhance your landscaping. Here are some of the options:
Hardscape is usually environmentally friendly, and different hardscapes can support the natural environment already on your property. You could install a retaining wall to hold back earth or a lawn edge made from pavers (made with natural materials) instead of plastic, rubber, or steel. You could also install a permeable driveway, walkway, or patio to displace water runoff and eliminate the need for artificial storm drainage.
What is softscape?
Softscape is any of the growing things many of us love to have in our yards. It’s anything alive—such as flowers, shrubs, succulents, and trees—and is the horticultural element of any landscape design, including these and others:
- Decorative grasses
- Fruit or decorative trees
- Ground cover such as clover or mulch
Now that you know the difference between landscape, hardscape, and softscape, you might wonder how to combine all three to create beauty in your yard.
How to use hardscape and softscape to create a beautiful landscape
How can you use both types of landscaping in your outdoor area to create a beautiful result? Here are a few ideas:
- Place a small garden wall along your patio to soften straight edges.
- You can install a low retaining wall that could double as seating or an herb box.
- You can plant low-growing ground covers that withstand foot traffic and add softness between a wall and a paved area.
- If you live in a low-water area, you can maximize your hardscape to prevent the need to use much water on any softscape you install.