Hardscape and landscape are vastly different and bring a distinct element to your yard in their own unique ways. Underlying hardscape and softscape projects are landscaping projects. Softscape encompasses grass, shrubs, and vegetable gardens. Understanding the difference between the two is essential. 


All About Hardscape

Hardscape revolves around brick and mortar. This includes decks, pools, berms, arbors, and driveways. Softscape materials like flowers and plants can pattern a hardscape’s overall design.


Hardscape exists in most households. In addition, outdoor pools can only function with proper decking in the surrounding areas. Hardscape prevents water absorption. Natural rainwater, hose water, and sprinklers can cause a home’s exterior to degrade over time. However, with proper hardscaping, this can be prevented. 


Additionally, hardscape protects an area’s structural integrity. Brick and mortar cooperate to form a fortified foundation, covering a yard from day-to-day wear and tear. Hardscaping sometimes acts as an additional foundation where aesthetics are considered. Hardscaping can be customizable. It maintains embellished areas as well. Stone benches, vertical walls, and paved walkways all serve a purpose while visually ‘pulling the yard together’.


All About Landscape

Landscaping encompasses hardscaping. It defines a yard’s figure, definition, and inclusions. The landscape consists of hardscape and softscape. Both components create a memorable landscape that captures a home’s essence while protecting the property. Both elements should be considered. Hardscape, more so due to its impact on the yard’s structure. 


Before planning a hardscape installation, a yard’s surrounding landscape ‘feel’ should be considered. Again, much of a landscape’s space is hardscape. Whole areas need to be designed beforehand. Start with the big picture first. Determine the wide feel of the area before filling it in. The yard’s structural integrity should be defined as well. Your landscape is the sum of parts within it. While a missing hardscape element may seem minuscule, it can significantly differ in the landscape’s drainage and erosion. A property’s drainage, structural, and safety concerns should all be addressed before the landscape installation. 



Above all else,  the area should feel natural. Your patio and pool deck should be focal points, assisting the surrounding architecture. One big focal point can accommodate a lack of architecture. At the same time, drafting a landscaping project, it’s best to consider your focal point hardscape first. Then, create your softscape innovations as you go. Again, start with the big picture. More hardscape, softscape, and landscape options will emerge as you design. With creativity, any atmosphere can be achieved.