Hardscape vs. Softscape: Choose the Right One for Your Home

Want to spruce up your yard by improving your landscaping? If so, you may be wondering whether hardscape or softscape is the right choice for your home. Hardscape and softscape are two different types of landscaping, each with their own unique benefits. Let’s explore the differences between the two, and help you decide which one is right for you!

What is Hardscape? 

Hardscape is essentially any man-made feature in a landscape design that is not made up of plants or soil. Features like patios, decks, pathways, driveways, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens and fire pits are all considered hardscape. Water features such as fountains or ponds also fall into this category. The purpose of hardscaping is to create a permanent structure in the landscape that needs little maintenance or upkeep over time. It is ideal for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time tending to their yard but still desire that professionally cared for look. 

Hardscaping is an important part of any landscape design. It adds visual interest, texture and structure to your outdoor space. Hardscaping includes the use of a variety of stone and masonry elements, such as granite pavers, flagstone and river rock – in naturally beautiful colors and sizes. Hardscaping is easy to modify, making it an ideal choice for creating unique landscape designs that you love. And it provides a great way to turn a boring yard into one with beautiful features that will make your yard the neighborhood outdoor destination!

What is Softscape? 

Softscape refers to any part of a landscape design that is made up of living plants and soil –  grasses, shrubs, trees and flowers. The purpose of softscaping is to the naturally occurring colors and textures of various plants and flowers to create a vibrant and colorful landscape. Softscapes require more maintenance than hardscapes because they need regular watering, trimming, and fertilizing in order to keep them healthy and looking good over time. Softscaping organizes the natural beauty of your plantings into an organic design. It’s an easy and affordable way to transform your outdoor space with soft elements like trees, flowers, shrubs, ground cover and other natural features. With softscape design, you’ll be able to add a visually appealing thin layer of soft texture on top of hardscapes such as patios or walkways. 

In addition,softscapes can also offer relief from natural elements such as direct sunlight, and also offers added wind protection for your home. By combining tree installment and flower beds into a pleasing visual experience, softscapes enhance your outdoor experience.

Softscape Landscape Design

Which Should You Choose? 

When deciding between hardscape vs softscape for your home, consider how much time you are willing to spend on yard care each week. If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands but still want the benefit of a beautiful yard, hardscaping may be the way to go, as it requires less maintenance over time. On the other hand, if you love gardening and have enough time each week, softscaping is the perfect choice, as it allows you to get creative with your backyard designs and gives life to your outdoor space at the same time!  

No matter what type of landscaping you choose for your home – hardscape or softscape – there are many benefits to both options – all which enhance the beauty of your outdoor space while providing practical solutions such as drainage control, additional seating areas, or even privacy barriers with fencing solutions! Ultimately choosing between these two depends on how much maintenance you are willing or able to do each week, as well as how creative you want to get with designing your outdoor space! Armed with this information, all that’s left is for you to get out there and start creating your dream backyard!
If you want to add some new elements to your landscape design, give The Narrow Lane a call at (781) 531-9837 today. We would love to assist you with your landscaping construction and planting needs!

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