What is Hardscaping?
Hardscaping is the use of hard landscaping materials such as wood, stone or concrete to shape, support and build your landscaping. When you and your landscape designer develop the plan for your property, your planning will include what kinds of hard materials and structures are needed to build and maintain the look and environment that you want.
What Parts of My Landscape Does that Include?
Hardscaping includes elements such as walkways, stone walls, the driveway, retaining walls, stairs, drainage, landscape lighting structures, and permanent installments. Most fountains, pools, man-made streams and ponds require hardscaping to keep the water in the water feature, rather than draining away into the earth. Patios and decks are types of hardscaping, as are stone barbecues, some types of outdoor kitchens, and firepits.
What About My Trees and Plants?
Trees, bushes, flowers, bulbs, dirt, and mulch are all softscape materials; softscaping is the part of the landscape that involves plants and growing things. Hardscaping works to support and protect the softscaping. It provides structure and boundaries and shields the land from wear and erosion.
A brick pathway would be the hardscape, and the primroses lining the path and the moss between the stones are softscape. Other examples of how hardscaping and softscaping work together in a well-planned landscape include a pond and the water lilies and flags planted in it, or a gazebo with climbing roses and a garden around it. Both elements are needed to make the most beautiful and effective plans for your outdoor living space.
The hardscaping is the skeleton of your space; the softscaping is the flesh and clothing. Combined, you can create something spectacular.