top of page

Hardscape vs Softscape - Know the Difference

Regarding landscaping, there are two main types of design: hardscape and softscape. Hardscapes are manufactured materials, such as stones, bricks, or tiles. Softscape refers to plants and other natural elements. Which is right for your home? Let's take a look at the difference between hardscape and softscape.

Benefits of Hardscape

A well-designed landscape plan can add value to your property, increase your enjoyment of outdoor spaces, and even help save energy. Hardscape, or manufactured features such as decks, patios, and walkways, can play an important role in landscaping. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, hardscape can also serve a functional purpose. For example, a patio can provide guests with a place to entertain or relax in the sun, while a retaining wall can help prevent soil erosion.

Benefits of Softscape

When you hear the word landscape, you can think carefully about the complex gardens with manicured lawns. However, landscaping can also refer to the softscape of your property, which includes things like trees, shrubs, and other plant life.

Although hard escape features like walkways and patios are important, peaceful escape makes a property come alive. In addition to being visually appealing, soft scaling can have many benefits. For example, plants can help reduce noise levels and improve air quality. They can also provide habitat for local wildlife and protect against soil erosion.

When to Use Hardscape vs Softscape

Landscaping is changing the visible features of an area of ​​the earth, including living elements, such as plants or animals, Or natural elements, such as landforms, bodies of water, or territory. There are two main types of landscaping: hardscape and softscape. When deciding between hardscape and softscape landscaping, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Think about the climate in your area. If you live in a harsh winter area, you may want to choose materials that can withstand the cold weather.

  • Consider your budget. Softscape landscaping is usually more expensive than hardscape landscaping because it requires more care.

  • Think about your personal preferences.

Combine Hardscape and Softscape for an Ideal Landscape Design

Any landscape design is a balance of hardscape and softscape. Hardscape refers to the manufactured elements in your landscape, such as patios, decks, paths, and retaining walls. Softscape, on the other hand, refers to natural ingredients, such as grasses, shrubs, trees, and flowers. The key to creating beautiful and functional landscapes is to strike the right balance between hardscape and softscape.

When planning your landscape, consider the hardscape elements you want to incorporate. Then, determine what kind of softscape will complement them. For example, if you have a large patio area, you might consider adding some landscaping around the edges to soften the look. If you have a small patio that doesn't have much space for landscaping, you may want to consider adding some small shrubs or flower beds.


As discussed above, if you want to create an outdoor oasis that is a relaxing retreat, consider softscape options such as gardens and ponds. If you need a low-maintenance solution that can withstand severe weather conditions, use hardscape materials such as stones and pavers. Ultimately, the decision is up to you and your budget, but we hope this article has helped give you some food for thought.

Think you could use some hardscape or softscape services? Contact Purescapes today to see how we can help!


bottom of page