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What Exactly IS ‘Hardscaping’ in Landscape Design?

Hardscaping : the other side to landscape design

Landscape Architects and others in the field of landscape design often use the terms “softscape” and “hardscape” to distinguish between plants (soft) and rock or soil work and all the other “hard” elements of landscaping. A simple definition of “hardscape” is anything in the landscape that is not plantings, soils, or earth works.

At first thought, it might seem counter-intuitive to think of ‘hard’scaping as a wanted element in an environment designers often take great pains to keep natural and soft. So, why would this seemingly contradictory intrusion into the world of soft and floral be a critical part of any landscape design?


Why Hardscaping Should be Apart of Any Landscape Design

Hardscaping provides many added benefits beyond what plant and soil materials can accomplish on their own. Here are just a few of those reasons:

  • Hardscaping areas provide contrast and added visual interest to planted spaces

  • They provide designated areas for user activities within the garden spaces, such as reading, gathering, eating, or relaxing

  • Hardscape elements are the most efficient materials to use to create accessibility within your natural spaces. Paths made of stone, brick, or compacted gravel provide a better walking or running surface than those made of organic materials such as hardwood mulch

  • Since hardscape materials are natural but inorganic they generally require much less long term maintenance and resources such as fertilizer and water

If you have been thinking of adding a hardscape element to your landscape design , call or email us today to begin the design process. We would love to help enhance your outdoor spaces into the vibrant, social spaces they have the potential to become!


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