Hardscape Vs Softscape

Hardscape Vs Softscape

If you are ever planning on designing a landscape, you should probably have a good understanding of the landscape itself and its features. Designing a landscape is grouped into two types, hardscape and softscape. They both are different from each other but provide any place a scenic look. But the question is which one is better? Let’s look more into these present ongoing trends.

What Is Hardscape?

Hardscape design consists of man made things which stays unchanged in the garden for a long time. It can also contain natural and non – living materials. The garden or yard is designed with stone and concrete walkways, patios, decks, stepping stones, potting containers, etc. Materials like pebbles, metal, stone, wood, sand and various hard substances are also used.

Maintaining a hardscape area is quite easy when compared to softscape. But the initial stages of planning and setting up the garden might take up a big chunk of time and a lot of work. The resources and materials needed for a hardscape designed yard are more. But the final outcome will be a visual treat for the eyes.

What Is Softscape?

Softscape is quite the contrary to hardscape. The designs focus mainly with living plants. The garden is decorated with trees, lawn grass, shrubs and beautiful flowering plants for a picturesque look. Softscape actually uplifts the hardscape design by turning a normal patio into a pretty sight by planting flowers surrounding the area.

The maintenance part of this type of design is huge. The plants need to be well taken care of. Some plants are seasonal and don’t survive throughout the year and needs replanting of new plants. You can bring out your creative side by changing the potted plants for every season.

Differences Between Hardscape And Softscape

  • Hardscape designs have materials which are immovable around the garden, while softscape designed garden have elements which can be shifted now and then according to our desire.
  • Hardscape contains non-living objects and softscape contains living things.
  • The hardscape designs consist of solid elements which do not change in the long run, but softscape designs contain elements which changes every season according to the weather conditions.
  • Artificial materials are used in hardscape designs while natural things are used in softscape design. Sometimes artificial grass can also be used in softscape.

Pros And Cons Of Hardscape And Softscape


With hardscaping, there are some advantages to it. You can save water opting for a hardscape designed garden. The time and money you put into making the design will benefit you by lasting longer. People living in areas with water scarcity can very well choose hardscape. Also it can withstand any type of weather. Soil erosion can be prevented because it keeps the ground intact.

Coming to softscape, it the most affordable. The cost of buying plants, seeds, good soil and mulch are lesser when compared to the artificial things needed for hardscape.


Hardscaping requires materials like stone and wood which can cost a huge sum and the labor which goes into setting up the yard or garden by professionals or local landscape gardeners will equally cost quite high.

When choosing softscape one has to weigh the options in choosing the colour of the flowering plants, whether they are annual or perennial plants, etc. This might make the planning process much difficult. In addition to that the plants will not last longer and will not bloom throughout the whole year.

By reading through the above information about hardscape and softscape might have provided an overview of what they offer. Both hardscape and softscape are complete opposites but when put together they tend to create a beautiful garden. Therefore make a clever decision to have the best garden in town.