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Hardscaping and Softscaping

Hardscaping and Softscaping

Landscape design consists of two parts: hardscaping and softscaping.

In landscaping, you might have heard of the terms hardscaping and softscaping. These words refer to the two main parts of landscape design. Because landscape design is such a broad and complex subject, it is worth breaking down the categories and explaining the difference between the two.


Hardscaping refers to the inanimate structures of a landscape. It includes outdoor living structures like pergolas, arbors, and gazebos. It also encompasses decks, fences, retaining walls, patios, walkways, and driveways. Focal points such as fountains or sculptures can also be called “hardscaping.” 

The hard, inanimate features of a landscape offer various benefits to homeowners. While the bugs, birds, and other critters occupy the grass, trees, and other plants, people need a place to walk around and sit without getting dirty. Having the ability to enjoy the scenery in a practical way also adds property value. Although plants are beautiful in and of themselves, hardscaping also defines areas and adds to the texture, pattern, color, and movement of the landscape.


Softscaping, as one can guess, means the living and changing elements of a garden or yard. The variety of plants, especially with easier access to exotic species these days, is enormous. Categories of plants include trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns, ground covers, and perennials. Some plants prefer more or less sun than others, and some bloom at different seasons than others. Your color options are infinite. To have the best softscaping possible, get help from a landscape designer. 

While foliage of all kinds is arguably what makes a backyard feel lively, you do not want to let it completely take over your yard either. Unless your property is spacious enough to let plants grow wild, you will probably want some level of organization. Hardscaping can let you enjoy your plants without trampling them underfoot, and softscaping can provide an orderly and beautiful arrangement of nature.  

Bring Your Landscaping Vision to Life with Michael Bryan Landscapes

When you work with Michael Bryan Landscapes, you are bringing your landscaping vision to life with a team of experts who are committed to the quality of their work on your home. Whether you want to design a landscape for your outdoor space, build a deck, or install a stone patio, our team of experts is ready to help you make it happen. Since 2009, we have served Maryland and Northern Virginia with a variety of landscaping, hardscaping, design, and installation services that not only keep your outdoor space looking great but working as efficiently as possible to meet the needs of your family throughout the year. If you are ready to get started with your landscaping project or service today, call us at 443-203-1951 or email us at Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for updates and weekly landscaping tips!

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 24th, 2019 at 4:07 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.