Landscape Ideas: Understanding the Differences Between Hardscape and Softscape

When it comes to landscape design, the elements that are involved are softscape and hardscape which are the foundation of any landscape project. How do we differentiate a hardscape from a softscape? Hardscape are generally any man-made feature or hard landscape materials used in landscape architecture like paths and walls. Whereas softscape refers to the fluid, changing, and horticultural elements of a landscape such as plants, shrubs, and trees. The ideal landscape should have a balance and harmony of hardscape and softscape elements. Having too much softscape makes your yard like a jungle, while an overly hardscaped yard does not bring out the relaxing and soothing effect intended for a landscape. Read more great facts on  Water Features New Braunfels, click here. 

What makes a softscape generally includes soft horticultural elements such as flowers, shrubs, ground covers, and trees which are the growing or living components of a landscape. The hardscape elements of a landscape include the patios, pool surrounds, decks, walls, fences, arbors, gazebos, pergolas, stones, rocks, retaining walls, stairs, walkways, and landscape edging. Both hardscape and softscape elements are important to outdoor living spaces, with hardscape elements providing support and functional use, while softscape elements providing green and living forms in your yard. Hardscaping elements add focus and balance to your landscape whether it is man-made or natural, small or big, formal or informal, light or heavy. If you just imagine a yard with pure softscape without wood, stones, rocks, gazebos, walls, or brick, it's like a wild forest situated right next to your house. For many centuries, bricks are used in building roads, walls, pathways, buildings, and all types of structures, that have specific patterns that can make a surface appear informal or formal, and can be reused as a good material for outdoor or landscape projects.  Learn more here for more info.

Another form of hardscape is your decking that can use composite materials or engineered wood, providing excellent traction, resisting rotting and mold, and does not require sanding or resealing. Composite decks are durable and make a perfect structure made of wood fibers as well as recycled plastics. On the other hand, concrete can be used in your pathway or patio project that can be stained, texturized, stamped, and embedded with other materials such as sea glass and pebbles. There are various types of loose-materials used in hardscaping such as Mexican river rock, pea gravel, small stones, recycled rubber mulch, and recycled glass. Flagstone or natural stone is an attractive and popular choice for outdoor patios, wherein achieve a rustic look, you can use irregular flagstone or natural stone pieces, and geometric or cut pieces for a more formal look. You can choose ceramic tiles or any kind of tile for your courtyard or outdoor patio. Feel free to check our website or homepage for more related articles about the best water features, landscape ideas, and hardscape services in New Braunfels.