• Hardscape

    What’s the Difference Between Hardscapes and Softscapes?

    Every great design incorporates balance. When we talk to clients at Hittle Landscaping, we carefully listen to their ideas and plans for their outdoor space. Clients often ask about the difference between hardscapes and softscapes. At Hittle Landscaping, we transform dreams into reality using both.

    What are Hardscapes?

    Hardscapes are quite literally, the “hard” elements in your yard. These include brickwork, stonework and concrete. Some elements of hardscapes might be:

    • Inanimate, or not living.
    • Gravel, pavers for pathways or patios and stones.
    • Part of a function, such as retaining or sitting walls. In certain parts of the country, gravel may be used instead of mulch or grass, to give a more drought-tolerant   
    • Man-made, such as a constructed planter or outdoor structure like a pergola.
    • Natural, like boulders or stone.
    • Something which has an impact on the environment. Solid pavement, as a hardscape, prevents rainwater from soaking into the soil, instead causing runoff into the storm drain. Perforated pavers, however, are hardscapes which allow rain to pass through and be absorbed below.
    • A driveway or sidewalk, is immobile and solid.

    How do Softscapes Compare to Hardscapes?

    • Like it sounds, these are the “softer” elements of your landscape. These generally refer to living things. Elements of softscapes include:
    • They live and require care as a living organism.
    • They change. Think of a prominently-placed tree losing its leaves. As a professional landscape designer, you must ask, when this tree loses its leaves, does it reduce privacy? Impact the sun into the home or on the outdoor spaces? A shade or privacy alternative might be in order.
    • They evolve. Most perennial plants grow and spread. They may need careful tending or to be aggressively cut back so they don’t invade other areas. Delicate plants and even trees and shrubs may be choked by an invasive species.
    • They too provide a function. Groundcovers are an example of a planting taking place of grass. A soft surface is provided without the need for trimming and cutting.  

    Hardscapes, Softscapes, Landscapes!

    We’re eager to get to you know you and listen to your ideas. We’ll bring our more than 40 years of expertise in thoughtful landscaping, lighting and design to create your personal retreat.

    Locally-owned and operated, Hittle Landscaping is prepared to bring our trademark attention to detail to any challenge. To explore how hardscapes or softscapes may beautify and improve your property, call Hittle Landscaping today for a consultation. 

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