Hardscape and Softscape: Two Important Components of Landscaping

When it comes to making gardens or yards more appealing, most people often only talk about landscaping. There are two subcategories, however, that anyone embarking on a landscaping project should be familiar with to better plan out the work ahead: hardscape and softscape.


As its name suggests, hardscape refers to the hard components of any landscaping work. It’s comprised of inanimate objects or structures often built through masonry or woodwork. Experts in hardscaping in Denver say the elements you’ll see in yards and gardens of homes can include stone walkways, wooden gazebos, and ceramic fountains.

These hard elements, which can also be made from materials such as concrete, brick, and metal, not only serve decorative functions but can also provide shelter and privacy.


On the other hand, softscape in landscaping represents the soft elements. It consists of the living components found in yards and gardens, including the soil, grass, and plants. Whereas hardscape elements may only require cleaning as maintenance, softscape components as animate and growing things naturally require more than that.

With soft elements, you’ll have to tend to them (watering, mowing, trimming, etc.) on a regular basis. All the tending, though, will be worth it because softscape components enhance the overall appearance and ambience of any landscaping job.

Striking a balance

Although completely different, hardscape and softscape are both essential to the success of any landscaping project. When designing, strike a good balance between the two. Keep in mind that too much hardscape can give off a cold and uninviting vibe, while a very heavy softscape can be chaotic and untidy. Additionally, make sure the two complement each other. If you’re unsure, however, you can always hire a professional to do the job for you.

Whenever you finally decide to embark on a landscaping project, always consider the hardscape and softscape subcategories—how they are different and how they should be utilized together.