What’s the Difference Between Hardscaping and Landscaping?

Most people think of landscaping as having well-manicured lawns with some flowers, shrubs, and trees mixed in for effect. While that is a reasonable general description of basic landscaping, it only scratches the surface. Hardscaping is what makes landscaping truly unique and functional.

When you have a good-sized property upon which your home sets, you can increase its value with quality landscaping. You might need to move some earth, clear some brush, and install a yard. But you can make the outdoor space much more functional and beautiful. Hardscaping is an important element that makes your landscaping work more efficiently.

Are Hardscaping and Landscaping Different?

Hardscaping is closely related to landscaping and often is an integral component. The two can blend very well and make your outdoor space truly remarkable. But they are different.

As the name suggests, hardscaping provides you with the hard elements of a landscaping plan. Hardscaping creates patios, walkways, retaining walls, and other structural elements that support a landscaping design. In many ways, hardscaping is what truly makes landscaping possible.

What Are the Main Differences Between Hardscaping and Landscaping?

The main difference between hardscaping and landscaping is that hardscaping uses additional materials to create a structural element. Retaining walls help hold back the land while creating a more usable outdoor space. Walkways, patios, pool decks, and other outdoor structural elements are examples of common ways homeowners use hardscaping.

Landscaping is more dependent upon softscaping to provide your property with aesthetic appeal. Shrubs, bushes, flower beds, and trees are common elements of softscaping. So is a lawn or desert landscaping in locales where grass is not viable. Blending hardscaping and softscaping within an overall landscape design can make your home much more livable while providing you with greater privacy and outdoor beauty.

Advantages of Hardscaping for Property Owners

Hardscaping is necessary to make the home functional inside and out. It gives you a driveway to get to the garage. Hardscaping gives you walkways that enable you to walk around your home and other structures. Hardscaping also enables easy access to pools, patios, and outdoor kitchens for grilling.

A fundamental element of hardscaping is that it resists water. The materials used vary and often include concrete or asphalt for driveways and sidewalks. Stone or brick can help with walkways, patios, and creating barriers with the softscaping. The hardscape also helps to protect your home against erosion and resists water.

Ultimately, hardscaping and softscaping are two sides of the same landscaping coin. Without either, there would be no landscaping.