April 21, 2020

What Does Hardscape Mean?

Have you ever been in a conversation with a landscape professional where they mention the term “hardscape”? If so, you may have had the same thought that many homeowners do. What does hardscape mean?

The Definition of Hardscape

As the name implies, hardscape refers to the hard features in your yard — whether that’s a brick paver patio, a stone retaining wall, a cedar pergola or clay pot fountains. These non-living, man-made features are an integral part of what makes landscape design both visually stunning and fully functional to homeowners.

With every installation of a hardscape feature, there’s a question of which hardscape materials and which installation techniques to use. For instance, you may use concrete for your patio based on its low cost, but soon you notice that the material is starting to show wear and tear. Or perhaps you go with pavers but choose the DIY installation route. In that case, a faulty base without enough compaction could cause the misalignment of pavers and create room for tripping hazards.

That’s why it’s best to bring in a professional like Green Impressions to handle hardscape installation. We can use our years of industry experience to help you choose the optimal products for your landscape design, with best practices used for a smooth installation.

The Other Side of the Equation: Softscape

While discussing the basics of hardscape, we think it’s important to touch on the other side of landscape design — and potentially a term you’ve also heard before: softscape.

Softscape refers to the living horticultural elements within a landscape environment. This includes the lawn itself, as well as flowers, shrubs and trees (any plant life to be exact).

While two very distinct forms of landscape design, hardscaping and softscaping are designed to complement one another. You can see this in perennials used to frame the sides of a walkway or shrubs planted around the edges of a patio. In either case, the soft living elements help blur the sharp edges of the hardscape elements and give the outdoor space a cohesive, complete look.

From your hardscape to your softscape needs, Green Impressions has the experience to handle it all. To discuss your Northeast Ohio landscape design project with us, request a free consultation.




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