Patio and outdoor fireplace surrounded by landscaping by a lake

A Closer Look at the Difference Between Hardscape and Landscape

Your home and yard will look terrific with the right landscaping. But wait, it will look even better with the right hardscape added, too. So, what’s the difference between hardscape and landscape?

Actually, we believe the best-looking properties look their absolute best with “hardscape landscaping.” Most people would agree that the best outdoor look for a home blends elements of a hardscape with the landscaping.

This article will explain the differences between these two ways of improving your outdoor property’s look. We expect you will agree that they make a terrific pairing.

The Difference Between Hardscape and Landscape

Hardscaping and landscaping are two complementary ways of enhancing the look of your home’s exterior. Hardscaping has nearly always been a part of the landscaping, but it’s only recently received its own name.

What Is Landscaping?

A landscape is the soft, organic, and living vegetation in a yard, park, commercial setting, or similar outdoor space. Landscaping is the art of making that space more attractive by shaping it into a design and adding decorative features.

Landscaping materials include plants like flowers, decorative grasses, shrubbery, and ground cover. Of course, any other plants likely to thrive in your particular climate are worth considering, too.

Unless you’re a seasoned horticulturalist, we recommend hiring a landscaping professional for the work. This is especially the case if you’re planning to hardscape the landscaping.

What Is Hardscape?

Hardscaping (also known as hard landscaping) refers to inorganic or inanimate parts of a landscape. Hardscape materials include anything that is stone, brick, metal, concrete, wood, etc..

Using hardscape in a landscape has been done almost perfunctorily for a long time. Anything from decorative walls or trellises in a garden to lawn ornaments to a patio can be considered hardscape.

For some homes, such as those in arid areas, hardscape might comprise almost the entire yard. Think about interspersing the hardscape with desert flora like cacti.

How to Integrate Hardscape in Landscaping

If you plan to integrate hardscape in landscape that already exists, look for the empty spots or areas where plants overlap. Hardscaping materials like natural stone draw the eye toward the scenic plantings.

If your hardscape consists of an entire patio, walkway, or gazebo, try a reverse integration. Plant landscaping around the edges to add to the structure’s design.

Remember, before planning the new look for your new hardscape landscaping, be sure to check for hidden obstacles and hazards. Digging near buried plumbing or wiring can create serious problems.

And if you live in a planned community, be sure to check with your HOA for any restrictions.

Small shrubs built into rows in multi-tiered planters beside a patio with garden walls

The Perfect Outdoor Look

Achieve the look you want for your landscaping project. Make sure your landscaping and hardscaping materials suit your tastes, budget, and affinity for outdoor work. Landscaping always needs maintenance!

The difference between hardscape and landscape is a matter of individual interpretation. The only lines you need to draw are those in the hardscape landscaping project itself—the lines drawn for aesthetic reasons.

Do you live near Lake of the Ozarks? Do you need help with your project off the ground (literally and figuratively)? If so, please consider us first. It would be our pleasure to help you.

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