Any beautiful garden has two elements that make it great. Those are hardscape and softscape. Hardscape is referred to as hard and solid surfaces that remain the same for years on end. Softscape is, as you can imagine, the “soft” aspects of the garden and for the most part can be changed easily. Together these can create some real character in your garden.

The following are considered hardscape materials:

  • Wood Slate and Bricks
  • Concrete
  • Gravel
  • Sprinklers
  • Water features and fire pits

The following are considered softscape materials:

  • Plants and Shrubs
  • Trees
  • Flower beds
  • Grass and moss
  • Soil

Both hardscape and softscape are equally important to a balanced garden. You must have both in order to have them contrast and be able to appreciate their separate beauty.  A great combination of both can lead to your very own masterpiece. The qualities of the hard materials make the garden durable and long-lasting, while the soft features such as plants and flowers bring a more livable and relaxed ambiance to the garden.

Of course, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. For example in hardscape, the cost can be higher than softscape features, but the finished product will last much, much longer. On the other hand, softscape can be done without breaking the bank, but you must keep in mind that flowers and other living materials need care and even replacement.


If you have any questions let us know! Schroeder’s Garden Design can help you create the garden of your dreams with your choices of hard and softscaping.


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