Hardscaping vs. Softscaping: Why You Need a Landscaping Architect for Both

Hardscaping? Softscaping? When you want to upgrade your outdoor area, you will hear some terms that you may not be familiar with. Both hardscaping and softscaping are crucial to creating the ideal living space outside. A landscape architect has the training, knowledge, and artistry to properly balance these to achieve a seamless transition from inside to outside. Plus, with professional design, your yard will have an aesthetically pleasing appearance while still remaining practical to use.

What Is Hardscaping?

“Hardscape” and “Softscape” are words created by landscape Architect Don Brinkerhoff  of the famous destination resort landscape architectural firm, “Lifescapes”Inc.

The hardscape elements of a project refer to all components in the landscape that are non-living. Therefore, outdoor furniture, walkways, architecture, and water features all fall into this category. The hardscape creates  spaces for living, and enjoying the outdoors. These elements of the landscape remain unchanging and  are stable, constant features that must be carefully chosen to balance with both the house and the surrounding flora.

Softscape  features include all living parts of the landscape. These parts of the landscape change throughout the year, depending on the types of plants and your climate. For instance, deciduous trees change colors in autumn and lose their leaves in the winter. Evergreens stay the same all year long.

Why Is Hardscaping Important to Outdoor Spaces?

Hardscaping turns a basic grass-covered yard into a living space. With the addition of hardscape elements, your yard can have conversation groupings around fire pits, outdoor kitchens and dining areas, and swimming sites with lounging spaces. Walkways connect these elements to each other and to the house.

Without hardscaping, you would have a jungle in your yard. Hardscape elements transform the space into an area where you can enjoy the outdoors.

Why You Need a Landscaping Architect for Planning Hardscaping and Softscaping

A landscape architect knows how to perfectly balance hard and softscape elements. For instance, in this example from Mark Scott Associates, the driveway pavers in front of the garage bays have a design that complements the Mediterranean-style home with grass between the pavers to break up the harshness of the stone. These combined elements earned this home a winner for curb appeal from HGTV fans in 2017.

A professional architect can create the precise balance needed for visual appeal, function, and practical watering needs. Don’t try to make these design choices on your own. Request assistance from a proven landscaping architect who has experience in a luxurious home, commercial, and industrial designs.

Contact Mark Scott Associates for Inspired Designs that Perfectly Merge Hardscaping and Landscaping

For inspired landscapes that merge function and design, contact Mark Scott Associates. We have earned several honors that showcase our passion for style and visual appeal. Let us make the most of your outdoor space to truly make it a livable extension of your home.