Role of Hardscape in Landscape Design

Author: Touré Foster

Posted in: Landscape Construction

Role of Hardscape in Landscape Design

With spring around the corner, it’s time to assess your yard and determine your spring landscaping projects. Many of these landscaping projects may include adding some hardscape elements into your design. Smart hardscape design can create multiple zones and functions in your yard.

What is hardscaping landscaping?

Hardscaping is the use of inorganic materials in your landscape. Some examples are stone, brick, and concrete. These materials can be used to create patios, walkways, or fences.

Adding hardscaping to your landscape is an ideal way to expand your home’s living area outdoors. Hardscape features serve as compliments to the softscape elements of your property. Softscape includes anything that is living such as trees, shrubs, and flowers that provide natural beauty.

Role of Hardscape

Hardscaping can serve a couple of purposes in landscaping design: functional uses and aesthetic appeal.

1. Functional Uses

As we touched on previously, the hard materials can be used to install patios and firepits, walkways and fences. When used in this way, the hardscaping serves a functional purpose.

The patio with a firepit can be an extension of your home where you relax or spend time with family and friends.

On the other hand, the walkway serves as a foot traffic guide and provides a safe way to enter your home.

Finally, a fence can be used as a boundary marker between your yard and the neighbor’s, with the added benefit of providing privacy for your family.

2. Aesthetic Appeal

Another role hardscaping can play is improving the aesthetic appeal of your landscape. The hard materials can add color, texture, focal points and overall interest to your landscape.

To add color, you can choose to paint your fence a color that matches the overall color palette of your home. Or if you don’t have a fence, you can place colorful garden decorations around your yard.

For creating a focal point, hardscape elements such as wooden arbors, large boulders or fireplaces draw the eye and encourage wandering to other sections of the garden.

Other hardscape elements allow visitors to immerse themselves in the landscape design, within designated areas. Stone walkways allow you to navigate through the garden without disturbing the plants. Patios or decks allow you to sit, relax and observe nature.

These simple ideas can go a long way in creating an interesting landscape while also adding curb appeal!

Hardscape and Softscape Elements Need to Work Together

Although the use of hardscape and softscape elements are totally different, when used together they help create balance in your yard.

  • A yard with only living plants can make the space appear overgrown and uncared for. Adding hardscaping features, such as a walkway or a retaining wall, will help create space among your living elements.
  • Too much hardscape, such as all rocks or a single retaining wall, can make your property look too structured. Adding soft features, such as colorful plants or bushes makes your property more inviting.  

But, be sure to avoid incorporating too much of one or the other when it comes to your landscape design.

So, if you’re looking to add some hardscaping elements to your landscape this spring, now is the time to start planning. Contact an expert to help you develop a hardscape design, which will provide functional areas while also adding visual interest to the landscape.