Hardscape And Softscape: What's The Difference?

As a trusted landscaping company and hardscape contractor in Colorado Springs, we understand the importance of creating a well-balanced and visually appealing outdoor space. When it comes to landscape design, two essential elements are hardscape and softscape. Understanding the difference between the two is crucial in achieving a harmonious and functional landscape. Let's explore the distinction between hardscape and softscape and how they contribute to your outdoor environment, and contact Bear Claw Landscaping today.

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patio with firepit and pool

What Is Hardscape?

Hardscape refers to the non-living, man-made elements of your landscape. These are the permanent structures and hard materials that create structure, define spaces, and provide functionality.

patio with firepit

Types of Hardscapes

Some common examples of hardscape elements include:

Patios and Walkways: These are the paved areas in your landscape that provide spaces for relaxation, entertaining, or simply navigating through your outdoor environment. They can be made of materials like concrete, pavers, or natural stones.

Retaining Walls: Retaining walls are structures used to hold back soil and create different levels or terraces in your landscape. They can be made of various materials, including concrete blocks, natural stones, or timber.

Outdoor Kitchens and Fireplaces: Outdoor kitchens and fireplaces enhance your outdoor living experience by providing cooking facilities, seating areas, and a cozy ambiance with a fireplace or fire pit. They can be constructed using durable materials like stone, brick, or stainless steel.

Water Features: Water features, such as fountains, ponds, or waterfalls, add a peaceful and soothing element to your landscape. They can be designed using a variety of materials, including stone, concrete, or fiberglass.


What Is Softscape?

In contrast, softscape refers to the living, horticultural elements of your landscape. These include plants, trees, shrubs, flowers, and other organic materials that bring color, texture, and life to your outdoor space. Softscape elements can be changed and evolve over time. Examples of softscape features include:

Trees and Shrubs: These provide shade, visual interest, privacy, and habitat for wildlife. They can be selected for their size, shape, foliage color, and seasonal blooms.

Lawns and Groundcovers: Lawns and groundcovers add lush greenery to your landscape. You can choose from various grass types or opt for low-maintenance groundcovers to cover bare soil areas.

Flowers and Perennials: Flowers and perennials add pops of color, fragrance, and seasonal interest to your outdoor space. They can be planted in flower beds, borders, or containers.

landscaped yard

The Combination of Both

To create a cohesive and balanced landscape design, it's essential to carefully integrate hardscape and softscape elements. This can be achieved by considering the following factors:

Functionality: Determine how you want to use your outdoor space and select hardscape elements that serve those purposes. For example, if you enjoy outdoor entertaining, a spacious patio with seating areas and an outdoor kitchen would be a great addition.

Aesthetics: Aim for a landscape design that harmonizes with your home's architecture and the surrounding environment. Consider the colors, textures, and materials of both hardscape and softscape elements to ensure they complement each other.

Maintenance: Consider the level of maintenance required for both hardscape and softscape elements. Softscape elements may require more ongoing care, such as pruning, watering, and fertilizing, while hardscape elements generally require less maintenance.


At our landscaping company in Colorado Springs, we specialize in hardscape design and installation, as well as incorporating softscape elements to create stunning and cohesive landscapes. Our team of experts will work closely with you to understand your vision and preferences and provide professional guidance throughout the design and construction process. Create an outdoor living space you'll love Contact Bear Claw Landscaping today.

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