arrow-down arrow-right arrow-up back-o cart-sm close cooking driveway fire home mailboxes menu outdoor-elements outdoor-kitchen outdoor-living-room patio pillars pin pool-decks search-sm steps user walkway wall
Sample Packs

Sample packs allow you to inspect hardscape elements up close before purchasing. Packs contain a sample selection of the product and are delivered right to your home. Sample packs are available for all of our paver and retaining wall products.

    Your Cart


    The Hardscape Exchange provides hardscape supplies to Northern Virginia homeowners and contractors from Alexandria to Fredericksburg. To see if we serve your area, please enter the five-digit delivery zip code below.

    Flagstone coming soon

    Softscape vs. Hardscape: What's the Difference?

    Softscape vs. Hardscape: What's the Difference?

    To get the most out of your outdoor living space, it's worthwhile to understand all the elements that come together to make it beautiful.  

    A sophisticated landscape design has been shown to have a significant impact on a home's value. Even if you're not planning on selling, though, investing in landscaping can still bring a lot of value to your home- and your lifestyle. 

    If you've already gotten started on your landscaping plans, you might have heard the term "hardscape services" in relation to "softscape services." These two elements are essential for a cohesive, beautiful, and functional landscape, but what do they mean? And what is the difference between hardscape vs. softscape?

    As the names suggest, there is a clear difference between hardscaping and softscaping, and it's a pretty simple explanation. Keep reading to learn the differences between softscape and hardscape services in landscaping.

    What is Softscape?

    The term "softscape" refers to the living, growing elements of your landscaping. These include trees, shrubs, flowers, grass, and all other horticultural components. In other words, anything that is "soft" to the touch and continuously growing is considered to be "softscape."

    What is Hardscape?

    Unlike softscaping, hardscaping makes up the inorganic, "hard" elements of a landscape's design. The hardscaping makes up the foundation of the landscape, adding function and style to the design. 

     Here are some common hardscape design services:

    • Natural Stone
    • Pavers
    • Walls
    • Lighting
    • Outdoor Accessories

    The main purpose of hardscape services is to give the landscaping structure and usability for everyday living. After all, plants and other softscape features add life to landscaping, but they aren't suitable for walking through or lounging in. To fully enjoy all the soft, living elements of the landscape, hardscaping is a necessary component.

    Softscape Vs. Hardscape Services

    When coming up with a landscape design, both softscape and hardscape services come together to create a single, cohesive space. To get the most out of your outdoor living, it's important to consider both of these elements in your landscape design.

    Balance is a key design principle when working with hardscape vs. softscape elements in your landscaping. Adding too much of one or the other can throw off the design.

    For example, if you have too many "softscape" features, your landscaping could appear overgrown, unkempt, or incomplete. On the other hand, an overabundance of hardscape services can make your outdoor space look cold and unnatural. However, when the two come together perfectly, it creates a beautiful, harmonious, and highly useful space.


    Creating Your Perfect Hardscape

    There are so many elements that work into landscape design, and they all come down to hardscape vs. softscape.

    If you're working on creating a beautiful, functional landscape for your home, hardscape services are the perfect area to focus on first. Afterwards, you can follow with your favorite softscaping elements to create the perfect look. Now that you know the difference between hardscape vs. softscape, you'll be ready to get those landscaping plans in motion.

    Check out our catalog of hardscape services to get started on the landscape of your dreams!

    © Copyright 2021 The Hardscape Exchange ·
    Site by Kadeau