Any solid structure in an outdoor area other than plant life is considered a harsh landscape. Some examples of hardscape features include entrances, patios, fountains, fire pits, and walkways. The term hard landscape refers to all non-living elements of landscaping, such as a brick patio, a stone wall, or a wooden tree. It is one of the two main subcategories of landscaping, the other being soft landscape.
Softscape includes all the living and organic elements of a garden or lawn, such as trees, flowers and grass. Simply put, the harsh landscape is any of the non-living elements in your landscape design. As the name suggests, these are the toughest design elements in your space, such as concrete, rocks, bricks, cobblestones, stone and wood. Landscaping also includes man-made structures, such as roofs, pergolas, or patio covers, that are specifically used in your gardening.
Hardscape refers to the solid and hard elements of landscape design that stay the same for years. Some examples of hard landscapes are rocks, hallways, retaining walls, cobblestone patios, outdoor kitchens, water fountains, terraces, and driveways. Windows, doors, and outdoor areas require patios and entrances to remain accessible. Similarly, an outdoor pool cannot function without a suitable terrace nearby.
Hardscape, in essence, exists to prevent water absorption. Natural rain, water from hoses and sprinklers can degrade a home's exterior over time, but the harsh landscape serves the home by protecting its boundaries. In addition, hard landscaping protects the structural integrity of an area. Brick and mortar create fortified foundation areas that protect a patio from daily wear and tear.
Of course, the harsh landscape serves as an additional foundation when considering aesthetics. Often, a hard landscape installation can be customized. Stone benches, vertical walls and paved walkways serve a purpose by visually “bringing the patio together”. The outdoor living space offers an oasis in which to enjoy life.
Your exterior design must include both hard landscape and soft landscape elements to make it a comfortable place. The difference between the two is quite simple. Gardening elements are non-living things, such as pavers, rocks, concrete, fences, doors, fountains, and more. Soft landscape elements are living things such as grasses, flowers, vegetation covers, shrubs and trees.
You should consider the following differences between the two when designing your outdoor spaces. Before deciding on a hard landscape installation, you should consider the “feel” of the surrounding landscape of a house. When planning and choosing gardening materials, design and design, it's important to consider how they will affect the efficiency, flow, and appearance of your landscaping.