What Is the Differences Between Hard and Soft Landscape Design?

Hard and Soft Landscape Design: What’s the Difference?

Landscape design is an important discipline when it comes to the planning and design of outdoor spaces. It involves the integration of living elements, such as plants and trees, with hard elements, such as walls, paths and other features. These features are often referred to as “hard” and “soft” landscape design.

Soft Landscape Design
Soft landscape design refers to the use of living vegetation to create outdoor spaces. This includes planting trees, shrubs and other vegetation that provide a more natural look to a space.

It can also include garden beds, water features, walkways and other decorative elements that help create a more inviting atmosphere. Soft landscape design is more flexible than hard landscape design because it allows for changes in plantings over time depending on changing preferences or climate conditions.

Hard Landscape Design
Hard landscape design involves the use of non-living elements to create outdoor spaces. This includes built structures such as walls, patios, decks or pergolas; hard surfaces such as gravel driveways or walkways; and other features like fire pits or water features made out of brick or concrete. Hard landscape design is often chosen for its long-lasting durability and low maintenance requirements compared to soft landscaping.

The two types of landscape designs work in tandem to create beautiful outdoor spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Soft landscaping adds texture and color while hardscaping provides structure and strength. By combining the two types of designs into one cohesive plan, homeowners can create an outdoor space that is both visually appealing and practical for years to come.


Hardscape design is all about using non-living materials like brick, stone or concrete to create structure in a space; while softscape design uses living plants like trees, shrubs or flowers for texture, color and warmth in an outdoor area. Both styles play important roles in creating beautiful landscapes that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing for homeowners to enjoy for years to come.