Landscaping and Hardscaping

Despite popular word usage, landscaping and hardscaping are two different things.

People tend to say “landscaping” to describe the entire process of beautifying the outside of their property, but in reality, a good professional landscape designer will implement a nice balance of hardscaping and landscaping design elements.

So, What is Landscaping?

Landscaping design refers to the implementation and organization of the softer, living elements of your outdoor space. Sometimes professional landscape designers refer to landscape materials as “softscape,” for that reason.

Landscaping deals with:

  • Trees
  • Sod
  • Shrubs
  • Plants
  • Flowers
  • Ornamental grasses

Good landscaping can transform your property into a natural, beautiful oasis.

Home and paver driveway

And What is Hardscaping?

Hardscaping, on the other hand, refers to the harder, non-living elements that you may choose to incorporate into your outdoor space. Typical hardscape materials include things like:

  • Stone
  • Gravel
  • Concrete
  • Wood
  • Rocks
  • Bricks
  • Pavers

These materials may be used to construct attractive features such as patios, walkways, retaining walls, outdoor lighting, driveways, fire pits, pergolas, and aquatic features.

Both landscaping and hardscaping are important components in a good outdoor plan, and each has benefits that complement the other to create the perfect space for your needs.

Benefits of Landscaping

When city planners map out large urban areas (commonly referred to as “concrete jungles”), they make sure to incorporate green areas, planting trees at regular intervals. Green, living elements soften what would otherwise be an austere, unwelcoming environment. Plants and trees, besides providing beauty and softness, also offer humans the following benefits:

  • They absorb harmful gases – Trees and plants absorb CO2 naturally and release oxygen that creates cleaner, healthier air for us to breathe.
  • They support wildlife – You’ll enjoy having some of Minnesota’s beautiful native species of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife as visitors by planting trees and plants that attract them.
  • They improve mental health – Something about being near or in natural surroundings positively impacts human psychological health, as well as reduces stress and anxiety. The right landscaping design can make your home a peaceful haven where you can retreat to decompress, whether you’re lying in a hammock listening to the birds sing or throwing a ball with your kids on the lawn.
  • They act as flood control – Trees act in a natural flood control capacity. Grass, trees, and plants also prevent erosion.
  • They increase home value – Well-planned landscaping significantly increases the curb appeal and value of your home.

Benefits of Hardscaping

As beneficial and vital as landscaping is, hardscaping is also an important outdoor design ingredient. Too many plants, shrubs, and trees can make your front or backyard look like a jungle.

A property can become overgrown and a maintenance nightmare, as living things take much more work to sustain. Following are some of the most obvious benefits of incorporating the right amount of hardscaping into your landscaping design:

  • It’s low maintenance – Hardscaping, when done correctly by a professional landscape designer, should last for years without more than an occasional cleaning, or perhaps apply stain or sealer if you’re dealing with wood. Unlike softscape, it doesn’t need to be mowed, pruned, trimmed, weeded, or watered.
  • It’s water-efficient – Walkways, patios, driveways, fire pits, and outdoor kitchens don’t need to be watered.
  • It increases property value – According to Sara Cifani of com, “By creating an outdoor extension to your home, you add more usable square footage and the opportunity for potential buyers to envision themselves relaxing and entertaining in the space. In fact, 84 percent of buyers look for an outdoor patio when purchasing a home.” And don’t forget the curb appeal that a stunning front porch, a lit front walkway, or a brick driveway adds to your home.
  • It’s great for entertaining – A front porch with a swing, an extended back patio, a walkway to a fire pit, or an outdoor kitchen and dining area will considerably increase your family’s experience and turn your front or backyard into attractive entertainment locations.
  • It adds dimension – Front and backyards don’t just have to be vast, flat expanses of lawn edged with planting beds. With hardscaping, you can add dimension and depth, creating unique spaces at different levels and focal points that draw the eye.
  • It reduces erosion – Hardscaping and landscaping have this in common: they both prevent erosion. Retaining walls and other barriers placed in zones where erosion is likely to occur can protect those areas from washing away in the event of too much rain or an overabundance of water from any source.

Strike a Balance

Too much hardscaping can look cold and severe, while too much landscaping can look overgrown and unkempt.

The best approach in terms of maintenance, curb appeal, value, entertainment, and wellness is a well-thought-out combination of landscaping and hardscaping that combines the best elements of both for a beautiful, balanced expression of who you’re and the lifestyle that’s important to you.

The space surrounding your home should say just as much about you as the home itself; consider it an extension of yourself and part of the statement you’d like to make to the world.

Trust the Pros

Enlisting the services of a professional landscape designer like those at Scenic Specialties will be invaluable to you in making a statement. Your property is your estate, so don’t leave the fulfilling of the dreams you have for your personal space to chance or to amateurs.

Trusting professionals with your landscaping design will bring you peace of mind in the following areas:

  • Time – You’re a busy person. Instead of chipping away at your project on evenings and weekends, watching it stretch out for weeks or months on end, let a professional get it done right in far less than half the time.
  • Hardscape materials – Professionals know exactly what hardscape materials to get and where to find them.
  • Plants – Scenic Specialties professional landscapers are familiar with plants that are indigenous to the area and can thrive in Minnesota’s tricky conditions. We can also impart our knowledge regarding proper plant care.
  • Unforeseen problems – The pros have been doing this for a long time. They know how to expect the unexpected, how to deal with problems as they occur, and how to keep messes to a minimum.
  • Budget – You can have the peace of mind of having a signed contract with a specified budget, so you won’t be met with any unexpected, costly surprises.
  • Expert advice – You might have some ideas that just won’t work, given the topography of your land or Minnesota’s climate. When working with professionals, be assured that you’ll get expert advice that will keep you from making mistakes and help you make great landscaping and hardscaping Contact us today to set up a consultation.