The term “hardscape” refers to all man-made features in design. That includes things like driveways, patios, walkways, pools and ponds, fences and railings, etc.
Hard landscapingcan include almost any type of decorative or practical structure in a landscape, from driveways to fences and benches. The hard landscape is a fundamental part of landscape design, as it provides definition and a sense of organization to areas and natural features.
Hardscape revolves around brick and mortar. Decks, pools, berms, patios, gazebos, and driveways use hard landscaping materials. Softscape often exists in or around hardscape. Flowers, plants, and other materials can model the overall design of a harsh landscape.
In a nutshell, hard 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. Rigid landscaping also includes man-made structures, such as decks, pergolas, or patio covers that are used specifically in your landscaping. Hardscape includes inanimate built elements that are common in patios and outdoor living spaces.
Whether they are made of concrete, brick, pebbles, or sand, exterior features such as walkways, paths, driveways, and sidewalks are harsh areas. Decks, patios, fireplaces, terraces and porches are also classified as harsh landscaping. Any element you use to border garden areas, such as bricks, rocks, or wood, is considered harsh landscape. Even bird drinkers, ponds, pottery and sculptures fall into this category.
Hardscape features also include vertical surfaces such as trellises, raised beds, retaining walls and fences. Unlike the harsh landscape, the soft landscape includes natural outdoor elements, such as flowers, trees, and grass. Landscape architects and others in the field of landscape design often use the terms “soft landscape” and “hard landscape” to distinguish between plants (soft) and work on rock or soil and all the other “hard elements” of landscaping. A simple definition of “hard landscape” is anything in the landscape other than plantations, soils, or land works.