How to Combine Hardscape & Softscape Features

Tiered Retaining Wall with Hosta and Shrubs

Hardscape is any element constructed from man-made, natural, and non-living materials and can include everything from decks and walks to planter boxes and water features. Comparatively, softscapes refer to any living elements, including plants, trees, vines, and grass. 

When executed successfully, hardscape and softscape features can work together to create beautiful, interesting landscapes. Whether you’re thinking about installing hardscaping or undertaking an entire landscape design refresh, you’ll be happy to know that marrying softscape and hardscape elements is easier than you think.

Here are some of our favorite examples of hardscape/softscape combinations. 

Garden Beds

Garden beds are the perfect places to merge hardscaping and living elements. You can use colorful decorative rocks to create a solid ground cover or a border around wildflowers, bushes, trees, and other plants. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, decorative rocks are a good weed preventer. 

You can also make raised garden beds from stone or brick and create walkways through the greenery in your garden with stones. 

Outdoor Patio & Kitchen

Outdoor areas like patios and kitchens perfectly balance hardscape and softscape elements. For example, an outdoor kitchen could include stone grills, furniture, flowers, and trees. 

When creating hardscaping with wood, ensure it is treated; otherwise, rain and inclement weather can easily damage it. 

Retaining Walls

A retaining wall is a great way to define various areas of your landscape. You can combine a retaining wall with softscape elements by planting beautiful flowering plants or vines that run along it.

Retaining walls can also benefit your garden by improving drainage and eliminating soil erosion. Installing retaining walls properly can be tricky, so ensure you do your research and always have professionals help you design and install it. 

Get Landscape Design Help From Design One

The right design can take an average yard and make it truly brilliant. Of course, this can’t happen overnight and without good planning, so having seasoned landscaping professionals help you is highly recommended.

If you’re looking for ways to merge hardscape elements into your natural landscape, contact Design One. We’re a fully licensed, insured, and industry-certified landscape design company that has helped homeowners and businesses in Michigan for over 30 years. We’re happy to help you find the most cost-effective and transformative solutions for your landscape. 

Contact us today to learn more about our landscaping design services and capabilities or to schedule a free project consultation.

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