Achieving a Balanced Landscape Design: The Basics of Hardscapes and Softscapes

vacation house

Landscaping is one serious business. After all, who doesn’t want to have a home situated against a backdrop of beauty?

Garden design experts from Oakleigh Manor integrate both hardscape and softscape designs to create not just an appealing landscape, but a balanced one as well. Here are some basic information regarding softscapes and hardscapes.

vacation house


Hardscapes refer to elements of landscape design that are of a heavier nature like gates, driveways, patios, rocks and stones. Softscapes, on the other hand, refer to other essential elements of landscaping such as soil, plants, flowers, trees and colour aesthetics. The right blends of softscape and hardscape elements are essential to create a proper eye-catching landscape design. Otherwise, poor conceptualisation will result in a pile of soil, plants and rock, but no garden to be proud of.

Equally Important

The elements of softscape and hardscape go together as one and cannot exist without the other. More often than not, they are compared to wallpaper and wall, as both need the other to have a purpose. For example, gardens that are inundated with paved pathways and stone figurines are no beauty unless they can be contrasted or softened with appropriately placed greenery. On a similar scale, a garden that features only plants and trees may look like a jungle or forest depending on the foliage as opposed to a place where one can relax and enjoy the surroundings.


Note that all hardscape elements are not intended solely for aesthetic expression. Practicality of function goes hand in hand when selecting what type of hardscape elements are going to be incorporated in your garden. The installation of paved walkways and stone benches, for instance, helps minimise soil erosion, while fences provide security and privacy to the homeowner. On the other hand, planting trees and shrubs for softscape is a necessity to maintain the natural balance of the environment.

Scroll to Top