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Landscape Vs. Hardscape - Definition, Differences, and Importance

January 2, 2023 / Written by: West Hills Masonry

January 2, 2023
Written by: West Hills Masonry

There are two ways in which you can bring your outdoor space to life—landscaping and hardscaping. Most people are familiar with the former, but the latter is new. Knowing the difference is vital for hardscape and landscape design.

Landscaping incorporates hardscaping and softscaping, but people associate it more with softscape projects. It works with the living components in your outdoor space, including flower beds, trees, shrubs, veggie gardens, etc.

On the other hand, hardscaping encompasses outdoor space's 'hard' components. For example, patios, pergolas, fire pits, paving, etc.

Hardscape Definition

Hardscape elements are largely functional and permanent, and driveways are a great example. Planning one can be surprisingly completed and should be given to hardscape professionals. 

It can also increase your home's curb appeal and enhance your backyard with features that include decks, steps, statuary, and water features. Hardscape materials include natural stone, brick, wood, tile, and concrete.

Landscape Definition

Landscape elements primarily fulfill an aesthetic purpose. It turns your garden into an oasis of beauty with pops of color and shady trees. 

Landscape design can also be functional if you want to include fruit trees and a veggie or herb garden. It can help with drainage, so you no longer have to worry about standing water or runoff. 


There are several differences between landscapes and hardscapes.


Depending on the material you choose, hardscaping can create a smooth transition from your indoor to your outdoor area. A lot of people like to maximize the aesthetic appeal by matching the look and feel of their home and backyard. 

For example, if you have tiled floors inside, carrying tiles through your deck or patio will naturally allow the interior to flow to the exterior. 

Pavers are a great way to even out the approach to your backyard. There is no tripping over a tree root or losing your footing on slippery mud. Instead, you and your guests can walk confidently down the path to your pool deck or outside the kitchen. 

Patios and decks are perfect for outdoor entertaining, with their even surface, space for tables and chairs, and grill area. You can use pavers to create walkways for your off-deck gazebo. 

A cool spot underneath some trees, near a tinkling water feature, would be perfect for time alone and to enjoy a pleasant company.


It's challenging to create a seamless flow from indoors to the exterior without using a landscaping foundation of some sort. Instead, you can create a theme for your landscaping project and run with it. 

For example, you could choose a Japanese-style garden with natural stone, flowing water, and cherry trees or a suitable substitute.

Like pavers, you can ensure your lawn is perfectly flat. However, you won't get the stability and grass requires a lot of maintenance. Options include gentle terraces for a sloping yard or steps with gently curving edges to break up straight lines and add points of interest.

Raised beds with pretty flowers break the monotony of a deck or patio and can be used to create subtle borders between spaces, for example, between the grill and the seating area. A living wall is a great focal point and brings a touch of nature to your deck.

You don't need gazebos to sit and enjoy your peaceful garden. A blanket and umbrella are sufficient for picnics and stretching out on the lawn to see clouds float by.

The Importance of Landscaping and Hardscaping

The importance of hardscape and landscape design shouldn't be underestimated.

3 Reasons Landscaping is Important

  1. Water management - Landscapers can work with you to design a garden that naturally optimizes water drainage. Options include wetland-friendly landscaping and plants and bushes that don't need a lot of water.
  2. Outdoor cooling - Not many people know that gardens with trees can be up to 6 degrees cooler than treeless backyards. You can get relief from the heat of summer by simply stepping out of your house.
  3. Mental health - Being outdoors naturally boosts your mood. One tree or pot plant will do the job, but your landscaper can do much more, so you can lower your stress levels and increase your happiness.

3 Reasons Hardscaping is Important

  1. Property values - Outdoor patios are very important to buyers. Having or not having a patio can significantly affect your purchase price.
  2. Lower maintenance - As beautiful as they may be, plants and lawns require a lot of maintenance. A deck, patio, or pathway is very low maintenance, sweeping and occasionally rinsing off with a hose and brush are all that's needed.
  3. Maximize living space - A deck or patio, especially one with an awning, can extend your living space to include a peaceful lounging place, an eating space, and an entertaining space.

Landscape Design for Both Hardscaping and Softscaping

It's not necessary to choose one or the other, nor to work with more than one contractor. Many landscaping companies, including West Hills Masonry, offer comprehensive landscaping services that cover landscaping and hardscaping.

Choose our team and see how our experts bridge the differences between landscaping and hardscaping, ensuring they complement each other and benefit your entire property. If you wish for us to handle your landscape design needs, call us at 714-519-5009 at West Hills Masonry today!

West Hills Masonry
At West Hills Masonry, we blend meticulous design with unparalleled craftsmanship, transforming your vision into a living masterpiece. We are more than service providers; we are your partners in crafting spaces that inspire, comfort, and enchant. We seamlessly blend comprehensive design planning with the creation of functional hardscape and landscape living areas, delivering complete and usable outdoor spaces.

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At West Hills Masonry, we believe in creating outdoor spaces that reflect your unique style and enhance your lifestyle. Let's collaborate to transform your outdoor dreams into reality. Reach out to us today!
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