Softscapes or Hardscapes? What You Should Focus On

When you look at your landscape, what’s the first thing you focus on? The hardscape or the softscape? What should you focus on? Whether it’s the growing plants or the pathways that catch your eye first, it’s important to keep the balance of any space in your yard. So the simple answer is both! But as the weather warms up, is there one you should actually be more focused on?


Softscapes are all of the growing elements of your yard; flowers, grass, trees, shrubs and bulbs. They add color and texture, as well as privacy, fragrance and even food. Softscaping can be used artfully to correct the feeling of a too-tall house, an overly-large or sterile patio. Softscaping often sets a mood or theme, brings color or interest all year and can be added to or changed at a relatively low cost. Too much softscaping can easily get out of hand though, looking messy (unintentionally), or being difficult to access without paths or walls to give it structure.

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Hardscaping refers to the paths, walks, drives, patios, pergolas and even water features that help provide structure and space to enjoy nature. These are often made from natural stone, manmade stone, wood, concrete and/or metal. A retaining wall, outdoor kitchen, shed or fence may be considered hardscaping as well. Too much hardscaping may give you a feeling that there’s no place to relax, or it may bring a cold or sterile feeling. In adding hardscape features, one must consider where rain or snowmelt will flow to be absorbed by the earth. Because it is so permanent, oftentimes hardscaping requires a permit by local codes.

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So, again, as the weather warms up, is there one you should actually be more focused on? Well, with iScape you don’t have to worry about choosing between one or the other because our database offers more than just your average outdoor elements. From trees to flowers to shrubs to groundcover and more, your softscaping is covered. You can also check out Fast Growing Trees, which provides an immense amount of different plants categorized by name and description.

And hardscapes? We got you covered with walkways, patios, rocks, fences, lighting, furniture and more. You can check out Techo-Bloc too, where different outdoor features, walkways, driveways, steps, and edges are included! Wayfair is another option where you can find outdoor furniture, decor, shades, heating, and lighting, as well as dog houses and garden features. Whether you’re a homeowner or professional landscaper, your options are endless when it comes to designing your landscape.

So take the time to iScape your softscape AND hardscape, and see how much smoother your yard will transition to summer. Send in your designs by either tagging us on our social media, or email to, and we’ll feature you in our next post!

Not an iScape user? Download iScape now and transform your outdoor living space!