When you are deciding on what elements to add to your yard in northern Virginia, there are many options to choose from when it comes to landscaping. When you meet with a landscape company, you may start to hear the terms hardscaping and softscaping as well. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they are actually different things.

Learn the difference between landscaping, hardscaping, and softscaping so you will know what your landscape experts are talking about when you meet with them to plan your outdoor living space in Haymarket, Bristow, Manassas, and surrounding cities in northern Virginia.

Your grass, shrubs, trees, and any organic materials make up your softscaping.

Softscaping is a term used in the landscape industry that makes up all of the organic materials on your property. In other words, if you hear someone use the word "softscape," they are talking about your lawn, plants, shrubs, trees, flowers, mulch, and other items in your planting beds. Custom softscapes are always designed to complement the rest of your property and are often used to accentuate your hardscaping features.

Anything in your yard that needed to be built or that is inorganic is part of your hardscaping.

Custom paver patio and seating wall built at a Haymarket, VA home.

Essentially, hardscaping means that you are adding in elements that need to be built or that are made up of inorganic materials. These items usually have a long lifespan and need to be installed by professional contractors. Common types of hardscape elements include:

  • Patios: These are often designed using concrete pavers or flagstone.
  • Walkways: A walkway usually also is made from stone or concrete pavers.
  • Outdoor Lighting: Custom LED outdoor lighting brightens up your property and increases safety.
  • Driveways: Use the same materials as your patio and walkway for a decorative driveway.
  • Outdoor Kitchens: Outdoor kitchens provide a beautiful area for entertaining guests.
  • Retaining Walls: Add either a functional or decorative retaining wall.

Your landscape designer will help you in choosing which hardscaping features may be the best choice for you and your yard.

Landscaping actually refers to everything on your property.

The term "landscaping" is used to refer to every element on your property. While people refer to their planting beds as "landscape beds", they are actually softscapes. That is why a landscape company often specializes in installing both softscapes and hardscapes, because both are a part of your overall landscaping. Your landscape may just be a few planting beds or it may have large, sweeping retaining walls surrounding a custom patio with planting beds around it for aesthetic purposes.

Ready to plan your next landscape project? Contact us to set up your consultation.

In Manassas, Haymarket, Bristow, and other areas within northern Virginia, our landscape company has designed and installed countless custom landscape projects for both residential and commercial properties. If you are ready to plan your next project, our qualified designers are prepared to meet with you. Contact us today at (703) 244-7798 to set up a consultation so we can learn more about you and what you would like to see in your yard.