A ‘hardscape’ simply means the ‘hard’ elements in your landscaping such as Retaining walls, Paver Walks, Outdoor Fireplaces, Patios, etc. This is in contrast to ‘softscapes’ which are things like plant beds, trees, mulch areas, and lawn areas.
All areas of your landscaping ideally have a well thought out plan. The hardscape design is the basic layout on which you will build everything else. Once you have the walks, patios, walls and steps laid out, all of your plantings can be planned around them.
The hardscape design lays out the BONES of the plan. Once you have these elements planned out, you will not only know exactly where to locate that retaining wall, but what it’s heights are supposed to be. This way, you will know exactly what to budget for that wall and how much material it will require. This planning phase is where you’ll want to do any adjusting. Now is the time to determine if that retaining wall is too expensive, and maybe move it so that it can be shorter or something like that, but at least you won’t be trying to move it later.
The plan you see here has the hardscape design as the basis for where all of the softscapes are located. This plan started with the hardscape design. You will see a patio with a short retaining wall, an outdoor fireplace, stone stairs, and a long winding front paver walkway. Then, after the hardscape design was completed, we added the softscapes.