Landscaping vs. Hardscaping: What’s the Difference?

landscaping vs hardscaping
landscaping vs hardscaping

According to real estate experts, 2021 was the “Year of the Yard.” In other words, homeowners across the nation were investing in their outdoor space at record-breaking rates in the pursuit of a personal oasis.

If you missed out on the Year of the Yard, that doesn’t mean that it’s too late to make big changes to your own outdoor space. The question is, what kinds of changes are you looking to make?

It helps to understand what kinds of changes are available to you. That means understanding the difference between landscaping vs. hardscaping and deciding what new elements you want to introduce to your property.

Read on as we talk about landscaping, hardscaping, and the merits of both services.

What Is Landscaping?

Chances are, you’ve heard more about landscaping than hardscaping. Just about any residential property in San Diego has a landscaped yard, even if the landscaping consists of only basic features like grass and flowerbeds. 

Landscaping is the use of natural, growing elements like grass, hedges, and flowers to create a space that is primarily pleasing to look at. However, that doesn’t mean that landscaping doesn’t also serve a wider variety of functions. In addition to adding natural beauty to a property, landscaping is about utilizing space so that its natural features (like slopes or pre-existing vegetation) are in harmony with the home or building, itself.

Examples of Landscaping Projects

To get a better idea of what landscaping is, let’s take a look at some examples of landscaping services.

Landscaping services can include things like maintaining the existing natural features in your yard. For example, you might hire a company to prune back your trees and hedges and fertilize and trim your lawn.

Many homeowners, however, invest in landscaping services as a way to improve or redo their outdoor space. This can include things like adding new flowerbeds or planting new trees. It can also include things like installing irrigation systems that make better use of rainfall or water usage. 

What Is Hardscaping?

Hardscaping is a word that some people use interchangeably with landscaping when, in fact, it is a completely different service. It is often used in conjunction with landscaping, but it is still worth making the distinction between these two types of upgrades.

Hardscaping, as the name suggests, is the use of hard materials to create spaces that are functional. Rather than using elements like plants and soil, hardscaping relies on concrete, brick, stone, and more. Just like landscaping can be used for functional purposes, hardscaping can be used for aesthetic purposes.

Examples of Hardscaping Projects

To get a better sense of what hardscaping is, let’s talk about some examples of hardscaping services.

Some hardscaping projects are designed to create more landscaping opportunities. For example, some homeowners might invest in raised or tiered flowerbeds. The hardscaping elements keep soil in place to manipulate the natural landscape.

Some hardscaping projects are designed to create more space for activity. For example, creating a stone or brick patio in your yard falls under the hardscaping category. 

Benefits of Landscaping Services

What are some of the compelling reasons to invest in landscaping services? Let’s dive in.

Improving Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is an important aspect of any property. Curb appeal refers to the first impression someone gets of a property based on how it looks from outside. Landscaping beautifies your yard and keeps it looking well-maintained, boosting curb appeal.

Giving Back to the Environment

Living in San Diego, it’s no secret that different parts of the country yield different climates and natural resources. It makes sense to plan your yard accordingly. By investing in local flora and maximizing natural water usage, you boost the sustainability of your property and create small ecosystems for important insects and animals.

Correcting Landscaping Issues

Things like soil erosion and poor drainage can cause serious problems for your yard and your home. Landscaping provides ways to correct issues caused by your natural landscape. With proper landscaping, you can keep water away from your foundation and improve the growing capacity of your land.

Benefits of Hardscaping Services

Why consider hardscaping services? Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits.

Creating New Landscaping Opportunities

As we mentioned earlier, some hardscaping projects actually create new landscaping opportunities. For example, if your home is built on a hillside, you may struggle to grow plants that aren’t strong enough to resist gravity. Tiered beds create flat growing spaces where the land isn’t naturally flat.

Increasing Usable Outdoor Space

Indoor-outdoor living keeps getting more desirable for homeowners and buyers. Many hardscaping projects accommodate the desire for usable outdoor space. Features like patios make way for outdoor seating, kitchens, hot tubs, and more. 

(This also stands for things like tiered beds. If functionality increases, you gain more usable outdoor space.)

Increasing Outdoor Accessibility 

Thanks to innovations in hardscaping materials like concrete, hardscaping can improve outdoor accessibility. You can use hardscaping to create pathways to your home or around your yard that accommodate mobility aids. This also increases the overall safety of your property by reducing trip hazards.

Landscaping vs. Hardscaping: Which Services Do You Need?

As far as we’re concerned, the Year of the Yard will never end. If you want to make improvements to your property, there is never a wrong time to do so. Understanding the difference between landscaping vs. hardscaping is a great place to start.

Are you looking for landscaping or hardscaping services in San Diego? If so, we can help.

Designs 4 You is proud to offer a wide variety of yard-improvement services in San Diego. Take a look around to see what projects we’ve tackled in the past. Then, contact us for a free estimate on your own outdoor improvement project.

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