How To Combine Hard And Soft Landscaping

by | Jul 14, 2022 | Blog, New Products & News

When it comes to enhancing the appeal of your property, the significance of your garden cannot be overstated. Your garden, whether a charming retreat or a functional space, contributes greatly to the overall visual appeal of your property. From meticulously maintained lawns to well-defined pathways and carefully pruned greenery, certain elements never fail to catch the eye. Your garden serves as an extension of your personality and passions, setting the stage for the exterior design theme of your property.

As exciting as it can be to immerse yourself in the creation of your outdoor haven, seeking the guidance of professionals who specialize in exterior design can provide invaluable assistance in delineating boundaries, selecting plants, and seamlessly integrating both soft and hard landscaping elements. Achieving harmony between the “soft” and “hard” features of your garden is pivotal in devising an optimal garden layout.

Let’s delve into some essential tips to ensure you strike the perfect balance.

Elevated thatched gazebo with timber walkway decking and balustrades
Elevated thatched gazebo with timber walkway, decking and balustrades

Understanding the difference

Soft landscape

Soft landscaping is used to literally soften a landscape, adding texture, character and structure by means of vegetative materials such as flowers, trees, shrubs, grass, soil, etc. The “living” part of your garden.

Hard landscape

Walls, paths, planters and hedges are all examples of hard landscaping. These elements provide support for soft landscaping elements and are essential in creating a well-balanced garden. Hard landscaping can be either natural or artificial, and a professional hard landscaping company will assist you in making the right selection to create a beautifully balanced outdoor landscape.

While hard landscaping offers structure and flow, soft landscaping offers beauty and elegance. Finding a good balance the two should be considered throughout the landscape design process. Be sure to incorporate the following concepts when speaking with a hard landscaping contracting business:

Cape Reed elevated thatched gazebo with timber decking and balustrades. The perfect combination of hard and soft landscaping.
Sustainable shading thatched gazebo with timber decking and balustrades

Reason & Vision

Every garden landscape design should start out with a couple of questions, addressing purpose, vision and personal preference. Why do you want the outdoor area? How will it be used? Having a basic plan will enable you to focus your vision, ideas and decisions in the right place. For instance, consider whether you’d prefer it for your children and pets or if the area would be a relaxing retreat, and start building your design around it.

The perfect outdoor combinations of hard and soft landscaping.
Modern timber and thatch structure with seating area

Overall Layout

It is a good idea to start out with a basic footprint of your garden. Proper planning and set out of boundaries, additional architectural features and the correct selection of vegetation will dictate the overall appearance of your garden.

Elevated thatched gazebo with timber walkway decking
Elevated timber deck with garden

Equal Proportions Is Not Balancing

Many individuals confuse the concepts of equal ratios and the skill of balance. Hard and soft landscapes don’t necessarily need an equal amount of each. Put simply, hard landscaping provides the “bone” of your garden and soft landscaping the “flesh”. A 50/50 split will, more often than not, result in an unbalanced landscape.

Reclaimed timber sleeper wood combination of hard and soft landscaping.
Reclaimed timber sleeper wood

Get a Professional

It is always beneficial to consult a professional hard landscaping company that will draw on experience and know-how to create a well-balanced garden landscape suited for your requirements. They will assist with bringing your vision to life, guiding you throughout the process of establishing a garden that adds value not only to your property, but also your everyday living. It’s always beneficial to have a professional and subject-matter authority on your side.

They will assist you in bringing the design to life and making it great. Even if you want to be a little dramatic with your designs and features, a professional hard landscaping company can assist you with your garden landscaping. It’s a good idea to speak with a landscape architect so they can provide you some insight into the effects of these adjustments.

Beautiful view of the award-winning garden with hard and soft landscaping.
Beautiful view of the award-winning garden in Dubai.


In the grand tapestry of property design, your garden is a vibrant thread that weaves together aesthetics and functionality. Its role extends beyond visual appeal, encompassing relaxation, self-expression, and a connection with nature. By thoughtfully marrying the “soft” elements of plants and greenery with the “hard” elements of pathways and structures, you create a harmonious symphony that resonates with your unique style.

Whether you embark on this journey armed with your own creative vision or enlist the guidance of experts, the result will be an exquisite garden that stands as a testament to your personality and design sensibilities.


Can I combine hard and soft landscaping in a small backyard?

Absolutely! Even in a small space, you can create a beautiful combination of hardscape and softscape elements by using compact plant varieties and strategic placement of features.

How do I incorporate lighting into my landscape?

Outdoor lighting can enhance the beauty of your landscape, making it usable even during evenings. Use spotlights to highlight focal points and pathways, and add string lights or lanterns for a cozy ambiance.

Can I include a vegetable garden in my landscape?

Absolutely! A vegetable garden can be a wonderful addition to your landscape, adding both functionality and beauty. Consider raised beds or garden boxes for easy maintenance.