Rainy Lake, Minnesota
3181 US-53
International Falls, MN 56649
(218) 285-3635

The Differences Between Hard & Soft Landscaping June 20, 2019

Rainy Lake, Koochiching
The Differences Between Hard & Soft Landscaping, Rainy Lake, Minnesota

Both hard and soft landscaping techniques play vital roles in elevating the appearance and functionality of your yard. Each offers unique benefits, so consider including both to maximize the potential of an outdoor space. Here’s what you should know about these two types of exterior design.

A Guide to Hard & Soft Landscaping

Hard Landscaping

In simplest terms, hard landscaping refers to the solid elements you might implement in your yard. Common examples include brick pavers, concrete patios, gravel pathways, decks, retaining walls, and fences. Hardscaping features focus largely on boosting the functionality of your yard. It can fill empty spaces, create definition, and establish boundaries. For instance, use stones to construct a fire pit or erect a concrete water feature.

This method is also used to promote and improve the yard’s health; your general contractor may install a strategically placed wall to prevent soil erosion. Hardscaping can even reduce your yard’s water consumption; the more that you build, the less space is occupied by greenery that requires frequent watering. 

Soft Landscaping                                     

The other elements in the yard fall into the soft landscaping category. This includes plants and materials that lend your outdoor space personality, like flowers, shrubs, trees, soil, and grass. The beauty of these softer details is in their impermanence. Add a few features with longevity, such as shade trees and privacy shrubs, but don’t forgo softscaping that changes from one season to the next — experiment with different types of flowers each year.

How to Implement Both                       

Both soft and hard landscaping significantly improve the look and health of your yard. Establishing a balance of practicality and beauty is key to creating the perfect outdoor space. Your general contractor may devise a walkway lined with flowers leading to the front door. If you’re installing a pool, add a foundation around it but soften the edges with shrubs. Avoid going overboard with softscaping, however; too many plants can overwhelm the yard and become difficult to control. The idea is to create a soothing atmosphere that is as useful as it is attractive.


No matter the scope of your home landscaping project, trust the general contractors at Up North Builders, Inc., to assist every step of the way. Based in International Falls, MN, the company proudly serves clients throughout Northern Minnesota and offers over 25 years of industry experience. They provide dumpster rentals to ensure a seamless outdoor project from start to finish. Visit them online for details on their services or call them at (218) 285-3635.

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