What is Hardscape for Your Landscape?

What is Hardscape for Your Landscape?

Posted : May 25, 2024

There are several broad elements that may be a significant part of your landscape, and the realm of hardscape products is among the most notable in many cases. What is a hardscape for your landscape, which elements are often involved in creating it, and what else should you be thinking about with regard to hardscape when designing or upgrading a landscape?

At Aeroscape, we’re here to offer a wide range of landscape designers and landscape maintenance services to clients around Salt Lake City, Sandy, South Jordan, Draper and nearby areas, including hardscape elements, water features and any other specialty needs you may have. Here are some basics on how hardscape is defined, some common elements that often make up a hardscape, and a few other basics to be aware of.

What is Hardscape?

When defining hardscape, we’re referring to any non-living elements or structures that make up a landscape. This can include everything from walkways and patios to retaining walls, fences, and other structural elements.

Essentially, hardscape refers to the “bones” of your landscape – the features that define its structure and layout. Hardscape features will be combined with softscape elements (living vegetation) to create a balanced and functional landscape design.

Hardscape and Softscape Are Not Exclusive

When designing a landscape, it’s important to remember that hardscape and softscape elements are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the most successful landscape designs are those that effectively combine both elements in harmony.

For example, a patio may be designed with a layout and materials that complement the surrounding vegetation, or a retaining wall may incorporate planters or other softscape features for added visual interest.

Now that we’ve defined hardscape, let’s take a look at some common elements you may include in your landscape design, across our next few sections.

Retaining Walls

One of the most popular hardscape elements, retaining walls are used to hold back soil and create defined levels or terraces within a landscape. These walls can be made from a variety of materials, including concrete blocks, natural stone, brick, or wood.

Retaining walls not only serve a functional purpose but can also add visual interest and texture to your landscape design.

Sitting Walls

Another common wall element in hardscape design is sitting walls. These low, non-load-bearing walls can be used to define an outdoor seating area or create a border between different areas of the landscape. Like retaining walls, they can also be made from various materials to match your overall design aesthetic.

There are many areas where sitting walls can be incorporated into a landscape, from surrounding a fire pit to lining a walkway or patio.

Walkways and Patios

These hardscape elements are essential for creating functional spaces within your landscape. Walkways provide a designated path through the landscape, while patios offer an outdoor living space for activities such as dining and entertaining.

Both walkways and patios can be made from a variety of materials, including concrete pavers, natural stone, and brick. These materials come in various colors, shapes, and sizes to create a unique look for your landscape.

Water Features

Water features are another popular hardscape element that can add both beauty and tranquility to your landscape. From small fountains and ponds to larger waterfalls and streams, there are many options to choose from when incorporating water features into your design.

Water features can also provide a habitat for wildlife and bring the soothing sound of running water to your outdoor space.

Grill Surround Designs

Whether on a patio or in an outdoor kitchen, a grill surround is a must-have hardscape element for any outdoor cook. A well-designed grill surround not only adds functionality but also serves as a focal point in your landscape design.

Grill surrounds can be made from various materials and can include features such as built-in storage, seating options, and even decorative accents.

Fire Pit

If you want to take things a bit further than a grill, a fire pit is the ultimate hardscape element for outdoor entertaining. It can provide warmth and ambiance on chilly evenings while also serving as a gathering spot for friends and family.

Fire pits can be designed using various materials, including natural stone, concrete pavers, or even metal. They can also incorporate seating options and other features to enhance their functionality and aesthetic appeal.


For those looking to add some shade and architectural interest to their landscape, pergolas are the perfect hardscape element. These structures can be designed in various sizes and styles, and can be used to create a focal point or define an outdoor living space.

Pergolas can also provide support for climbing plants, adding another layer of texture and color to your landscape design.

As you can see, hardscape elements are crucial for creating a functional and visually appealing landscape. It’s important to work with a professional landscape designer who can help you incorporate these elements in a way that complements your overall design aesthetic and meets your specific needs.

At Aeroscape, our team of experts has years of experience designing and installing hardscape features for clients in the Salt Lake City, Sandy, South Jordan and Draper areas. Contact us today to learn how we can enhance your landscape with the perfect hardscape elements!