Garden design: a guide to hard and soft landscaping


Hard and soft landscaping – what’s the difference?

Landscaping is a broad term that covers all the elements you would consider if you were redesigning your garden. Within this, we have what’s known as “hard” and “soft” landscaping. 

Hard landscaping refers to any large elements that would be part of a major garden redesign. This includes things like rockeries, ponds, summer houses, patios and fencing. Soft landscaping cover plants and all the other natural, decorative elements of your garden. This would include plants, hedges and turf. 

I want to redesign my garden – where do I start?

Excitingly, when it comes to garden design, the possibilities are almost limitless. There are all sorts of great ways to have fun and be creative with your space, to design a garden that will bring you many years of joy.

The first thing to think about is how you want to use your space. If al fresco dining is important you, creating a large patio area where you can position an outdoor dining set and garden heaters could be a good place to start. If you’d like a tranquil spot that can be used as a reading nook or even a home office, you may wish to consider a summer house or garden room. If your garden is primarily a space for your children to enjoy, you might want to build a dedicated play area and add a large shed to store their outdoor games, toys and paddling pool. 

You should also carefully consider your garden essentials, as they can make a huge difference to the overall feel of your space. For example, fencing is often dismissed as an unimportant design feature even though it will help to set the tone for the rest of your garden. When selecting fencing, it’s worth considering the amount of light your garden gets, as well as any themes or colour schemes you wish to incorporate. From there, you may decide to opt for a subtle, natural wood finish, or turn your fences into an eye-catching statement by choosing bold, stylish paint colours.

It’s all in the detail

Once you’ve worked out the must-haves for your garden, you can start thinking about how you’d like to fill the space around them. Do you want to be surrounded by lush, vibrant shrubbery or would prefer your garden to enjoy the soft, dappled sunlight that comes with having a few well positioned trees? When choosing plants, it’s also a good idea to be realistic about your own gardening abilities and the amount of time you are able to invest in maintaining your garden. 

Whatever look you’re going for – whether it’s bright and colourful or simple and minimalist – can be achieved with the right, carefully selected features. Even the smallest of spaces can be completely transformed with the help of an experienced landscape gardener. That’s where we can help!

Our experienced landscape gardeners have over 15 years’ experience transforming gardens across Dorset. Having worked in the industry for so long, we have a number of contacts in all specialist fields of landscaping and design, including ponds, lighting and fabrications. 

We can work with you to come up with a design for your garden that ticks all your boxes, creating a practical and beautiful space that will bring you many years of enjoyment. Plus, once your garden has been transformed, we can even help you with regular maintenance!

To find out more about how our landscape gardeners can help you create your dream garden, please get in touch with us today on 01202 722943.