Hardscaping And Landscaping | What’s The Difference? Plus Tips For Better Results

For so long, when hardscaping and landscaping were mentioned, most people tended to gloss over the former word. The only image that came to mind was one that had its roots in the organic, living part of landscaping projects. Think of planting trees to boost property values and the curb appeal of individual homes. Everything had to do with gardens, plants, and flowers, all the natural elements that improved the visual appeal of a living space and made it more, ‘liveable’.

The opposite of landscaping is hardscaping. Though it’s largely flown under the radar when people mention landscape design, that doesn’t diminish the importance of hardscaping to really enhance the appearance and market value of any landscape project.

It’s no wonder why the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recommends homeowners invest 10% of a home’s value into landscaping!

In this article, we’ll go over the differences between hardscaping and landscaping, and why each matter, before giving a quick rundown of a few ways to use softscape and hardscape planters.

What Is Landscaping? What Is Hardscaping?

Planters for front yard
©Garden Works Supply / Jay Scotts

Landscaping is the umbrella term that encapsulates both hardscaping and softscaping. However, occasionally people will use the term landscaping as meaning both the umbrella term and the actual softscaping aspects of landscape design.

Throughout this article, the term landscaping will be predominantly used. The word will be used interchangeably as both the umbrella term denoting hardscaping and softscaping, as well as the term for the softscaping aspects of landscape design.

Hardscape Elements vs. Landscape Elements

The market size of the U.S. landscaping industry was $128.8 billion this year. By 2025, it’s predicted these services will grow annually by 5.6%!

Already such a lucrative business, it’s essential for wholesale companies who are looking to tap into the market to familiarize themselves with the differences between the hardscaping and landscaping features of such projects. Let’s start by defining the more commonly known landscape project.

What’s A Hardscape Project?

If landscape projects focus on the living, breathing aspects of landscaping, hardscape projects have to do with the non-living elements! Rather than dealing with dirt and soil, the core hardscape materials are things like concrete and gravel. As such, hardscape features then encapsulate the construction of man-made structures like patios, decks, and driveways – Even concrete pavers leading to the front door of a house!

Planters for hardscaping
©Salon National / Jay Scotts

Though landscaping services are much more well-known than hardscaping services, it’s essential to consider both when trying to improve the look and value of an outdoor space. One easy way to think about it is to relate hardscape elements and landscape elements as you would the relationship between yin and yang.

Yin, the more feminine energy, can be thought of as landscape projects while yang, the more masculine energy, can be thought of as hardscape projects–Neither can exist on their own.

Imagine an outdoor area without plants. Do you think you’ll enjoy being in such a space? Now imagine an outdoor area with nothing but plants–Entertaining guests is impossible in the jungle. This is where a hardscaping project does wonders! Not only does it improve the curb appeal of a house, but hardscaping design also helps with maintenance and actually makes it possible to live there.

According to a study in 2021, demand for hardscape products is expected to increase by 3.3% per year to $3.9 billion in 2025. Now more than ever, concrete, stone, and gravel are considered just as important for home improvement as plants, flowers, and fruit trees!

Planters Are The Perfect Hardscape Features For An Outdoor Living Space

Planters For Outdoor Living Space?
©Pego Oval Blurbine / Jay Scotts

Now you know the differences between landscaping projects and hardscape projects, let’s talk about how a planter can be used for either project to boost the curb appeal of any outdoor area.

3 Tips For Using Planters In A Landscape Project

Landscaping With Planters

As mentioned, landscape projects are centered around the introduction of nature into a property to create a greater sense of homeliness to it. Planters are vital for this because they are the literal foundation for such natural life to grow.

It’s crucial for planter suppliers to understand who uses planters, how they are used, as well as how they fit into landscape projects in order to target customers effectively.

Factors like the weather, changing seasons, and air quality all contribute to whether one planter will work well in a space whereas another won’t.

Furthermore, depending on plant choice, the shape and size of planters must be considered carefully as plants are restricted by small planters and their roots might not reach their water supply if the planter is too big.

Being able to guide buyers into choosing the right planter for their landscape projects will prove the key to building a successful business that prides itself on long-lasting relationships with its customers.

©Jay Scotts

Choose The Right Planter!

There’s nothing worse than purchasing a bouquet of plants and flowers, only to then mess up the choice of the planter. A planter is the foundation for your plants and flowers.

As such, a lot of thought should go into buying one.

Some things you should consider are:

Want to find out more about planter materials?

Find out which material is best for planters!

square planters in a garden
©Lasting Greenery / Jay Scotts
Rectangular planters
©Plant Parents / Jay Scotts

Color An Outdoor Living Space

Once you’ve chosen the right planter for a plant, it’s possible to really start adding some fun and interest to softscaping features.

Why not try playing with color? Mixing and matching planters with trees and flowers can really bring that extra flair to an outdoor yard, patio, or garden!

Interested in learning about color? Check out the best color for flower pots!

Rectangular Planters outdoor
©The Plant Boat / Jay Scotts

Tips For Using Planters In A Hardscape Project

A Hardscape Project Means Structure And Functionality!

According to Ecocation, the biggest benefit of hardscape projects is the structure and functionality they bring to any outdoor space. Remember about how solely focusing on landscaping will result in a jungle of shrubs? Using brick, stone, or even poured concrete can be a simple but necessary solution to create a sense of tidiness in a space.

Though the initial thought might be to let nature do as nature does, you need to have walkways, paths, and various other hard surfaces. Without them, where would you place a planter or a fire pit? Similarly, you cannot begin to even dream of outdoor kitchens, patios, or gardens without having completed some hardscaping first.

Hardscaping with Planters

The focal point of hardscaping features for planters has to do with functional issues, structural issues, as well as overall balance. How will the use of concrete pavers impact the choice of planters on walkways or driveways? What about using a planter on a pool deck, in an outdoor kitchen, or next to a fire pit? These will all be considered hardscape issues.

A wholesale company with great customer service will have an understanding of such hardscaping features in order to properly choose a planter for a customer. This means…

  1. Knowing the function of each planter. Is it for shade? Privacy? Aesthetics?
  2. Understanding how it works with the structure of a given space? Patios, decks, and gardens are all designed differently. They are also made from materials like concrete, stone, brick, or plain grass! How do these differences affect the choice of the planter size, shape, and planter color?

With these former two points in mind, it’s important to offer a large range of planters to ensure your planter solutions work in any outdoor or indoor space.

Have A Retaining Wall

Retaining wall
©Dave Logan / Getty

Retaining walls are a feature that brings the best of landscaping and hardscaping together. These are structures that use the information provided from a property line to effectively keep soil contained at various heights. One way to think of it is like having a garden at different levels!

Not only will retaining walls act as makeshift planters for larger and more widespread planting opportunities, but they are also great for use in hardscaping in how they create structure and function in a location. Furthermore, it’s possible to prevent soil erosion by planting on a retaining wall, further contributing to the fact that more hardscape design is good for any outdoor space.

There are many other kinds of hardscaping materials for this. If you’re looking to supply hardscaping projects, you might be interested in growing use of higher-value hardscaping materials.

Make Maintenance Easy

Hardscaping is valuable because of how easy it makes tending to an outdoor area. Not only do stone and brick walkways provide a function and not only do a patio and yard provide a structure, but they also achieve all this while making overall maintenance simpler.

Once hardscaping is complete, there tends to be little upkeep required. What this means is that it’s possible to focus on the landscaping side of things, such as watering the shrubs in a yard or the flowers on a lawn.

This is great news for a wholesale company because it means they can trust customers looking for something like a planter to give their full attention while shopping–They don’t really have much else to worry about!

Now want some ideas for how to actually use a planter? Read 18 outdoor planter arrangement ideas to give you and your clients some ideas to design their next project!

Globe Planters
Globe Planters. ©Jay Scotts

Vietnam CDM Has All You Need To Improve Any Hardscape!

Now you know the differences between hardscaping and landscaping and the importance of each, you might want to start looking into the different planters that can help you improve both projects.

At Vietnam CDM, we have all the knowledge, experience, and manufacturing capabilities to provide you and your customers with world-class landscape and hardscape planters!

From wholesale planters to custom-made designs, there’s a planter for every landscaping project. Furthermore, with our 3-year warranty, you can rest assured you’re getting the quality that your customers need!

For more information, contact us now!

Are You Ready To Work With Us?

Whether you require bespoke planters tailor-made for your project or just want to get your hands on a supply of our world-class planters, reach out to our team today and let’s create something special!

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