Landscape Construction Versus Landscape Design

landscape design

As summer comes to an end, you might be thinking of redesigning your yard for next year. Fall is a great time to consider getting your landscape design done as it gets chillier, and you’re using your green space less. Before the first snowfall of the year, you might be able to get some landscape construction done, and install some new pathways or even a fountain!

Is Landscape Construction Or Design Right For Me?

Landscape construction and design are two things that go hand in hand. You really cannot achieve one without the other, and they work together to create a beautiful yard. Landscape design deals with the planning and aesthetic nature of your project, whereas landscape construction is the physical act of making your plan happen. Most landscape designers can complete simple landscape construction projects themselves, or work closely with qualified landscape construction companies.

What's A Hardscape & Softscape?

When discussing landscaping, there are two broad categories to describe aspects of landscape construction and design: hardscapes and softscapes. Hardscapes refer to materials that go into a landscape, such as wood, stone, plastics and metals. Softscapes refer to the plants and organic matter that go into landscaping projects, such as trees, bushes, and flowers.

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Your landscaping design will likely involve both hardscapes and softscapes to create an alluring finished product. It’s essential to have a plan ahead of time and know exactly what you want to see in your yard before you talk to a professional! Knowing what elements you want to see within your landscape design will help your landscapers understand your vision and execute it.

Design Tips For Landscaping

With so many options, choosing what to add to your yard can be a little overwhelming. Creating a wishlist of what you want to see in your greenspace can help your landscape designer create a more coherent idea that incorporates these aspects. However, keep in mind some top design tips if you choose to create the design and finish it yourself.

Gardenista has a list of the top 10 design tips for landscaping, and we’ve compiled our favourite tips here! When designing your new space, you should:

  • Clearly Understand The Purpose Of Your Garden/Yard
  • Get To Know Your Yard’s Microclimates & Topography
  • Choose Plants That Are Right For Your Location
  • Plant Trees Based On Their Future Growth

Before getting ahead of yourself, you should consider these four tips. Knowing exactly how you hope to use your yard will vastly change how you design it. For example, if you have kids and want them to be able to play in the yard, ripping it out to replace all the grass with rocks and a huge fountain likely isn’t the best choice!

landscape design rocks

Understanding your space’s microclimates and topography is part of understanding the distinct features of your yard. You want to design around the unique characteristics of your space. If you have nice sunny patches, you might want to create a lovely little garden space. Knowing what your yard is like will also help you avoid making mistakes. For example, placing elements on areas that can’t support it and having them washed out during the next storm.

You wouldn’t want to plant a whole bunch of greenery and then realize that it cannot grow in your climate! Picking plants that will thrive in your local area is vital. Better Homes & Gardens has an excellent resource for finding the best plants for your area. For example, Calgary sits in a zone 4a, so implementing vegetation that suits our climate will result in better gardening success. It’s essential to research so you find plants that will thrive and be happy in your backyard.

Lastly, when adding trees to your yard, you must consider how large they can grow, not just the current size. It may fit nicely in the spot you’ve put it in right now. But, what will it look like in 5 or 10 years? Depending on the type of tree you’ve selected, it can grow to be quite large. Remeber you have to account for how this will affect your yard design.

Popular Elements Of Landscaping

There are popular elements in landscape design that are seen as relatively timeless. If you’re struggling to decide what you want in your yard, our Calgary landscaping company can help!

Popular hardscape features include:

  • Fountains, These Can Be Statement Pieces Or Simple & Minimalistic
  • Bird Baths, For All You Bird Enthusiasts
  • Stone Or Brick Pathways
  • Stone, Brick Or Wooden Stairs

Top softscape features are:

  • Trees
  • Flowers
  • Shrubbery & Hedges
  • Grass
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No matter what you want in your yard, there is a landscaper out there that can help you design and construct it to your vision. If you plan to design and build your yard yourself, make sure to do your research thoroughly. Many hardscape elements require expertise and knowledge to install correctly, so it might be better to contact a professional for that portion of the job.

Finding A Landscape Designer

When you’re searching for a professional to help you get the job done, make sure to look into their reviews and credentials. You can also take a look at their portfolio and see if the work they’ve done in the past is similar to the aesthetic you’re trying to recreate. Most landscapers can help you bring your dream to life if you have an idea of what you want. Even knowing the hard or softscape you wish to add will allow them to help you design something. But hiring a specialist in landscape design is also a route you can pursue.

The most important part of landscape design and finding the right professional for the job is making space work for you! Your yard should be a space you feel happy in and serves its purpose.


Are you looking to redesign your outdoor space? Contact our experienced team at Landscape 360 today for more information on how we can make your vision come to life!