The outdoor area of your property can be divided into two categories: landscapes and hardscapes. Because some people use these terms interchangeably, many don’t understand what the difference between them is but it’s actually very simple. The landscape of your property consists of your lawn and gardens. The hardscape of your property consists of your driveway, walkways and patios.

Both hardscaping and landscaping projects can do wonders for the appearance and accessibility of your property in Minnesota. Read on to learn how they differ and how they can benefit your home.

Pros & Cons of Hardscape Projects

Hardscapes consist of the hard surfaces around your home that you can walk on, set up furniture on or even drive your car on. Your hardscapes should prioritize practicality and durability but that doesn’t mean they can’t look nice, too. Some hardscape projects that can add value to your home in Minnesota include:

  • Repairing or replacing your old driveway with new asphalt or concrete
  • Repairing or replacing the concrete steps leading to your door
  • Adding new concrete or paver pathways to your yard or repairing the existing paths
  • Expanding your patio with poured concrete or pavers

If you want a summer project to enhance both the appearance and the value of your property in Minnesota, hardscapes have distinct advantages over landscapes. For starters, hardscapes are more practical and more straightforward. Improving a hardscape is usually as simple as either repairing the existing materials or replacing them with something you like better. While landscape projects usually only make your house look prettier, hardscape projects can make your home more accessible to you and your guests. This can be especially important if you have a family member or a friend with limited mobility who will benefit from being able to move over smooth, even pathways.

Another great thing about hardscapes is that they’re a lot more durable than landscapes. While nothing lasts forever, a sturdy asphalt driveway or concrete patio can hold up for many years before it needs to be repaired or replaced. Even if your initial investment in a hardscape project is more expensive than it would be to touch up your gardens, your money will go farther since the work will last longer.

Of course, there are negatives to hardscaping projects as well. For starters, this is something you probably can’t do alone. While anyone with some gardening and lawn-tending experience can improve the appearance of landscapes, creating solid hardscapes will probably require you to hire a team of hardscaping professionals. The visual payoff of a hardscaping project won’t be as impressive, either. Freshly-poured driveways and pathways just don’t have the same curb appeal as a new tree or a bed of flowers.

Pros & Cons of Landscape Projects

gardening installations in MN

Landscapes consist of everything natural in your yard: your lawn, your mulch beds and the plants that go in your gardens. While hardscapes serve a practical purpose, the main draw of a landscape is its beauty. There are many landscape projects that can give your home in Minnesota some real curb appeal, such as:

  • Keeping your lawn neatly mowed and filling in any bare patches with seed or sod
  • Planting new trees or bushes on your property
  • Planting annual flowers in your gardens
  • Adding fresh mulch to your garden beds

If you’re looking for an outdoor summer project in Minnesota that you can tackle by yourself, landscapes may be easier to improve than hardscapes. Where hardscaping will usually require the work of professionals, you can mow your own lawn, spread your own mulch and plant your own flowers, shrubs and trees. Landscaping work is a lot prettier than hardscaping, too. Planting beautiful gardens and keeping them well-tended is one of the easiest and most striking ways to bring curb appeal to your home.

Landscape projects are environmentally friendly as well. Planting trees can improve the air quality of your neighborhood, while planting the right flowers can draw pollinators such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard. Many birds and animals can find shelter and make nests in your trees and bushes as well. Meanwhile, mulch is great to have during the hottest weeks of summer, since mulch absorbs rainwater and retains it, helping to keep your plants moist even when the sun is scorching.

The biggest disadvantage of landscaping compared to hardscaping is that most of your work will not last for very long. While certain trees and perennial shrubs may continue to grow for decades to come, all of the annual flowers that you plant will die by the end of fall and it will only be a couple of years before you find yourself having to spread a fresh layer of mulch over your garden beds. The bottom line is that landscaping work is great for bringing beauty to your property in Minnesota but that beauty is temporary.

Landscaping & Hardscaping Professionals in the Twin Cities

Both hardscaping and landscaping projects can provide significant benefits to your home. While there’s some work you can do alone, hiring a professional property maintenance company to oversee your landscape and hardscape projects will yield better results. Get in contact with Ground One today for expert landscaping and hardscaping services in the greater Twin Cities area!