What does the term “hardscape design” mean in landscape plans? We refer to the non living parts of our landscapes as “hardscapes”. Walkways, retaining walls, decks, patios; they are the floors and furniture of our outdoor rooms. They can be made of natural or man made products. Decks typically now use composite decking with pressure treated structure. Pergolas (shade structures) are available in natural or composite materials also. Combined with the “softscape”, the plantings, they make our yards safe, attractive, and functional.