I see no good reason NOT to incorporate nice hardscaping into dutch general plant grouping guidelines.
Aquatic Horticulture is growing aquatic plants.
Hardscaping, well.............it can have something to do with plants, but it can also have NOTHING to do with plants. So it's a very wide range.
Both require skill, but they are not the SAME skills.
I've met some amazing hardscapers, but terrible at growing and maintaining plants for long.
I think over the decades, Dutch planted aquarium's have evolved, but there are a few traditionalist. I would really like to see those traditionalist maintained. We are at the point where we might lose the hobbyists who are well suited to do such styles.It takes newbies coming into this hobby to keep it going. Same with Bonsai. Many of the old timers have great institutional and horticultural knowledge.
Some changes were the use of CO2 gas in the 1970's, very heated debates occurred. Today, it's pretty standard.
2. Today we have far more plant options, roughly 20-50 back then if you were real lucky, to today's of nearly 200-500 species/types.
3. Gardening with many new species takes time and sourcing the plants. Using the old standards might be a better option for the newbies wanting to work more with this style/approach.
4. For folks that are really drawn to the plants, have a tinge of collectoritus, this style lends well. Hardscaping can be pursued later if you feel inadequate about that one right now.
5. Main thing for me is seeing a nice decent sized group of plants contrasted well among its neighbors which are also decent nice sized groups. By this, I mean what you would like to see several stems together at their optimal, not just a farm tank with 1-2 etc.
6. Scaping and making nice groups is very different from just farming.
7. Say you do not have the time to fiddle? Well, you can chose easier or slower growing species.
8. This does not take away any from the Nature style, I would suggest trying your hand at both. If you are weak in one area you like a lot....then practice.
You do not suddenly or by pure natural luck become great at Bass guitar or drums or math.
Same deal here.
This is a bit more of the traditional style I speak of: