Landscape Professionals – What You Need to Know For What You Need to Do

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The seven professionals potentially available to help you with your landscape and gardens are:

o Landscape Architect

Although there’s certainly overlap, these are distinctly different levels and kinds of professionals. We’ll consider them in the sequence listed. First we will give a general description, list the strengths and flaws, then a relative investigation will follow. Finally, we will examine how to assess any individual within each of these careers.

Landscape Architect:

A landscape architect includes a minimum of a four year Bachelor’s level and might have six or more years of high education. To be thoroughly certified she must also have three decades of internship at a landscape architectural office. The following paragraph is taken from the United States Department of Labor.

“people planning a career in landscape architecture should appreciate nature, enjoy working with their hands, and possess strong analytical abilities. Creative vision and artistic talent are also desired qualities. Good oral communication skills are essential; landscape architects must be able to communicate their ideas to other professionals and clients and to make presentations before large groups.Check landscaping everett wa . Strong writing skills are also valuable, as is knowledge of computer applications of all kinds, including word processing, desktop publishing, and spreadsheets. The ability to draft and design using CAD software is essential. Many employers recommend that prospective landscape architects complete at least one summer internship with a landscape architecture firm so as to gain an understanding of the day-to-day operations of a small business, including how to acquire customers, generate fees, and operate within a budget.”

Landscape Architecture is a thorough and serious field aimed at providing aesthetically pleasing solutions in the creation of spaces inhabited, seen or seen by people. The scope of the instruction is both broad and deep and consequently the scale of these projects a landscape architect can undertake is basically infinite.
The landscape architect includes a sound education in all practical considerations – appropriate building codes and techniques, legalities and so on. He can offer a detailed plan with substance specifications, quantities, sizes and so forth, where contractors can give precise bids. Due to their level they are qualified to apply for a wider range of jobs, such as government projects, which are not offered to non-licensed designers.

The term landscape architecture was first used By Frederick Law Olmstead in the late 1800’s. At that time there was no specific academic area for it began to be taught and analyzed under the roofs of the architectural schools and has been stamped with that mind-set. – This is to say, together with many noteworthy exceptions, landscape design, from the views of the writer, is characterized by a grade of architectural rigidity and over- reliance structure. As mentioned, there are notable exceptions. Tommy Church and Russell Page, to name two, and there are lots of exceptions practicing today.
Normally, landscape architects aren’t taught horticulture so their plant recommendations are often unreasonably restricted. More importantly, a degree in landscape design does not signify talent because the qualities, or lack of, in the designs produced do not guarantee or stop a degree. In fairness it must be stated that no degree of any sort in any of these categories signifies talent – it only signify the successful completion of a program.

Many landscape architects spend most of their time in offices and possess little field experience. Too often they’re unable to convey in a real style with numerous trades people, such as masons as their knowledge may be largely theoretical, not based on hands-on experience. Before selecting a landscape architect, ask to see a portfolio, even if just of college assignments and make certain that she’s capable of understanding your aesthetic and working in your budget. If at all possible, get references.

Landscape Designer

A landscape designer may be certified through one program or some other (of which there are many), or might not. These programs are usually associated with an educational institution but there are various people and other organizations which also offer a certificate program. Additionally, many botanic gardens have ongoing master gardener classes (which isn’t landscape design), in addition to design classes which individuals may take toward certification or just for the instruction.

The landscape designer works with website analysis, cost estimates, technical considerations such as drainage, lighting availability, elevations along with the other facets of designing an implementable and sustainable landscape. He also usually works with hardscape elements such as paths, patios, walls and so on. The next is a class description for a Landscape Design Course from a University in California.

“The practice of landscape layout entails website analysis, development of design concepts and layout plans, selection of construction and plant materials, and preparation of construction plans and documentation.

The program for the Certificate Program in Landscape Design emphasizes the interaction between individual needs and the environment and provides students with practical skills for understanding landscape design. All design studios highlight the design process and problem solving using real sites as case studies.

Certificate Requirements:

From the description which follows, the term”course” refers to a full session of thirteen classes. A”module” is equal to seven courses. Two modules may satisfy 1 course requirement.

O two classes in landscape design history
o 2 classes in construction/site technology
o 2 courses in plants/horticulture
o 1 class in drafting
o one landscape course, or two modules of the pupil’s decision
o an independent thesis project on landscape layout
There are, however, many men and women who call them landscape designers and are practicing landscape designers who do not have this instruction. For them it has been a vocation and they have come up throughout the company by working in various skills associated with gardens, such as nurseries and landscape contracting companies prior to starting their own design business. They may do installations too or may act as contractors and find the sub contractors to perform the job.

Generally, landscape designers seem to have a more natural, less structural orientation compared to several landscape architects. Should they have the education outlined above, they are theoretically prepared to handle a broad range of design jobs. Very often they’re dedicated to quality garden layout. If they do not have the instruction then they have followed a vocation, or are only beginning . Should they’ve followed a vocation and have been at it a time they ought to have a portfolio as well as the ability to quote price ranges for various facets.
As with Landscape Architects, the title does not necessarily indicate gift. The education, experience and ability among landscape designers varies considerably. Before hiring a landscape designer, ask to see a portfolio and speak to references, be sure of compatibility and understand precisely what you are to expect for that which you are to pay.

A garden designer could have a formal education and might not but is generally well versed in horticulture. Garden designers also functions with site evaluation, light availability, price estimates and these but frequently don’t work with hardscape components. These folks are usually plants people.

Some colleges offer professional degree courses in garden design, in which they teach; site analysis, client brief, plan drawing, section and elevation drawing and color rendering. The following paragraphs are from the syllabus of a such university.

“Students will be able to examine a small website using running measurements and triangulation making note of website details such as the position of trees, buildings, simple level changes, and services, etc.. They will have the ability to evaluate the data gathered on site and produce a scale drawing 1/8 or 1/4 inch scale to correctly portray the site’s attributes. Working with a simple customer brief students will produce a sketch proposal based on that brief.

Students will employ pattern analysis concepts that have been taught simultaneously during the program. The proposal will be drawn using pencil and technical pens, on architectural blanks using the title blocks to display proper information. Students will demonstrate an comprehension of spatial concepts, design philosophy and a fair knowledge of landscape graphical symbols.

Pupils will produce section/elevation drawings to help illustrate the project, both for builder and customer, in addition to a display board to help communicate their thoughts.”

A grad of such a college would likely not call themselves a garden designer but a landscape designer. There are lots of garden designers who do not have this education.

Garden designers are usually devoted gardeners and knowledgeable about plants, especially perennials. They generally know the best plant suppliers in a given locale and can design and implement attractive gardens comprised primarily of plants.

Normally, garden designers are not builders and don’t do hardscaping or take on major site alterations. Prior to hiring a garden designer, be certain the scope of the work you need done is in their own capabilities. Ask to see a site and to talk to references.

Landscape Contractor

A landscape contractor is someone who implements, or installs landscapes and will often also contract for garden maintenance. These may be very large operations with several trucks, various machines and pieces of equipment along with a massive crew of employees managed by foremen or project supervisors or even both.

However, there are thousands of thousands of landscape contractors, the majority comprised of a small staff, a single or a few trucks and a few small tractors or backhoes. Occasionally a landscape contracting operation will have a designer on staff also offers designs at low or no cost. This is only because they will earn their money on the installation.

The larger the operation generally the broader are the tasks a contractor can tackle. These range from just planting plants to construction in-ground swimming pools, to landscaping whole developments.

Most landscape contractors possess the capacity of building masonry structures such as patios, walks and walls, wood structures such as arbors and decks and may either do or have other tasks done, such as installing irrigation or lighting systems.

The focus for landscape contractors is constructing, or implementing the programs of landscape architects, developers, and landscape designers. For residential work, there’s generally nothing they can not achieve, when it comes to building others’ designs and they might have their own designer or design staff. They are usually insured and bonded.

Landscape contractors are usually at the top end of building expenses. They frequently have substantial overhead so needs to add a profit on all materials and labour so the bottom line tends to be high. Their use of plants can be very ordinary and repetitive and their designs can be uninspired – but there are exceptions. Get all agreements as contracts, not estimates, request to see a portfolio and also for references.

Someone calling himself a landscaper is generally a lawn maintenance person. He will generally have a little truck with a trailer, a couple of specialist lawn mowers, string cutters, electrical pruning shears, rakes, shovels and brooms. There is usually little if any instruction supporting the landscaper however there may be experience and they will often contract to install gardens. These folks shouldn’t be utilized as designers, normally, unless they provide that and have a portfolio.


Many nurseries have landscape surgeries which include installation and design. Generally overseen by somebody who came up through the horticultural sector with a instruction in horticulture, these can offer turn-key services and guarantee the crops. They will usually provide you a layout for little or no cost as they can make their cash on the plants along with the setup. Normally they can contract for residential-scale hardscaping such as walls, patios, irrigation methods and such.

You can be sure the plants chosen will do well where they’re designated to go. You need only contract with the 1 operation and they generally have the man-power to get the job done.

Of course, there are always exceptions, but generally nursery designs tend to be quite ordinary, not motivated. The plants will flourish but the design might be quite blah. Nurseries tend to acquire over-extended in summit so can begin work, leave it for a little while and come back later. If this is important to you, receive a completion date specified in the contract. Before hiring a nursery, ask to see a portfolio of designs that they did too as jobs they implemented and request references you may call.

Landscape Designer/Builder:

He combines the services of a landscape contractor, and also the landscape designer. As with the garden and landscape designer, he may have a formal education and he may not. And as is true of those other professionals, his degree of experience may be extensive and it might not. Many landscape designer/builders arrived at the profession through a vocational or professional association with backyard services. Normally, the landscape designer/builder provides a price for the design and just when the design is completed will contract to the implementation.

Can do the entire project from design through installation. Landscape designers are normally less rigid than architects and generally have much more hands-on experience. They usually combine a knowledge of landscape construction and also of plants and ought to have a good sense for design.

May be unwilling or incapable of taking on very big jobs or government jobs. Prior to employing a landscape designer/builder, request to see a portfolio and for recommendations. Make sure you understand what you are getting and exactly what it’s costing. Make confident that there is a closeness between you.
The four most important qualities to check in selecting someone to make your own gardens or landscape for you are; Talent, Ability, design and Compatibility. A not very talented person you like, who is capable and of high ethics will do a great job creating for you a backyard not really worth having. A gifted individual without ability will give you an inspired design that can’t or shouldn’t be constructed, a person who’s gifted, competent and of good ethics that you don’t get along with is a poor decision and a person without integrity will let you down whatsoever.

How do you know these things about someone? Your own instincts, to begin with. If you don’t have a good feeling about somebody, stop right there. Beyond this, always request references if you’ve any uncertainty and regardless of if you are handling a landscape architect or a gardener, ask to see a portfolio.