Designers, Architects, Contractors—What’s the Difference?
- Landscape architects have passed state licensing exams and are certified to draw construction plans for your project.
- Landscape designers tend to focus more on the horticultural side of the garden, working to develop the planting scheme.
- Landscape contractors are responsible for implementing the design through construction and installing the project.
Sometimes, these roles will overlap—some landscape designers take care of installation themselves, while landscape architects sometimes select plants.
Finding the Best Professional for Your Garden
A great way to get started is by doing some research. Have you seen their portfolio of past projects? Do you feel that your aesthetic matches the type of work they do? Can you ask friends for referrals?
Getting Started With a Professional
Since each designer has their own process, it’s valuable to find out how they work during your first conversation together. Be sure to clearly articulate your goals for the space—how you plan to use the garden, your budget for the project, and what your style preferences are.
Going Through the Design Process
Once you’ve wrapped up the proposal and contract process, your team will be ready to get to work on the design phase. Typically, this part of the process will begin with a complete site analysis. You'll be presented with several design options for the overall direction of the project. Later, you'll dive into detailed design decisions together, including specific materials and different types of plants.
Caring for the Garden
After everything is installed, don’t forget to think about maintenance. Certain landscapes and plants will require more than others, so ask your landscape designer for their recommendations to help keep your space looking healthy.
Doing It Yourself
Hiring a professional designer is just one potential direction, but don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty yourself or invite friends over on the weekend to help plant a garden.
We'd love to hear about your experience as a client hiring a landscape designer, or your process of working with home owners if you're a landscape professional yourself. Leave a comment below to share!
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