What is a landscape gardener?

on 22nd November 2021

If you’re looking to transform your garden from a neglected patch of weeds and require professional help, it’s useful to understand who you need to call to help get the job done.

As landscape gardeners our role is fundamental to aiding the change, but we we’re often confused with garden designers. While the role of a landscaper and designer complement one another, our roles are very different. 

So here’s our quick guide to who’s who in the gardening world.

The garden designer

A garden designer is the person usually appointed at the start of the process and their role is to provide ideas and inspiration. These are the visionary people who’ll balance how you wish to use your garden with creative flair.

They’ll sketch out a design which gives form and function to your plot. This will include the hard landscaping elements such as paths, walls, buildings, ponds and patios.  As well as soft landscaping details such as the turf, trees, hedges, plants and shrubs.

Not only do they have a creative eye, but they also understand horticulture so can advise on which plants are best for your soil and aspect.  They will also suggest materials for the hard landscaping elements.  Often they will accompany you on shopping trips for garden furniture, plants and lighting to ensure a choice is made that suits you and the overall garden design.

Once appointed, the garden designer is typically responsible for project managing the process of transforming your garden from conception through to completion.  This can also include suggesting which garden landscapers to use.

Garden designers will have passed formal qualifications (usually to degree level) and may belong to a professional body such as The Society of Garden Designers.

The landscape designer

Landscape designers are like garden designers in that they are the creative vision behind how a plot will look and be used. The main difference is scale. Landscape designers work on bigger projects such as large country gardens or public parks.  Whereas garden designers tend to work on smaller residential plots.

One thing in common for both roles is that once their designs have been approved, a garden landscaper is the person who brings their designs to life.

The garden landscaper

Garden landscapers are the team that get their hands dirty in the role of physically building your garden. Working to the designs, they use heavy duty equipment to clear and define the space. They then create the structure of the garden using the selected hard landscaping materials. Before adding the planting and finishing touches.

Landscapers work on both residential and commercial projects providing services such as:

  • Clearing and grubbing the land.
  • Digging and excavating the plot.
  • Ensuring proper and adequate drainage.
  • Building paths, driveways, patios, decks, walls, and water features.
  • Laying lawns or artificial turf.
  • Installing and managing irrigation systems.
  • Building garden rooms and structures.
  • Installing lighting for both safety and aesthetics.
  • Choosing and planting trees, shrubs, hedging, flowers, and vegetables.
  • Selecting items to assist the garden with its long-term health and maintenance and to minimise the use of pesticides and chemicals.
  • Creating habitats to encourage wildlife and biodiversity.
  • Providing ongoing maintenance services for properties with large grounds such as hotels, sports grounds, schools or business parks. Including grass cutting, lawn maintenance, tree management, planting, pruning and weed management.

Landscape gardeners are likely to hold qualifications in horticulture, as well as certification in more specialist skills such as the use of boom sprayers, turf management and chainsaws. Because of the use of specialist equipment and working at heights, health and safety training and certification is also vital.

Choosing landscapers, like Thames Valley Landscapes, who belong to their main trade body – The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) – provides additional reassurance of receiving a professional service delivered to standards of excellence.

The gardener

Once you have an established garden, gardeners are the people homeowners call for help with management and maintenance. They can cover all those jobs that will help your plants, borders, beds and lawns stay in good shape and flourish.

Working with the seasons, their job is to keep your garden healthy and vigorous by weeding, mowing lawns, pruning shrubs and trees, trimming hedges, digging and planting. As well as keeping your garden well-watered and nice and tidy by doing tasks such as clearing leaves and sweeping paths and patios.

Many will hold qualifications such as those offered by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) which ensure they have a good knowledge of cultivating plants, identifying pests and parasites and general garden maintenance.

Are you looking for a garden landscaper?

If you’re at the stage of appointing a local landscaping company then it’s time to give us a call.

We’re BALI members and hold all the necessary certification to carry out work appropriately and safely across all projects.

We have a wealth of experience on gardens of all sizes in privates homes, public and commercial properties.

To discuss your project in more detail please feel free to call us on 01628 629720 or drop us an email ask@thamesvalleylandscapes.co.uk

What is a landscape gardener?

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