As landscapers, we often get asked by our prospects and clients, “What does a landscape designer do? “, and it is a perfectly valid question. Whilst many people will be familiar with terms like ‘gardener’ and mostly understand what those who work as gardeners do, there is often some confusion when they think about landscape designers.
So, we want to eliminate any confusion that those reading might have and give you a simple guide into the work of landscape designers, including what it takes to qualify as one. Hopefully, if anyone reading is contemplating a change of career, this might help to encourage you to pursue one in landscape design.
What Is A Landscape Designer?
Let us start with the most fundamental question, ‘What is a landscape designer?’. A landscape designer is a professional that requires several specialist skills and considerable knowledge in creating outdoor spaces, primarily gardens, for residential and commercial properties.
The many skills and abilities landscape designers will have includes horticultural knowledge, garden design, aesthetics, technical knowledge, spatial orientation, and being able to create detailed plans and drawings that will be used to construct the garden or outdoor space they design.
How Do You Qualify As A Landscape Designer?
Many people not knowledgeable about landscaping are unaware that landscape designers will invariably have had considerable training and will have taken and passed a professional qualification. One of the most recognised of these qualifications is the Diploma Of Landscape Design. An alternative route for those wishing to pursue a career in landscape design is to complete an apprenticeship with a landscaping company.
What Skills And Knowledge Does A Landscape Designer Offer Their Clients?
This is where we could write a whole series of articles on landscaping, given that there are so many skills that clients benefit from when they employ landscape designers. However, as we only have space within this single article, here are the most important of a landscape designer’s skills and knowledge.
- Site Analysis: The ability to assess the land or garden is a key skill to determine its suitability for any specific landscape design at that location.
- Plant/Horticultural Knowledge: Knowing which plants will be suitable for the location in terms of both their sustainability in the prevailing conditions and their aesthetical value is paramount.
- Soil Science: The soil makes the difference between plants thriving and not, so knowing the soil’s type, formation, and properties will guide landscape designers when designing a garden.
- Irrigation And Drainage: To avoid issues with plants not getting enough moisture or flooding occurring within a garden, a landscape designer will need to know how to best irrigate and drain the garden being designed.
- Lighting Design: A landscape design is for both the day and the night, so knowledge of lighting technology and aesthetics is a key requirement
- Sketching: As ideas come to mind and from the requirements of their client, a landscape designer needs to be able to make sketches so that those ideas can be conveyed to others, including the client.
- CAD (Computer-Aided Design): As landscape designers start to finalise their ideas and begin the landscape design proper, then they will most likely use CAD software. It follows that they will need to know not just how to operate this software but also how to use it most effectively to produce the best possible landscape designs.
- Communication Skills Including Negotiating: A massively underrated skill but a skill that all landscape designers must have is the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. This is especially so when discussing with clients what their needs and wants are, and, if necessary, negotiating with them to agree on a feasible landscape design within budget, which also meets the needs of that client.
If you are interested in learning more about a career as a landscape designer, then please get in touch with us and we will be happy to give you additional advice.