When making a decision to hire professional help with your landscape design, you may be wondering what the difference is between a landscape designer, landscape architect, and the services offered by a landscaping company.
There are many good reasons to know and understand the differences, as they can mean the difference between a good design, a great design, and a very bad one.
Landscape designers may or may not have formal training. They are not licensed by any regulatory agency. Before hiring a landscape designer, find out if they have any design background and formal education. Ask for references, too. That way you stand a good chance of getting a decent design.
A landscape architect is someone who has a degree in landscape architecture; at least in most states. They are regulated by each state under the jurisdiction of a State Board of Technical Registration. A landscape architect usually has all the necessary training and design skills to provide you with a great design. But like with anyone you hire, check their references and ask to see examples of their work.
A landscape contractor who prepares landscape designs may or may not have any formal training. This is important, as without formal training, you may end up with plants not hardy to your region or that grow too large for the planting spot. This is a common problem. Also be wary of plant nurseries offering free design if you purchase plants from them. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for and if you are not paying anything; what you get might not be what you want.