February 20, 2019
If you’re looking to rework your garden into a masterpiece, it can be difficult to know where to start. Knowing the difference between the garden designers and the landscapers and checking they have the right qualifications can help so that you know who to call on to roll your plans into action.
The role of a landscaper
Although both landscapers and garden designers operate in the same field, they both have different key jobs which define their role when it comes to creating a beautiful new garden. To be a good landscaper you need to master the skills and trades of building gardens, these include:
The role of a garden designer
To be a good garden designer, you need to visualise space – both as it is and as it should be. To be able to do this, there are certain things that garden designers aspire to master:
These skills, however, are not mutually exclusive, as Eugene Hill, founder of Dewlands Garden Design knows full well: “I value my hands-on experience as much as my design expertise when it comes to coming up with creative new garden ideas. If you are looking for someone to do a great job of creating a simple garden, and you have a set idea of what you want, then the landscaper is your first port of call and they should know when they need to pull in a designer. If you are looking to create something a bit special or have a difficult garden that needs some thinking through to make it work, and perhaps you’ve tried yourself but need some new ideas, then a garden designer is your first port of call. So, as a builder builds a house and an architect designs it and supports it through to completion, a landscaper will build a garden and the garden designer will design it and support it through to completion. If you are lucky, you’ll find someone who can do both, or at least works very well with their counterparts to deliver excellence.”
Marks of excellence
Typically, good landscapers will be members of the British Association Of Landscape Industries (BALI) or Association of Professional Landscapers (APL). A good garden designer will be professionally qualified with a degree in Landscape Architecture or a Post Graduate Diploma and will be registered with the Society of Garden Designers. Our founder, Eugene, has a distinction in his Postgraduate Diploma in Garden Design from the Oxford School of Garden Design and is pre-registered with the Society of Garden Designers and is working towards full accreditation. But, as with most things, getting good at what you do comes down to the number and variety of projects you’ve experienced; check out a garden designer or landscapers’ portfolio before using them and beware of those in either profession who perhaps have a passion but have had little practice; they may get there but equally they may not.