Landscaping is the term utilized to refer to any activity that changes the features of an area of land. When we think about it, we commonly think about a landscape designer. But what about the landscape architects? Do they do the same thing that landscape designers do? After all, what is the difference between a landscape designer and a landscape architect?

Landscape Designer

A landscape designer commonly works on smaller residential projects and doesn’t have a state license but usually has equivalent training to a landscape architect. A landscape designer may be self-taught, but many have taken courses at university, college, online, or through a certificate program or an extension. They study a lot to become a landscape designer.

Also known as garden designers, they work the most with plants and softer parts of landscape planning. Some may work with hardscape, but they can’t do any wall building, earth-moving construction, or electrical work since they are not a licensed landscape contractor.

When working with them, the standard procedure is the following: they will go to your house or property and take some pictures, look at the yard, discuss your preferences, budget, plans, etc. Then they will create a plan view drawing and also a plant list. After that, they may go with you to help you shop for the objects and plants you need. When that is finished, they will recommend a professional to do the physical work.

There is an Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) which encourages the member to adhere to a code of professional standards, keep studying, be in touch with new state-of-the-art trends, and more. The association offers a certification program to its members.

Landscape Architect

A landscape architect must have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in landscape architecture from a university. Also, they need to be licensed by the state to work on landscape projects. Without these, the person is not a landscape architect.

A professional landscape architect has passed the required exams to become licensed and has experience or at least training to work with more challenging problems. They work in residential and commercial sites, including services such as solving elevation problems, working with irrigation and drainage systems, designing outdoor structures, designing landscaping yards, and many more.

They are responsible for designing public outdoor spaces, like resorts, campuses, cemeteries, commercial centers, waterfront developments, and more. They also plant the restoration and design of natural places disturbed by humans, like mined areas. A landscape architect can work on preservation projects if they are educated about them. They will be employed in academic, public, and private organizations.

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