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What Is a Landscape Designer?

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Have you ever wondered what it takes to work as a landscape designer? Well, wonder no longer! In the following article, you'll discover the steps you'll need to take to become a landscape designer, including obtaining a license, having a passion for plants, and undertaking numerous outdoor projects. Also, find out what the current job market for landscape designers is like.

My mom was the one who introduced me to what landscape designers can do. What did I know? I was young, had never owned a yard, and was more concerned with fashion design than what the grass out front looked like. But as I got older and watched my mom’s interest in landscape designing grow, I began to realize the amazing talents landscape designers possess. I also started to notice how their skills can be seen everywhere you look, from homes and courtyards to parks and historical preservations.

So what’s it take to work as a landscape designer? Besides hard work and a creative eye, landscape designers need to obtain a degree, be passionate about plants, and ready themselves for an array of responsibilities.

What the Education of a Landscape Designer Entails: Coursework and a License

According to Wikipedia, ''Traditionally, garden designers [also known as landscape designers] were trained under the apprentice system. Specialist university-level garden design courses were established in the twentieth century, generally attached to departments of agriculture or horticulture. In the second half of the twentieth century, many of these courses changed their name, and their focus, from garden design to landscape architecture. Towards the end of the twentieth century, a number of BA [in] Garden Design courses were established, with the emphasis on design rather than horticulture. But horticultural colleges continue to train garden designers.''

Today, becoming a landscape designer includes coursework, a degree, a license, and, ideally, a love of plants. Sometimes landscape designers have a knack for design but lack an understanding of plants, which can ultimately hinder their careers. Landscape designers should instead have a well-balanced knowledge of both plants and design. Roger Turner, a British garden designer, addresses this in his book Design in the Plant Collector’s Garden.

The following schools teach landscape designers practical design techniques and, as puts it, how to ''select, grow, and maintain flowers, trees, shrubs, and ground covers'':
According to, the coursework for becoming a landscape designer typically includes:
  • Surveying
  • Landscape design and construction
  • Urban and regional planning
  • History of landscape architecture
  • Plant and soil science
  • Geology
  • Design studio
Along with taking courses, however, many states require that you obtain a license before practicing the art of landscape design.

What the Responsibilities of a Landscape Designer Are

Landscape designers are more than just gardeners. Just as interior designers collaborate with their clients, draw up room plans, manage projects, and oversee large and small details of each room, landscape designers handle every detail of outdoor gardens.

According to, landscape architects (or landscape designers), ''assist in the development of exterior spaces and physical environments. [They] aide in preparing…final project design drawings and specifications.''

From parks, botanical gardens, arboretums, golf courses, and theme parks to highways, parking lots, historic landscapes, and power stations, landscape designers are responsible for numerous outdoor settings.

Current Job Market of Landscape Designers

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in landscape designing are expected to grow ''faster than average between now and 2014.'' On average, landscape designers earn between $33,403 and $42,624 per year, according to Those interested in earning more money should consider becoming a landscape architect manager, a position in which earnings range between $77,376 and $103,787 per year. That said, those going this route should be prepared for their responsibilities to increase as they will be supervising landscaping staff and overseeing the projects and schedules of entire teams.

Final Thoughts on Becoming a Landscape Designer

Landscape designers, with the outdoors as their palette, blend together their love of plants and design to create beautiful spaces. From parks and golf courses to historic gardens and reservoirs, landscape designers work wherever clients have a need.
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 fashion design  job market  colleges  British  responsibility  plants  degrees  methods

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