When you need a professional to help you get your yard in order, it's good to know who you should call. What is the difference between a landscaper and a gardener? Many homeowners consider “gardening” the time they spend growing a flower or vegetable garden, and “landscaping” the other, less satisfying gardening job they might consider hiring. Qualified professionals work under both names, so let's take a deeper look. We regularly use the word “gardener” in two different ways.
A gardener usually owns a home that plants and cares for their own backyard, which may include flower or vegetable gardens. Some professionals also claim the title of gardener, especially those with a more limited and plant-focused scope of work.
gardeningtasks traditionally revolve around growing plants. Gardeners take responsibility for planting, pruning, mowing, fertilizing, controlling weeds and removing leaves, along with a little maintenance of adjacent non-plant elements, such as fences or pavements, also known as hard gardening.
Some professional gardeners specialize in certain specialized tasks, such as pruning Japanese maples or maintaining rock gardens. Most lawn care professionals in the United States refer to themselves by the broad term landscaper, regardless of their typical field of work. Some landscape designers only cut, prune, remove leaves and plant flowers, which, as we have noticed, are traditional tasks of gardeners. Others perform comprehensive landscaping services, including design, installation and maintenance of gardening, irrigation, lighting and plants.
Many landscapers offer professional design services from highly trained landscape architects. Landscape designs are scale drawings showing the location of existing and future trees, garden beds, buildings, landscaping elements, and other garden features. They can also include overlays for irrigation systems and landscape lighting. Many DIYers hire landscapers for highly skilled or heavy jobs, such as landscape design services, lighting and irrigation installation, construction of paved walkways and patios, or planting large specimens.
A landscaper is worth it if you don't want to invest a significant amount of time and effort in planting, pruning, raking, weeding and performing other operations in your garden or yard. Landscape designers can also be landscape builders or they can have landscape teams working for them or with whom they have close working collaboration. Gardening includes activities such as pest control, while gardening is more concerned with aesthetics. Some landscape or garden designers may have experience with harsh landscapes, especially in drought-prone regions (such as California and Nevada), where pebbles and bark are used as often as succulents and natives.
Education and respect for historic landscapes and cultural resources allow landscape architects to work on preservation planning projects for national, state, and local outdoor historic sites and areas. Most landscape designers have a good knowledge of plants and can trace paths, driveways, patios, and simple drainage. Unlike many entry-level landscaping jobs that don't usually require formal education, a landscape architecture degree is typically required to get a job as a landscape architect. Landscape lighting, irrigation and water gardening specialists have the technical expertise to design, install and maintain these sophisticated elements.
From there, they will make suggestions for another contractor or landscaping professional to do the physical work, which may include excavating an existing garden and hard landscape, building patios and terraces, and installing plants. Landscapers work between these elements and alter them to improve the functionality and aesthetics of the space. In other words, you can't wake up suddenly one day and decide to call yourself a landscape designer. Some landscapers are self-taught, but most have taken courses at a university, through an extension or certificate program, or online.
A Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) in Landscape Architecture, on the other hand, could be useful for those interested in conducting academic research in landscape architecture and not necessarily pursuing an applied career as a landscape architect. For the designer-builder type of client, relationship and trust take precedence over landscape and budget elements. Landscape designers may work on smaller residential projects; while others may be self-taught or have taken some vocational or university courses or certificates in related disciplines such as landscape design, horticulture, or hardscape installation. .