Finding the right individual for your outdoor landscaping needs can be confusing and unfortunately difficult. There are a number of factors involved in figuring out who you want working for you. First and foremost, what type of property are you looking to have redone: is it residential, commercial, a large estate, recreational or something else? Then you need to determine what you’re looking to do with the property and what can be done. This will also change depending on what part of the country you live in as the codes and regulations are different everywhere you go. Most often confused are the terms landscape architect and landscape designer.
A landscape architect’s primary focus is towards the design, planning and development of private and public spaces. Architects are often more focused on the larger picture and are trying to figure out how different pieces of the landscape will come together. Architects are also the ones who design city parks, recreational spaces and plans. They sometimes do large estates, commercial properties and other large-scale projects. In Seattle, landscape architects will also be following codes and regulations for determining how much water the site can hold and how it is handled.
A landscape designer is mostly focusing on the use of plants and how they bring the landscape together. Their background will generally involve horticulture and they will have an excellent working knowledge of which plants will work for the area in question. For example, Seattle has a rather wet and cool climate, so they will be sure to use plants that are indigenous to the area and can flourish in the space where they will be planted. Designers don’t have all the codes and regulations as general knowledge because it doesn’t apply to them in determining which plants go where and how much of each one is needed.
Over time many companies have said they are both, for some companies this is true, but for others they say it simply to get business. So if you’re looking for one or the other it is important you first ask yourself what you’re looking to do with the property. Once you have answered this question it will be easier for you to determine whether you’re looking for an architect or a designer.