There is some misunderstanding about what a landscape architect, garden designer, and hard landscaper are. Claire Vokins of Wilson | Vokins explains the relationship here.
Garden design vocabulary may be confusing, mainly when many people use it interchangeably. Here’s a breakdown of what each job does and how they function together. There are several ways to contact a designer or hardscape if you’re in the business.
How to Choose Between Them?
If you want to modify your planting or soft landscaping, you need to hire a professional gardener. After that, a landscape designer would be hired for a comprehensive overhaul, depending on the magnitude of the job. A complex landscaping business, particularly one that offers design and construction services, might also be addressed. I recommend constantly interviewing many designers or hard landscapers to get the best one for you.
A competent landscape designer/architect or garden designer has been trained and has a portfolio of work to show customers. Their communication skills will be outstanding. They will be up to date on industry knowledge, and they will be effective project managers. The most excellent designer or hard landscaper produces your garden exactly as you want, on budget and schedule. Someone who makes you smile as they depart.
The degree to which a hard landscaper and designer collaborate depends on the project. The customer typically determines the amount of engagement, with approval from the designer and hard landscaper. Communication is a fundamental component of all relationships, whether personal or professional. This is also true for a garden designer and a hard landscaper. The challenge is for the designer to successfully communicate what the designer and the client desire with the hard landscaper. The designer must agree with the hard landscaper on what is needed to complete the task. The landscaper must inform the designer what they need to complete the construction correctly. Wilson | Vokins recently discovered that each of the four hard landscaping contractors we contacted required a distinct degree of information from us.
A garden designer and hard landscaper may encounter a variety of challenges. However, it is typical for the hard landscaper and the customer to create a friendship throughout the construction process. Changes may occur throughout the construction process without the designer’s knowledge. Thus the hard landscaper must keep them informed. Something as simple as the depth or number of stairs may alter the atmosphere of a garden.
Consider the Following:
What are you doing to improve your garden?
If the project is substantial, a landscape or garden designer could be an excellent place to start. However, if just the soft components of the landscape need attention, a professional gardener may be the best option.
Make sure you get a hard landscaper and a landscape/garden designer who can communicate well. A designer may have a trusted/preferred firm with whom they routinely collaborate.
You, as the customer, decide what you want and how you want things to function.
Remember that, within reason, you may control how much the designer and landscaper engage. However, costs are often used to decide this, and all parties should agree on it.