What is a Landscape Designer?

When I meet people and I tell them I am a Landscape Designer I am often asked how I came to become a Landscape Designer and what it is I actually do. My answer generally goes something like this:

I studied Landscape Design for 3 years receiving a Diploma in Landscape Design from Fanshawe College. Landscape Design is offered on many levels from Diplomas to Certificates to General Interest courses – it is important to know what the designer you are hiring has for an education. Most post-secondary courses are two or three years and are dedicated to landscape design. I also received my Certified Landscape Designer designation from the CNLA in 2006 and was among the first 50 people in Canada to receive this designation.

As a Landscape Designer I meet with my clients to help them develop plans for the outside areas of their homes. This can be gardens, walkways, pools, outdoor living areas, decks – so many options exist when it comes to planning the space that exists around the exterior of our house. Sometimes my clients have ideas and other times they simply just know that they want to do something with the space. I always encourage any client create a ‘needs and wants list’ to help them, and I, better visualize their dreams for the space.

Once the wish list is complete, I take a ton of measurements and photos and begin work on a plan. Depending on the project there can be as little as one drawing and as many dozen. Drawings include a Master Plan that will show the layout of the gardens, walkways and any other elements of the space. All plant materials will be identified and the drawing will be to scale so that it can be used to work from. Additional drawings such as Construction Drawings, Detail Drawings, Cross Sections, Perspectives and 3D Renderings may also be included as needed. Detailed material lists are provided so that the client can head off to the nursery and do their shopping.

Once the plan is done, I continue to help my clients by offering services such as finding and coordinating with contractors, overseeing projects, sourcing plant materials, finding materials to complete the outdoor space and so much more. Landscape Design doesn’t stop with the plan, it continues until the job is done and often for years after! I love watching my clients gardens grow. Going back a year or two later and making small tweaks; expanding  gardens – it’s what makes the relationship between myself and my client.

If you have an upcoming landscape project and are considering working with a landscape designer send me a message and we can discuss the details.


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