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What is landscape design?

We are surrounded by landscapes every day. From our own gardens to the city parks by the office, to the streets we walk every day. Each of these spaces has the power to affect our mood, reduce our stress & provide functional areas for activities and events. 

So who is behind them? Landscape architects and designers!

While these spaces may seem perfectly formed and naturally available, many have been meticulously planned and executed by skilled minds to offer functionality, relaxation & breathing space – for both individual clients and larger communities. 

So what is the process of landscape design? What does a landscape architect do? And how can you become one? Let’s find out.

What is landscape design?

Landscape design is the analysis, planning, design & execution of outside spaces. This could be a client’s private garden, a public park or a larger conservation area. 

Professional landscape designers offer clients a knowledgeable approach to creating functional, beautiful & cost-effective solutions to creating exterior spaces. With their fundamental skills, clients will be avoiding costly mistakes and unnecessary confusion.

The aim of any project will usually be to create a space that increases the enjoyment of a home while maximising the use of the space available. But all professional designers will be led by a client brief, and incorporate this into their extensive planning.

For example, the client may want to prioritise the conservation of wildlife, create a safe and engaging play area for their children, or provide a city escape that works well with heavy footfall.

Landscape architecture in particular is the practice of incorporating these outdoor elements with larger structures. Perhaps creating ‘living buildings’ or inside-out spaces in malls or shopping centres.

What does a landscape designer do?

A professional landscape designer is the key to bringing these dreams and goals to life, using their practical skills in budgeting, site analysis, and horticulture. 

They will begin by working closely with a client to create a custom design, based on a brief.  They will take into account any special considerations, weather trends, soil quality, lifestyle factors & space allowances to choose appropriate plants and features for a particular space. 

Using this brief, they will use an artistic touch to create a comprehensive & creative plan to present to the client for approval. Once approved, they will oversee the implementation and execution of the plan, although on larger projects this would be under the supervision of a dedicated project manager. 

Key duties landscape designers will perform include:

  • Analysis of spaces using their environmental, horticultural and artistic knowledge.
  • Planning and preparing master plans, customised for a client’s needs.
  • Problem-solving and developing site-specific solutions to overcome obstacles. 
  • Providing creative ideas and suggesting innovative designs to further the possibility of a client’s space. 
  • Choosing the best design elements, materials, and plants for the soil quality, drainage and weather patterns of a certain site. 
  • Work within a budget and provide financial advice.
  • Help avoid costly mistakes by providing a clear direction in which to proceed.
  • Communicate with fellow designers on larger projects, or with other staff to execute the work correctly and to the highest standard.
  • Continue their education in horticulture, art & design to stay on top of industry trends and plant knowledge.

What skills does a landscape designer need?

  • Embrace challenges – Each brief will be unique and present its own challenges. So being able to enjoy and embrace problem-solving will help a designer excel at their role. 
  • Creativity – Problem-solving will require you to think outside the box while creating captivating design plans that will impress your clients. 
  • Passion – A passion for plants, the environmentnand its effect on people is a key aspect of a good landscape designer’s personality.
  • Knowledge – A strong knowledge of horticulture is essential to create long-lasting, impressive designs that fit a client’s brief.

What is a typical day on the job like for a landscape designer?

A typical day might start with a site visit, to either meet a new client or present plans to existing ones. Site visits can also help a designer stay on top of projects that are underway, managing, advising and overseeing the work. On smaller sites, they may spend most of the day implementing their plans – purchasing, planting, building & maintaining.

After site visits, they may return to their office and continue design work on plans, perform administrative tasks & complete general business administration – especially if they are self-employed.

What does a landscape designer earn?

The average salary for a landscape designer in Australia is between $45,000 – $70,000. Once experienced, with about 1-3 years of work in your portfolio, you could earn around $80,000, rising to $141,000 as a senior designer with 8+ years of experience. Your salary could rise even higher if you choose to work with larger businesses in affluent areas.

How do I become a landscape designer or landscape architect?

To join these lucrative and exciting industries you’ll need to gain experience and build your knowledge of horticulture and design. 

To begin with, you could get a job in a nursery or plant store, to begin building your soft skills with clients and your understanding of the different types of foliage available. But to really elevate your expertise and set the foundation for your own landscape design business, you’ll want to enrol in formal training.

Our landscaping courses online are specifically designed to be your pathway to success. You could begin with a Certificate in Horticulture, which will equip you with a strong foundation in plant science, soils, weeds & pest control, as well as teaching you to identify plants such as shrubs, trees, plants and how to grow the different species.

Following that our Landscape Design Course will complete your skills, offering everything you need to achieve your landscaping goals. You’ll have the knowledge to pre-plan your master design, a complete overview of important landscaping elements, understand the types of materials that are needed to create the perfect garden and how to bring it all together in the final execution.

Learning exclusively online, you’ll be tutored by professionals and supported on your journey with 24/7 access to course materials. So you can learn at a time that suits you, even around a full-time job or childcare. Making it an accessible, affordable & time-effective way to study the job of your dreams. 

With these garden design courses, you’ll be ready to create spacious, satisfying & stylish designs that showcase your exquisite skills. Helping you enjoy a bountiful & thriving landscaping career. Are you ready? Join today!