We get asked this a lot so we’ve decided to clarify a few urban myths on this topic. Specifically, how people perceive the skillset required to be a designer, landscaper (i.e. landscape contractor) or a gardener.
Landscaping and landscape design
Landscaping is a 4 year apprenticeship. Its a commitment of 4 days a week of on-the-job training and 1 day a week at TAFE. The TAFE landscaping course specifically focuses on construction. It is generally a Cert III level. The course covers various aspects of project management, OH&S, machinery operation and staff supervision. Plant knowledge is very cursorily covered. This lends to the common misconception therefore that landscapers are good at construction but poor in plant knowledge. However, not all are.
Landscape Design is also a course at TAFE and generally is a Cert IV equivalent. I.e. it is a higher qualification. It also involves a full time study commitment of a minimum of 3 years. One full year is spent on honing hand drawings and computer aided drawing skills. Some subjects overlap with the above-mentioned construction course mainly around project management and construction specifications. Plant knowledge, however, is a key study component. Therefore, designers are expected to be ace at plants!
Whilst landscape designers are the generally the creatives of a project; landscapers are really the “builders” for the outdoors. Landscapers are not merely handymen or a part time gardener earning some cash in their spare time. You will distinguish the difference between the different types and skillsets when you engage the services of either party.
Gardening is an apprenticeship course at TAFE too. This course is specific to those who want to work in a nursery or want to maintain parks and gardens. This course therefore has a strong focus on plant knowledge, turf, pruning requirements, soil types and general pests and diseases. Given how the course is structured, gardeners are likely to have a better understanding of plant maintenance and their needs than a landscaper. However. that is not to say that there aren’t any experienced landscapers out there without excellent plant and maintenance knowledge.
So who should maintain your garden?
Good question. Our recommendation to all our clients is to go with the company or individual who has the right tools to maintain the garden and understands the needs of the garden – plants and materials included. It really doesn’t matter if you choose a person who calls themselves a “designer”, “landscaper” or a “gardener” as long as they have a sound skill base for what you and your garden need!
Price what you need appropriately as someone with the right qualifications and or experience can really make your garden shine its best!
As for the gender bias…in this modern day and age anyone can be a landscape designer, contractor or gardener…wouldn’t you agree?
Where our company philosophy fits in all of this…
We believe in best practice and in being true professionals in our field. Therefore, we believe that as a switched on design and landscaping company we have strived to upskill ourselves beyond the minimum above. We have skillsets in garden maintenance, soil health, tree studies and have obtained general knowledge of plant pests and diseases.
Given the education gained, skillsets in place and level of experience within our network, we are proud to offer a “one stop shop” from design and construction to maintenance. This is so our clients are well looked after from the start of any landscaping project.
Our designs have included retaining walls, decks, pergolas, paving, turf, irrigation and lighting. We also specialise in planting, outdoor styling and maintaining our clients gardens – all, with rave reviews to boot!
If you like what we do and are needing help in designing your garden, please contact us for an onsite 90 minute consultation. We charge $220.00 for the visit and can subsequently quote on project managing the entire transformation for you within your budget.
Do also have a read of our other writeups such as Staging for sale.
Our passion, your garden