Garden Designers

Learn about garden designers—how to find one, what you can expect and what those letters ASLA and ASPD actually mean.

Southwestern Patio With Rock and Floral Landscape

Pergola-Covered Furnished Patio

Hardscape structures like patios and walls are usually installed by a landscape contractor.

Hardscape structures like patios and walls are usually installed by a landscape contractor.

Increase the value of your home and improve your yard’s functionality with a professionally designed garden. When you hire a garden designer, you’ll wind up with creative, cohesive spaces in your yard. The landscape will cater to your family’s needs and wants, as well as relate artfully to your home’s architecture. Good garden designers can accomplish all those things and also give you a garden stocked with the right plants in the right place. 

Before meeting with a garden designer, ponder your yard and your goals. Do you want an outdoor dining area? A fire pit or a grassy play area for the kids? Do you prefer a low-maintenance landscape, an eco-friendly xeriscape design, or are you eager to dig into gardening and cultivate a formal garden design?

Once you have your goals and ideas in order, it’s time to find a garden designer. Gather recommendations from family and friends. If you have a favorite garden center, ask if they provide or recommend any garden design services. Many nurseries have garden designers on staff who develop a landscape design using plants the nursery sells. Frequently these nurseries offer a discount on plant material you purchase to implement the landscape plan.

If you hire professional landscape designers, expect them to develop a garden design and budget, as well as a plan to implement the full design over time. Landscape designers sometimes have the letters APLD after their names, which indicates membership in the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. 

A landscape contractor is usually a hardscape specialist who installs structures like patios and walls. Landscape designers often hire landscape contractors to handle the hardscape aspects of a garden installation. Some landscape contractors also know and install plants. 

You may also encounter the term “landscape architect.” These individuals typically have a degree in landscape architecture, including some training in civil engineering. They’re usually more expensive, frequently working for corporate or high-end clients. The letters ASLA indicate an individual is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. 

Different garden designers offer different levels of service. The cheapest option is hiring a garden designer to draw a plan you implement yourself. Designers may charge a flat or hourly fee for this service. This detailed landscape plan should include specifics about materials used in the garden design. Confirm that the plan will include types of hardscape and plants listed, along with projected amounts needed of each material. 

At the next fee level, a garden designer usually includes the detailed design plan and works with the various professionals and tradespeople who are needed to implement the plan. The garden designer oversees any necessary permits and ensures the work is completed correctly and in a timely manner.

The most expensive option is to hire a garden designer who has a firm that can design and implement the landscape plan from start to finish. This option yields the fastest results, so this is the one you want if you have a special event and need a landscape in place quickly.

Most garden designers start a project by meeting with you to see the site and hear your goals. Be sure to ask if there’s a fee for this initial consultation. Many garden designers charge for mileage, especially in larger metropolitan areas. If fees aren’t clearly detailed on their website or facebook page, ask.

Next Up

What Is an English Garden?

Learn the elements of enchanting English gardens, and discover ways to translate that style to your yard.

Top Six Exterior Siding Options

Pull the look of your home together by choosing the right siding material.

Top 6 Roofing Materials

From wood shake to asphalt shingles, roofing material is an important consideration that contributes to the overall look and style of your home.

Cabinet Types: Which Is Best for You?

Consider style and quality when selecting kitchen cabinets for your remodel.

Decks for Every Location

Learn about the best options for deck locations

Decks: Raised vs. Grade-Level

Keep these structure options in mind when deciding on a deck design.

How to Design a Container Garden

Follow this simple design concept and boost the impact of your container gardens with plants of various sizes, textures and color combinations.

How to Set Up Water and Lighting in a Greenhouse

Water and light are essential to plants, and in a greenhouse, you'll provide both.

Reasons to Choose Porcelain Tile

Harder than ceramic, porcelain tile is a smart choice for floors, countertops and walls because of its durability, beauty and countless design choices.

How to Make a Garden Fence From Upcycled Pallets

Keep critters out of your garden with this inexpensive fencing alternative that can also serve as planters.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

On TV

House Hunters

6:30am | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30am | 6:30c

House Hunters

8:30am | 7:30c

House Hunters

10am | 9c

House Hunters

11am | 10c

House Hunters

12pm | 11c

House Hunters

1pm | 12c

House Hunters

1:30pm | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Renovation Aloha

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

4:30am | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30am | 4:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.