Landscape Designers

Tips for finding and hiring a professional landscape designer.
Haslam vegetable garden

Meeting of the Minds

Governor Bill Haslam, First Lady Crissy Haslam and landscape architect Ben Page of Page|Duke Landscape Architects go over plans for the vegetable garden at the Nashville Governor's mansion.

Photo by: Image courtesy of State of Tennessee Photo Services

Image courtesy of State of Tennessee Photo Services

Professional landscape designers can provide invaluable insight and resources for your next landscape design project.

Although online tools have made it easy for folks at home to experiment with design tools and templates, professional landscape designers add expertise and a human touch that computers will never be able to replace.

Landscape designers meet with you and provide a topographically correct drawing that is accurate to the slope, position and size of your property. Landscape designers don’t just suggest materials, hardscapes, plants and flowers for your property; they think ahead to prevent potential future problems such as water flow issues and flooding or landslides, too much sun or shade and many other landscape issues that go beyond aesthetics. 

Choosing a landscape designer doesn’t have to be a daunting task if you know what your priorities and preferences are – and how much money you have to spend in order to install and maintain a customized landscape design plan.

Are you looking for a designer whose style and taste match yours? Or maybe you’ve heard about a landscape designer who specializes in retaining walls and terracing? Maybe you want a designer who’s also a horticultural expert and can create the sustainable, organic landscape design of your dreams.

Recommendations are important, so consumer websites that rate local landscape designers can be helpful, but your best bet is to start at your local garden center and get a few names of top local designers. Then you can research them online before creating a short list to contact and subsequently interview.

A landscaper designer who only offers design services may be able to help you with your vision and then refer you to a landscape company for the building and installation of your landscape design. It’s a good idea to make sure the designer you choose is APLD (Association of Professional Landscape Designers) or ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects ) certified. Membership in one or both of these professional organizations may be a good indicator that the landscape designer. The APLD and ASLA websites can also be great resources for finding a landscape designer and/or learning about the differences between landscape design and landscape architecture.

Once you choose your designer, make sure he or she handles or is affiliated with a company that can do the installation of your landscaping project. Ask for copies of insurance certificates and discuss whether or not permitting through your local government is required for the size and type of your project.

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