Why Hire a Landscape Designer?

“…designs are not an end in themselves, but a means of creating a setting that is useful and beautiful. Landscape designs are only as alive and dynamic as the imaginations of the designer and client.”


It is my belief that sound design and proper planning will prevent impulsive decisions, direct the program for installation in a timely and appropriate sequence and by the nature of the process save the homeowner time and money. Despite the claims of HGTV, beautiful gardens are created by careful planning and execution and not miraculously over a weekend.  Rome was not built in a day and neither is your garden. Hiring a landscape designer if only for a valuable consultation is well worth the investment. Why not do it right the first time thus saving you valuable time and money.

You see your landscape every day, you know that there is something wrong but don’t know how to address it. You see the plants and turf struggling, you know there is a low spot where all the water pools, yet how do you fix it? You’d love to add an area for relaxation and entertaining or a safe place for your kids or grandkids to play, but where?. Maybe a fire pit would be fun on a Summer evening or this might be the year for that pool you’ve been dreaming of for years. These features and so many others are the things a professional Landscape Designer can design and implement for you. The designer’s role is to create a plan that translates your dreams into reality and solve your landscape problems. The goal is to create spaces that are both functional and beautiful.

A landscape designer is a garden professional who has a high degree of artistic talent along with a thorough understanding of which landscape materials are best suited for your garden. Having been educationally and real-world trained this type of pro can save you time and money thus allowing you to enjoy more quality time with family, friends, and leisure in your yard.

A designer can help accomplish your landscape goals and devise a plan that fits into your budget. An estimate is generated from the plans which allow everyone to see what exactly is being done, where it is being done, and how much it costs. Landscape designers work directly with the installation crew to make sure that all of the elements from the design plan are carried out. The designer is available throughout the entire process to answer questions from the homeowner and installation crew to avoid costly errors and second-guessing. I believe that a landscape designer is only as good as their crew; with a crew of experts behind them, they can create anything. He or she is your advocate and is present to guarantee that the installation proceeds on schedule and according to the goals established.

When you hire a professional landscape designer you are hiring someone that understands your area and what will work best for you. He or she can give you different design options and create an accurate final plan that a licensed landscape contractor can bid from. These drawings will show accurate dimensions and will also note the specific types of hardscape and plant materials that are proposed for use. These drawings will take into account your budget, site conditions, climate and your ultimate use of the space.



The decision to hire a professional landscape designer can be one of the smartest investments you’ll make toward enhancing your home and its setting. A landscape designer can work with you to turn that neglected corner into a garden sanctuary or help you completely plan and furnish your outdoor living spaces with the creative use of plants, hardscaping, and other garden elements, resulting in a unified, balanced environment that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

APLD® New England Chapter members continually hone their landscape design skills. Many of our members are Certified, which means they have submitted their work to a rigorous, juried peer-review process.

Our work is about much more than just a good-looking landscape. They are just a snapshot of moments within a larger design of a landscape that grows and evolves over time. When you dive into the designs more and look at multiple photos from the same project alongside the design drawings, you can start to see how they are fundamentally great places to be in. They may be great spaces in which to relax, hold a party, have a family barbecue or watch the birds.

We work with the big picture.. Landscapes do not exist in a vacuum, and it’s the landscape professional’s job to work within the site context to design places that fit the big picture. The saying “the design is in the details” rings especially true for residential landscape design. Our technical expertise goes beyond merely knowing about current trends. Improved plant knowledge is a great example of the value of continuing education for landscape designers and greatly benefits clients. . The horticultural world is vast, with new cultivars being developed in response to diseases every year. Landscape designers stay up-to-date on horticultural issues and use that knowledge to design landscapes.

                        Landscape Design = The Art of Design and The Science of Horticulture.

“The complexities that arise in designing a garden or a landscape come from the necessary intersection of multiple disciplines in order to address all the layers that abound in nature. To succeed you need to have some proficiency with numerous fields of study: horticulture, soil biology, engineering, and art to name a few.” _


_ Plan Graphic_Matthew Cunningham

A Landscape Designer can help you with:

1. Idea Generation

2. Site Analysis

3. Conceptual Design

4. Construction Planning

5. Budget Creation

6. Contractor Liaison

7. Project Management

One of the real benefits of working with a professional landscape designer in the design development process is in having this person stick with you through the construction phase. Every project will have the potential to be improved upon as it is being built. Additionally, almost every project will have some “unknown” pop up during construction. Having your designer close at hand or as your project manager will ensure that you capitalize on opportunity and minimize any unforeseen pitfalls.

If this is the season you are going to finally tackle that project you’ve been contemplating, think about contacting a professional landscape designer to guide you in developing a plan for you and facilitating the installation process.

Log onto www.APLD.org to find a Professional Landscape Designer in your area.

Please refer to this very informative article on Houzz for more information on the nature of professional services: “What to Know About Landscape Design Service Agreements.” The graph below is provided for the state in which I practice and is fairly representative of fees for APLD Landscape Designers.

Evolution of a Landscape Project

 Concept Plan

The Afters: