Landscape Planning | Part 2: Hiring a Designer

by Rama Nayeri

in Landscape Design

hand of a landscape designer adding blue color to a landscape plan

Now that you have determined the purpose of your garden as outlined in Landscape Planning – Part 1 let’s talk about why you should hire a landscape designer, what type of designer you should hire and how to prepare to meet with the landscape designer you are contemplating on contracting with.

A landscape designer is a garden professional that 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 your loved ones.

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 drawing will take into account your budget, site conditions, climate and your ultimate use of the space.


Hiring a designer can:

  1. Increase your property value.
  2. Refer you to highly qualified licensed contractors that he or she has worked with.
  3. Take the stress and headache away from you attempting to design the garden yourself, thus saving you time and money.
  4. Create a garden that not only suits your every lifestyle but also makes you the neighborhood trend setter.


Hire a designer that creates landscapes that are:

  1. Sustainable: the ability to maintain balance.
  2. Earth friendly: not hostile to the earth.
  3. Organic: healthy and non toxic.
  4. Energy efficient: designed to reduce your energy bills.
  5. Budget friendly: not denting your wallet.


[captionpix imgsrc=”” captiontext=”Many of the above sustainable attributes can be seen in this project that I created for one of my clients.”]

Once you have picked at least 3-5 designers that you believe you might like then the fun begins of checking their websites, reading their blogs (if they have one), reading their Angie’s List or Yelp reviews etc.

This is the time for you to do your homework and determine which person would be best suited for your needs. From there you should select 3 individuals that will come out to your site and meet with you. This is the time for you to get a sense of their personalities and for them to get a clear indication of how much work is involved.

After you have met with each designer, he or she will give you a contract for design services that should list in detail what type of service is being provided to you, what type(s) of drawings are being created for you and whether the designer will be onsite periodically to ensure a smooth installation process. This contract also ensures that you are serious about having your garden professionally designed.

It is recommended that you hire someone who is local to your area as he or she will have greater knowledge of what plants will work best in your climate zone and where to get quality materials. Someone who lives outside of your area will have to do some extra research which in turn will cost you a bit more money.

I hope you enjoyed this article about hiring a designer. Stay tuned for part 3 of my landscape planning series.

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