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Is there a difference between garden design and landscaping?

 In Garden Design, Landscaping

A quick look at the difference between garden design and landscaping and how the two disciplines support each other.

A garden transformation depends upon two things. Garden design and landscaping skills. Dan Richards for Silver Birch Gardens offers both services and they are seamlessly intertwined. But what is the difference between garden design and landscaping.

collaboration between garden design and landscaping

Beautiful spaces like this are the result of the collaboration between garden design and landscaping

What’s involved in garden design?

  • Site survey
  • Interpret client’s brief
  • Design layout
  • Specify plants and materials
  • Create construction drawings and tendering documents

When planning a garden transformation, your first port of call should always be a good garden designer.

The job title “garden designer” sounds quite artistic. When you see celebrity designers on TV shows it seems as though all they do is draw pictures. However, there’s far more to garden design than art.

A garden designer’s job is to gather as much information as possible about the client’s tastes, budget and practical needs. Then make a detailed site survey to look at dimensions, slopes, drainage, soil type, light levels and everything else that will affect how the space can be used. The garden designer pulls all of that information together and adds it to his or her already extensive knowledge of plants and materials. The result is a layout that works for you with materials that will look fab AND fit your budget.

To do his or her job properly a garden designer needs a thorough knowledge of landscaping and the costs involved. If not, it would be impossible to ensure that your new can be built within your budget. However, a garden designer is not necessarily a hands-on landscaper.

Once you have approved the design for new garden, your garden designer will create construction drawings so that you can approach landscapers for quotes.

Find out more about the garden design process

What a landscaper does

garden design and landscaping in progress

Landscapers call upon a broad range of skills to bring a garden design to life

  • Understand garden masterplan and construction drawings
  • Mark out the site and check levels
  • Groundworks
  • Create sub-base and footings
  • Slab laying
  • Decking
  • Build structures such as pergolas, shelters or sheds
  • Carpentry
  • Prepare site for electricians etc
  • Planting and turf laying
  • Ensure health and safety on site
  • Project management

Landscapers work closely with garden designers but are not necessarily designers themselves. A landscaper relies on the information provided by a garden designer to create wonderful outdoor spaces.

The survey data, layout plans and construction drawings are crucial to ensuring that a garden transformation meets the client’s expectations.

Given a great garden design, a landscaper will literally make the earth move to create it. There’ll be footings to dig, soil to move, walls to build, decking to make, slabs to position and turf to lay. That means that a landscaper needs to have a wide skills set.

Find out more about the landscaper’s role in garden transformation 

Do you need hire a garden designer AND a landscaper?

Ordinarily, yes. A great garden transformation needs garden design and landscaping. Often from two different organisations. BUT when you work with Silver Birch Gardens the garden design and build processes are all rolled seamlessly into one. Which means there will be no disagreements between the garden designer and the landscaping project manager – they are one and the same person. Neither is there any risk of the design being misinterpreted by the landscaper.

Talk to Dan about your garden transformation 

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