The process for choosing a landscape architect for your garden is similar to hiring any professional for home services. You need to get references, interview some candidates, determine if their vision respects your wishes and budget, and make a choice.
What is Landscape Architecture?
According to National Building Museum, landscape architecture’s professional mantra is “achieving a balance between the built and natural environments.” It is a broad-based profession that includes aspects of landscape design, engineering, art, environmental science, forestry, bioremediation, and construction.
What Does a Landscape Architect Do?
Landscape architects work on large and small projects. In landscape architecture and design, these professionals create the landscape blueprints for healing gardens at hospitals, green roofs, public parks, business frontages, town squares, residential developments, dog parks, shopping centers, city streets, and homeowners. They work with landscape contractors, civil engineers, architects, city planners, homeowners, surveyors, and facility managers. In a typical project, the landscape architect will meet with the client to assess the client’s needs and the uniqueness of the site. He or she will study the area to determine problems and possibilities. Landscape architects typically develop a “big picture” view for the client with models, videos, and sketches as well as detailed construction drawings for all phases of installation. Landscape architects stay involved in the process from beginning to end to ensure the project vision is maintained and installed correctly.
Landscape Architecture Careers
Landscape architecture careers are varied. They can be self-employed or work for architects and construction companies. The profession requires at least a bachelor’s degree and sometimes a master’s degree in landscape architecture. There are many accredited schools across the nation.
Choosing a Landscape Architect
When choosing a landscape architect, make sure they listen to you and offer ideas that are creative and align with your goals. If the landscape architect doesn’t think your ideas will work, he or she should be able to explain why in a respectful and understandable manner. Your landscape architect should be experienced and have a portfolio for you to review. Make sure you can get along with this person before you hire them. Ask about fees, the billing process, change orders, and deliverables. Choose someone who can answer your questions about the project you will work on together.
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Karen Boness is the founder of Wild Willow Design, an Australia-based company that specializes in ecological landscape design.