Whether you’re needing a landscape design to compliment your new home build or looking to give your garden a facelift, the right landscape designer can impact the process and the end result. An experienced landscape designer can also be beneficial when updating or installing elements in your outdoor space such as a swimming pool, driveway or entertaining area.

Choosing the Right Landscape Designer

Knowing where to start is often the toughest part. And while the design process for your project will become much clearer when you have engaged a landscape company, there are a few important steps to take before deciding on who to engage for the job.

Taking time to properly research and choose the right landscape designer will result in a better outcome for all involved. Here’s our guide to choosing the landscaping design company that will get the best results for you and your outdoor space.

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‘Randwick’ project by Fig Landscapes, featuring a multi-tier outdoor space

Know what you want

It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want the result of your landscape designer’s work to be. Do you want a new garden design from scratch, does your garden need a makeover, do you want a pool installed, or are you looking to add stone paving or steppers?

Before you approach a landscape or garden designer, having as much knowledge of your brief as possible will be helpful. Know the size of your garden space, how much sun it gets, what are the soil conditions, where water flows from and to and how wind affects it. Clarify exactly what it is you want in your outdoor space, how you want to use it and your overall design aesthetics.

Have a clear budget and specific time-frame to present to the landscape team. This way they will be able to tell you if what you want to achieve with your garden design is viable from their point of view.

Outdoor kitchen and entertaining area. Photo credit: Hare + Klein & Harrisons Landscaping

Have an idea of style

When contemplating your brief for your landscape, think about the style of garden you’re drawn to. Jump on Pinterest or Houzz to gather inspiration and understand the aesthetics you’d like to see in your outdoor space.

Look for a landscape design team that has a similar aesthetic. There’s no point engaging a landscape designer who predominantly design classic gardens inspired by European landscapes if you want something modern with Australian natives.

Do your research

Take time to research landscaping companies online and look for reviews from previous clients who had positive experiences. Ask family, friends and colleagues for their recommendations and advice, but always do your own research as well.

Remember, this company’s employees will be working in and around your home so it’s important to know as much as possible about them and establish whether you can form a positive relationship with them throughout the process. Don’t be afraid to ask to visit gardens the company has designed so you can see the style and quality of their work for yourself.

Check, check, check

Check the qualifications, professional accreditations and memberships that the landscaping company may claim to have. Make sure they are fully insured. Also, look for examples of their previous work. Ask for client references and speak to the referees directly. If possible, visit the referee in person so you can see the completed project for yourself.

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Malvern garden by Ben Scott Garden Design

Shop around

Shop around until you are happy. Make sure to get a least three quotes to compare prices and the quality of previous work. Also, ensure you give the same amount of detail to each company so you can get make an accurate comparison. Remember, to read the fine print of each quote to compare properly.

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Have a shared goal

It is important that you have a good working relationship with your landscape professional. Write down your objectives and ideas to bring to them when you meet in person and take notes of your conversation.

The best outcomes for garden designs come from close collaboration between the landscaper, the installer and client. So, make sure that you and the landscape designer have a shared vision of what the result of your will be and go from there. They should always be ready and able to communicate with you.

'Seamless Connection' by Peter Fudge. More at: www.peterfudgegardens.com.au
‘Seamless Connection’ by Peter Fudge. More at: www.peterfudgegardens.com.au

Understand the process

Insist on a comprehensive written contract that documents all responsibilities, nature of proposed work, installation standards, costs, timelines, terms of payments and guarantees.

A good landscape professional will take the time to ensure you understand every step of the design and build process. For example, you should be confident that you know when different stages of the project will be complete, why specific plants and materials are being chosen, what stone is being specified for a wall or water feature etc.

The more thorough you are in finding the right landscape designer for your project, the better the end result.

Leading image: ‘Terraced House’ by Lockyer Architects.

For more tips, expert advice and inspiration all things outdoors, visit our Learning Library.