- Using creativity and the beauty of nature to create a harmonious, aesthetically pleasing and functional area. Areas may include personal lawns, parks, highways, walkways, and more.
- Planning the finished product, tying in new features with current ones, by sketching it to scale. These drawings will be very detailed, down to the window and door placement on the buildings.
- Performing site analyses that include the assessment of current plants, soil conditions, lighting, the view, and architecture style of the house.
- The ability to communicate well both with clients and other types of workers (contractors, supervisors, etc) on the landscaping team.
- Researching topics such as plants and their ability to survive in an area, guidelines and codes.
- Make public presentations when necessary to discuss the project, complete with charts, sketches, and so forth.
- Reviewing plans, proposed changes, and any other necessary documents.
- Oversees progression of the project to ensure that it is going as planned.
- Keeping records, including everything from correspondence to reports.
Necessary Skills and Education
You will need an understanding of art, including color theory, texture, balance, proportion, and more. You will also need a strong background in horticulture so that you understand which plants will work where, and why they will thrive there. You’ll need to be creative, yet unafraid of working with your hands and collecting research. In addition, you will need:
- Surveying experience and equipment knowledge
- A basic knowledge of how much the materials and labor will cost
- Knowledge of how ecological conditions can affect a proposed design
- Inspection knowledge and experience
- An understanding of the laws and codes you will have to abide by in specific areas
- Raw talent for sketching and drawing. Though you will use a computer program for some plans, you should still be able to create realistic drawings by hand.
- A bachelor’s or master’s degree in landscape design or landscape architecture is required, though you do not necessarily have to be licensed to work as a landscape designer. While 49 states require landscape architects to obtain licenses, landscape designers may be able to work without a license depending upon the location and the nature of the job.