Did you build your own home?
For the majority of homeowners in the area, the answer is “No! I didn’t have the skills to take on such a big project!” But when it comes to landscape design, homeowners are not so hesitant to purchase shrubs, turf , flowers and trees and plant them wherever their fancy dictates. And though the plants may thrive in the spot where they were put, the landscape may look chaotic if viewed from afar. Yes, most people have the skills to plant a lawn, site a tree and install a colorful border of annuals – but if your heart yearns for a landscape above the ordinary, you are likely to need a landscape design prepared by a professional.
WHERE TO TURN? The problem is that there is no central list of professional landscape designers. There are organizations of professionals – but some of the best designers choose not to belong to them. And while some projects may necessitate the services of a landscape architect, others may only need a sketched design to illustrate how to unify the landscape.
WHAT DO YOU NEED? Your first decision is to determine what your landscape needs and what your pocketbook can afford. If you just want a consultation and some guidance, a landscape designer may fill your needs. If you have drainage problems, difficult terrain and/or a need for walks and garden structures a landscape architect may be better able to serve you.
Landscape designers may be college trained or self-taught. They are usually very skilled at matching the vision of a client to what is possible in the real world. Landscape architects are the heavy hitters in the landscape world. They are college graduates, heavily trained and licensed professionals who understand all facets of landscape planning, drainage correction and garden construction.
MORE TIPS ON HOW TO FIND A GARDEN DESIGNER OR ARCHITECT
FLOWER SHOWS AND GARDEN TOURS What is a better way to see landscapes laid out by the best designers in the region?!
Southeastern Flower Show or the Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour (404-876-5859), along with many others, sponsored by communities and plant groups, allow guests to see and get ideas from some of the most beautiful landscapes. Ask the tour hosts for their recommendations.
GARDEN CENTERS Many have an in-store design service plus discounts on plant materials.
Pike Design Group 404-255-7526
Habersham Gardens 404-873-4702
Hastings Garden Center 404-869-7447
Check with your local nursery to determine what they can offer or whom they recommend.
American Society of Landscape Architects
Metro Atlanta Landscape & Turf Association
Georgia Green Industry Association
PLANT SOCIETIES The speakers and members of local plant groups are often skilled landscape designers. Plan to visit one of their meetings and to make your needs known:
Georgia Native Plant Society
Surely among all these resources you can find a garden designer to suit your needs and budget!
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