What is the difference between a landscape designer, landscape architect, or a landscaper?

Each of these landscaping professionals has their own specialties and knowing who to hire for your particular project or home can be difficult if you don’t know how to differentiate between them.  You want your yard to compliment your home and curb appeal is something to consider for homes and for investment properties.

A savvy homebuyer knows that the landscaping of a yard is a huge part of their property value; mature trees, a beautiful lawn, a cute patio, and well-placed shrubs can all add to your home’s value.

Here’s the lowdown on what each professional can do well and which one is right for your home’s needs.

Landscape Designer

This professional is typically one with a nursery or horticultural background and specializes in designing landscapes for renovated or new home areas.  They’ll work with a computer program to provide you with a blueprint of your yard that includes the optimal placement for plants and yard features such as sculptures, paths, patios, and more.

Hiring a landscape designer is a smart move to save you money and time in the end.  They typically specialize in the balance of color, size, texture, and proportion of yards to help you use the parts to make a whole picture that comes together as your garden.


Landscapers are the right choice for a simple job: taking out old trees, planting new ones, modifying existing plants, garden beds, or lawns.  They can also offer help with regular maintenance of your lawn.

Landscape Architect

These professionals usually have a more advanced education or formal training; they often work on complex commercial or residential projects.  If you’re thinking of adding a water feature, or large sculpture to your garden, this is the choice for you.  They specialize in collaborating with architects, surveyors, and engineers to bring unity and complimentary features to your home and garden.

Your custom home builder probably has a unique connection with someone in each of the professions listed above, be sure to speak with them about which is the right choice for you and ask for recommendations.  Often they can point you in the right direction and give you a name and number of someone that they have worked with in the past.