Professional landscapers have become an integral part of the home improvement sector, a reflection of how much our outdoor spaces have evolved. Not too long ago many of us were quite happy with a patch of lawn, barbie and pool out back. How times have changed. Not only have our aspirations changed dramatically, but more of us are living in apartments or on blocks that have shrunk significantly over the last decade or so. Before you call in a landscaper to transform your home it is worth knowing the scope of their expertise and what exactly they do.
Landscapers attain professional recognition via a number of routes, with apprenticeships one way of getting experience in the sector. More formal academic study will typically result in a TAFE certificate or diploma course or a degree in Landscape Architecture. Once qualified professional landscapers will typically specialise in one of two areas: structural/hard landscaping or soft landscaping – the latter primarily focused on the actual plantings.
There are a number of core areas where professional landscapers have expertise in, including:
This element often forms the basis for much of a landscapers work, and can consist of a variety of tasks. This typically includes practical elements such as the plantings and associated structural elements. Landscape designers will often work with a professional gardener who will do the physical work and leave them to concentrate on the overall concept.
This is often the first step for any landscaping project and involves the creation of plans and a concept for the project. This will often be done in consultation with the client with careful consideration of how this element works with the style of your home. Plans will detail all the elements of the design include plantings, hardscaping and all materials required. Landscape designers and landscape architects often specialise in this alone, leaving the physical aspects of the project to a professional gardener.
Landscapers specialise in creating a range of paving and paths – commonly referred to as hardscaping. This can include pavers, concrete, gravel and natural stone which can form the basis for a walkway, driveway or foot path.
Modern irrigation systems are all about delivering water where it is needed with minimal amount of waste. Landscapers are able to install a variety of systems, most of which will need to be set up prior to the other hard and soft elements. This can include automated drip, sprinkler and centre pivot irrigation systems.
Physical features are an increasingly popular element to have gracing ones garden and are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Here landscapers are well versed in the installation of retaining walls, water features and a range of shade features such as the perennially popular pergola.