what do I need to know

kashka_kat(z4 WI)January 24, 2014

Greetings, Im thinking of going professional with garden and outdoor space design and installation. I would hire out someone to do the carpentry and construction of fences and garden structures (if any) - I would do design, planting, small pond construction (if any).

Im just starting out asking around about what kind of training might be useful - I have absolutely no clue about how to draw up the design and present the information to a client or to someone doing the construction - what software do yall use?

Ive done bookkeeping and can manage the business end of it. Anything else I should know? I imagine theres things I would need to know, that I don't know that I need to know!

My niche would be more like smaller, more intimate urban spaces, not big sprawling commercial landscapes or anything like - so I don't know if Im up for an entire landscaping or landscape architecture degree. That would be overkill I think? Open to suggestions!

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

A successful landscape designer must be more than a decorator. A finished project should be able to withstand a long test of time. To that end, the designer must know a great deal about plants ' growth habits and environmental requirements, soil science, tree protection, property development, irrigation design and more.

That's before the drawing up of a design.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 4:35PM
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In addition to the above - which are absolute essentials - it is important to understand and be intimately familiar with the basic design elements. That means some sort of formalized design training. A landscape architecture degree is unnecessary unless that is your career choice but there are many organizations that offer garden or landscape design training, including many tecnical or community college programs. Because a good design course requires interaction and feedback as well as a local perspective on plant selection and growing consitions, I recommend a classroom situation rather than an online program.

And FWIW, a formal garden design course of study will supply much of the non-design technical material as well. But nothing replaces hands-on experience. It would be advisable to intern with a practicing landscape designer or design/build contractor as well.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 5:21PM
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