As a Masters Student in the Scool of Landscape Architecture at the
University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario, Canada) I am rather suprised at
some of the misconceptions the lay public have towards my profession.
Firstly we are DESIGNERS. Landscape Architecture like the architectural
profession is a design profession. It is a melding of the physical sciences
and the art of aesthetics. However we are NOT architects as one
Secondly we are bound by a code of ethics and in most provinces and
states we are licenced to practice and governed by a board as are other
professionals. Because of our code of ethics we can not ethically accept
a task for which we are not qualified. That is concidered professional
misconduct and is a sactionable offence ie the LA could lose their
licence and or open themselves to legal action. We not only go through
years of formal university training at a professionally accredited
institution but a professional apprenticeship as well. And in many
states and in the provice of Ontario we must also complete a set of exams
known as the LARE exam before we caqn even call ourselves Landscape
Landscape designers are not licenced, are not technically professionals.
Any one can call themselves a Landscape Designer whether trained as such
or not. Generally they are
trained at the college level and receive 2 to 3 years of training. They
are not bound by a code of ethics and in most cases are not licenced or
responsible to an organization that governs their vocational behavior.
It is true that some LA's are horticulturally ignorant. We are not all
gardeners. But because of our code it is unethical for an LA to accept
such a job if he/she is not qualified to do so.
We deal with all aspects of landscape . Everything from the hard
elements: Fences, walls, walks, drives and stairs to the softer
elements: water, plants, etc.
We deal with varing scales as well. LA's
can design residential spaces but we also deal with complex urban spaces,
design subdivisions, Large scale regional and national parks, landuse
studies and also deal with environmental reconstruction and
An LA will charge more for their services. Are you paying too much?
Thats for you to decide. Your the one hiring the person. Ask to see their
portfolio of similar work. Talk to their clients. Are they pleased with
the results. As a consumer you should take some responsibility.
I do have a one concern however....it takes longer than 2-3 hours to
fully design a yard beyond a conceptual stage. Just what is it that you are
paying for? Complete drawings? A Master Plan? A Concept plan? A
Get clear and concise answers....sign a contract.
All the Birds in the forest they bitterly weep
Saying "where shall we shelter; where shall we sleep?"
For the Oak and the Ash they are all cutten down
And the walls of bonny Portmore are all down to the ground.