Understanding the roles of a Garden Designer versus a Gardener as you embark on your dream career

Garden design is a skillful blend of art and science that involves both design flair and practical gardening expertise. It is in this process that two professions frequently come together and while they both strive for a flourishing garden, their roles, expertise, and responsibilities are separate. It is vital to have an understanding of these distinctions when deciding who to hire for your gardening endeavour. Let’s have a look at the fundamental differences between a landscape designer and a gardener in this blog.

The garden designer

The master plan of your outdoor space comes from the garden designer. They are in charge of conceiving and planning the overall appearance, arrangement, and aesthetic of your garden space. The garden designer will also incorporate planting and advise on plant maintenance. They basically oversee the entire planning process.

Responsibilities and roles

Garden designers, in essence, act as architects for outdoor environments. They produce design plans that outline the placement of each plant, the arrangement of paths, roads and structures, and other design aspects such as colour schemes, themes, or styles.

A garden designer typical tasks include:

Consultation on design: Meeting with clients to discuss their vision, needs, and budget.

Site analysis: Analysing the site thoroughly, including soil type, light conditions, and existing structures or plants.

Design creation: The process of creating precise design plans, frequently with the use of computer-aided design tools.

Plant selection: This includes recommending plants that complement the design, site conditions, and client preferences.

Project management: Overseeing the construction of the garden, including purchasing materials and collaborating with other professionals such as landscape contractors.


Garden designers often have a background in landscape architecture or garden design. Many hold degrees or certifications in these fields. They have strong knowledge in design principles, plant selection, and environmental factors. There is a combination of skills and knowledge in the garden designers repertoire and while many gardening enthusiasts often drift into garden design, there are certain skills that will distinguish a professional from a hobbyist.

Some garden designers are also members of professional bodies, such as the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) in the UK.

The gardener

While the garden designer is the master planner, the gardener is the caretaker who helps bring the plan to life and maintains it. They are the on-the-ground professionals who plant, nurture, and care for the garden.

Responsibilities and roles

Gardeners concentrate on the practical aspects of garden construction and upkeep. They implement the landscape designer's plan and ensure the garden continues to thrive.

A gardener's typical tasks include:

Planting: Depending on the garden design, plant trees, shrubs, and flowers.

Maintenance: Watering, pruning, weeding, and mowing lawns are examples of maintenance duties.

Pest control is the identification and treatment of plant diseases and pests.

Soil care: Composting and other processes are used to improve soil fertility and structure.

Seasonal garden related tasks: Implementing seasonal duties such as bulb planting in the autumn or mulching in the spring.


Gardeners frequently learn on the job, while others may have formal training in horticulture or a related field. They have a practical knowledge of plants, soil, pests, and soil diseases.

Garden Designer vs. Gardener

The garden designer is the visionary, the one who envisions the garden's potential and maps out the path to get there. They concentrate on the aesthetic components, design concepts, and plant choices, and they frequently operate on a project basis.

The gardener, on the other hand, is both the implementer and the caretaker. They are in charge of the physical responsibilities of planting, maintaining, and caring for the garden, and they frequently labour on an ongoing basis to keep it prospering.

Despite their differing professions, garden designers and gardeners frequently collaborate to develop and maintain beautiful gardens. Knowing whether you need a garden designer, a gardener, or both relies on your specific needs, project complexity, and budget.

In general, gardening mostly entails growing plants, whereas landscaping involves growing plants as well as modifying terrain and/or structures.

We hope this blog post clarifies the distinctions between these two important responsibilities in the gardening industry. Stay tuned to our academy website for additional gardening tips and advice! If you love the outdoors and have a good sense of design? Perhaps it's time to transform your hobby into a career with our Garden Design courses.

Our courses have been carefully designed by industry experts to provide you with the skills and information required to work as a professional garden designer. Here are just some of the reasons why you should choose our academy for your educational journey:

  • Comprehensive Courses: From the principles of garden design to understanding plants and soil to getting creative in the garden, our courses cover it all. By the end of the course, you'll have a comprehensive toolkit for designing beautiful and sustainable garden environments.
  • Real-World Experience: We believe that doing is the greatest way to learn. As a result, our courses incorporate hands-on projects and case studies that allow you to apply your knowledge in real-world circumstances.
  • Expert Tutors: Learn from the best in the business. Our lecturers are accomplished garden designers who have designed magnificent award-winning gardens. Throughout the course, they will share their insights, techniques, and suggestions as they guide you on your own unique path.
  • Flexible Learning: You may learn at your own speed and from anywhere in the world with both online and in-class choices.

It's time to make your landscape design fantasies a reality. Enrol in one of our Garden Design courses today to begin a rewarding career developing beautiful outdoor settings. For additional information, please visit our website or contact our course advisors. Let us work together to make the world a greener, more beautiful place, one garden at a time!

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Written by: Fiona Byrne

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