Sumo Gardener

Ultimate Guide to Landscaping

Knowing how important a garden can be, it can get pretty interesting when you are faced with a landscaping project without any expertise whatsoever. Landscaping is an art on its own as there are so many elements to take into account.

What’s more, you might find yourself in a situation where either there are no professional landscape services near you, or you don’t have the budget to pay for those services. Whatever the reasons might be, it is always interesting to learn something new every day, especially something as exciting as landscaping.

That’s why in this article we will broaden your horizons by bringing you the ultimate guide to landscaping. You will know what you need to tackle any landscape project you may have ahead of you. We also guarantee that you will have a lot of fun during the process, so keep on reading.

The Ultimate Landscaper Guide


Purpose of a Landscaper

Consideration Before Taking on a Landscaping Project

We start by asking what the ultimate purpose of a landscaper is. Basically, a landscaper’s field of action covers up any outside green corner. This means any outdoor place with plants, bushes, trees or any natural element can be a landscaper’s business.

Once you’re clear on what the purpose of a landscaper is, let’s explain some basic things when deciding to take on any landscape project. However, there’s no absolute obligation on following each and every principle, yet these will help you better materialize your unique and creative ideas.

Consideration Before Taking on a Landscaping Project

Landscaping Design Unity

Your design should aim for unity: even though you’re allowed to put notable elements in your landscaping projects, everything should have a certain consistency towards a specific topic or shape.

That’s why repeating these elements throughout your landscape will help to give a better global view and understanding of what your project is all about.

The type of elements in your design can add up to create that unity. General characteristics of the elements such as height, texture, color or material can make or break a landscape’s sense of unity.

Therefore, those should also be consistent and be repetitive in order to enhance the space as a whole, rather than having just a bunch of senseless stuff put together. 

Choosing a Landscaping Theme

If you’re not quite sure what the theme should be, you can take a look at your own interests. Find something you’re truly passionate about that can help you determine what the theme should be.

This is also key to creating both unity and harmony within the landscape as all the elements will share that theme in common.

Dos and Don’ts While Dealing with a Landscaping Project

There are several things that you can and cannot do while working on a landscaping project. So, make sure you follow these tips for a healthier and beautiful landscape which you can call as your own creation.

Drawing a landscaping plan

Things You Can Do While Landscaping

Chalk out a landscaping plan

Planning is the key to any successful landscaping project. So, when you are taking up a complicated and time-consuming project such as that of landscaping, you must plan ahead before taking any major step.

So, chalk out a plan before buying any material or seedlings. Once your plan is ready, start preparing your materials. You can check the best tools to cut sod on Sisters Grimm.

Choose your flowers and plants well

Colourful flowers will brighten up your yard. So, it will be better to choose colourful bulbs which will add cheerfulness to your project. Perennials are the better choice when it comes to bulbs.

With proper planning and a little effort, your garden will turn into a thriving colourful area.

Adding stones to your landscaping design

You can add stones beside the plants and flowers by arranging them in a straight line or making circular form. A bird bath carved out of stone can add a wow factor to you garden.

Adding a lane to your landscape

Adding a lane to your landscape for proper viewing of the garden will add to the beautification of the landscape. You can get innovative with the lane by adding paved stones, tiles or cement by carving square shaped stepping stones which will add a rustic touch to the landscape amidst the contemporary civilization.

What Not to Do with Your Landscaping Project

Do not add the same plants in abundance

By adding the same flowers in abundance, there will be no flowers left after their season ends. Your landscape will look empty and barren. Hence, plant a variety of mixture of seedlings which will bloom at different times and make your garden evergreen.

Do not spend too much on materials

By adding too much articles in the landscape, you will end up cramping up your yard. Lesser plants and more accessories will look materialistic.

Make sure you add a few handmade articles to add a homey touch to your landscape. You can get creative with the accessories for utilizing free space in the yard.

Do not let the large trees hinder the view from home

A tree branch may block the view from the window of your home. This will lead to disastrous consequences if there is a heavy storm. The branch can be dangerous during such climatic situations.

Landscaping Vs Gardening

How to Choose a Landscaper

At this point, you might wonder if there's any difference between a landscaper and a gardener. I mean both are outdoor workers, both works with natural elements and both seem to have the same knowledge to enhance a garden, a lawn or any kind of place with mother nature elements.

So, in order to clarify that, we are going to start by pointing out the basic definitions that make one different from the other.

In the scope of things, the main difference between a landscaper and a gardener lies in how much work they can actually take. While the gardener is only qualified to work with already built landscape areas, a landscaper has the expertise to start it all from scratch.

In other words, in the qualification part, the gardener in certain cases does not require a license to operate, while the landscaper might need a range of licenses to build up whatever type of landscape.

However, there’s no need to worry. As long as your landscaping project doesn’t involve creating a yard from scratch or installing a lawn or a ShelterLogic hardtop gazebo , you can still materialize your landscaping ideas with no problem.

Benefits of Landscaping

Many are the benefits of landscaping, the most obvious being:

  • Environmental cleaners
  • Natural coolants
  • Better air quality
  • Noise reduction
  • Better health: Not only do our lungs get better but natural landscapes have shown considerate improvements on: headaches, blood pressure, mental health

However, there are also not so noticeable elements that get benefited by the presence of natural landscapes such as:

  • Better concentration: Attention and memory also improve through the presence of nature. A study made by the University of Michigan is there to prove it.
  • Commerce and labor increase: That’s what a research conducted by The University of Washington shows. Not only do more people want to buy in natural landscape areas, but people also prefer to work there as well. The same research shows a 7% increase in rental rates for commercial green offices.
  • Better life quality: Overall, we are happier because we get less stressed out and therefore, we get sick less. This allows us to have a better life quality that in concrete jungles.

Types of Landscaping and Landscapers

Types of Landscaping and Landscapers

First, we need to understand that there are two different kinds of landscapers.

  • Landscape architect: Creates the landscape from scratch and supervises the landscape construction
  • Landscape builder: Builds the landscape and gets supervised by the landscape architect

From there, there are different styles of landscaping projects a landscaper can take that depends on the type of work, material, and efficiency. Those landscaping types can be:

  • Traditional landscaping
  • Sustainable landscaping
  • Lawn Mowing Maintenance
  • Landscape Maintenance
  • Sod installation
  • Hydroseeding
  • Weeding, fertilizer
  • Pest control
  • Interiorscaping
  • Subcontract design work

So, if you’re the owner who is looking for some landscaping work on your garden or lawn, find out what kind of work you want.

How to Choose a Landscaper

If you have decided that the landscape project you want to do is way beyond your level of expertise, you can hire a landscape contractor. There are many landscape agencies out there in North America like St. Albert in Canada which offers a top-quality service in any landscaping task you choose to take on.

However, the process on how to select the best landscape contractor for you starts with:

  1. Define your goals: Write them down or draw them on a piece of paper. This way you’ll better know what kind of expert you’ll need to get the job done.
  2. Check for credentials: This means to be sure the contractors are properly licensed, in case you live in a place where being legal truly matters. If not, ask for credentials that justifies their professionalism and the ability to perform well.
Hiring a Landscaper

Hiring a Landscaper

1. Looking for a Professional Landscaper

Once you’ve decided which kind of landscaper you want for your project, you start looking for them. First, start asking for referrals. Call your friends or neighbors in order to ask for a reliable landscaper, or look for local contractors in the following places:

  1. Craigslist
  2. Local nurseries
  3. Hunt for new landscape venues

2. Start the interview process

Make sure to ask questions related to the following topics:

  • Experience in Landscaping
  • Experience in Project Managing
  • Working Style
  • Third parties (subcontractors)
  • “Know-How” Knowledge
  • Warranties
  • Maintenance

3. Hold a discussion

Talk more in depth with the professional about the kind of work you’re looking for, how long and the final price. This way you have a better notion of the level of expertise these landscapers hold as well as their values and ethics.

4. Select the right professional

Take your time to scroll down every candidate response and also use your intuition in order to know which one of them you trust more, and you would feel more comfortable working with.

Once the selection is done, proceed to establish the agreements. In this stage, you’re still on time to back out before the hiring process comes full-circle. So, take a last look at the landscaper’s portfolio and see if it is really the person you want on board with you to finalize your house.

Starting a Landscaping Business

Starting a Landscaping Business

If you happen to be a licensed landscaper yourself, you might be considering taking the next step in your career. You might consider starting your own landscaping business, which might be a great idea if you take into account the following principles:

The business runs by seasons: Yes, we are talking about the four seasons, this means that you need to save and get as much work done before winter time. In winter you can be offering services like snow plumbing or gutter cleaning, so you keep your earnings going.

Take extra care of your equipment: Without it, you will get into serious trouble to get the job done. Avoid that by giving your tools proper cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis.

Fix your prices: Know how much you should charge by square foot before even going into detail with estimates. Take your time on this as the landscaping industry might be heavily competitive in your area and being overpriced on your services can knock you out of the game immediately. So, price carefully.

Get good at estimating your works worth: Clients want to be certain on how much money it is going to cost paying you. That’s why you should have pre-fixed estimates on your lists that can help the clients to better estimate that, before even going on a more detailed budget. The combination of certainty and speed is what eventually keeps you on top.

Secure your business through worker’s comp insurance from Cerity.

Time to Get Started with Your Landscaping Project!

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Nadya Jones says December 30, 2018

Just the tips that I need. I’m helping a friend in making her outdoor living space more beautiful. She has gazebo in the middle of her small backyard. What’s the best landscape ideas for her?

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