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The 3 disciplines of landscaping It is widely understood that the ‘landscape’ has six main compositional elements: the landform itself, vertical   structures, horizontal structures, vegetation (or flora), water and climate. To take a scientific angle on it then,  landscaping is ­ in essence ­ the art and science of arranging all these six elements to make a good outdoor   space. One that works functionally AND aesthetically.. Where   does   landscape   architecture   become  landscaping   design?   And   how   does   garden  design fit in to the equation too? As   a   rule,   landscape   architecture   is   mainly  focused on public spaces ­ urban planning, city  and   regional   parks,   civic   and   corporate  landscapes, large scale interdisciplinary projects  and so on. And by virtue of the fact landscape  architecture   concerns   public   spaces,   it   is   of  course   generally   much   larger   in   scale,   is   a  longer project in duration, and is implemented by  many many contracts, rather than just one!  If  landscape   architects  design   the   built  environment of neighborhoods, towns and cities,  they must also however, protect and manage the  natural environment ­ from forests and fields to  rivers   and   coasts.   Landscape   architects  therefore   have   a   responsibility   to   improve   the  quality of life of residents of that architecture, and that means all living things that reside there, not just people!  Landscape   architects   have   to   consider   every  facet of the landscape they are working on ­ their  job   covers   the   analysis,   planning,   design,  management,   and   stewardship   of   both   natural  and   built   environments.   With   this  in   mind,   they  have to be extremely well qualified, with years of  study  behind   them   and   advanced   degrees  and  qualifications. Landscape designers do not have to have quite  as   many   of   these   professional   credentials.  Landscaping design combines nature and culture  and  ­  in   contemporary practice  –  is  the  middle  ground   between   landscape   architecture   and  garden design. Landscaping design focuses on both the overall  landscape planning of a property and the specific  garden design of landscape elements and plants  within   it.   Practical,   aesthetic,   horticultural   and  environmental   factors   are   all   considered   to   be  subjects   dealt   within   in   the   remit   of   landscape  design,   and   landscaping   designers   often  collaborate with related disciplines such as architecture and geography, soils and civil engineering, surveying, 


landscape contracting and botany. There are a number of superb landscaping designers and/or landscape architects practising in the UK today –   designers   such   as  Tom   Stuart   Smith,   Andy   Sturgeon,   Arabella   Lennox   Boyd   and   Randle   Siddeley  all  have   multiple designers and architects on their staff and specialise in delivering projects of any size, be it a huge  residential development or a small, privately­owned London roof terrace. Garden Design, the third related discipline of landscaping if you like, is a specialised branch of landscaping  design, concerned with, mainly, domestic private space and privately owned things within that space too – such   as furniture, outbuildings and so on. Garden design is therefore the art and process of designing and creating  plans for layout and planting of gardens and garden landscapes. Garden design professionals can have varying  levels of experience and expertise. But most professional garden designers are trained in principles of design   and horticulture and have an expert knowledge and experience of using (and planting) plants. Where   these   three   disciplines   of  landscaping   cross   over   is   grey   territory.  There can be significant overlap of talents  and   skills,   depending   on   the   education,  licensing,   and   experience   of   the  professional. Both landscaping designers  and   landscape   architects   practice  landscape   design,   and   of   course   they  sometimes   design   gardens   too!   Many  landscape designers have an interest and  involvement with gardening personally or  professionally. Some integrate this scope  with their design practice, informally or as  licensed landscape contractors. In   summary,   the   three   disciplines   of  landscaping  are   all   connected   by   the  ground they work with. They differ in scale  enormously, but their joint job description  is   to   better   the   environment   around   us,  from   small   flower   bed   to   city   park   and  business park – and in essence make the UK a more functional (and beautiful) space. 


The 3 disciplines of landscaping