THE LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY

OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of this chapter, you should be able to

• describe the different types of landscapers.

• outline the education each one requires.

KEY TERMS

geology hydrology agronomy

THE LANDSCAPE________________________________

Broadly defined, all the spaces outside our buildings constitute the landscape. Beautiful or hideous, natural or scarred by human blunder­ing, the landscape usually reflects some degree of human control. A landscaper is someone whose profession it is to control and develop the landscape.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF LANDSCAPERS_______________

Landscapes can range in size from a small backyard to a vast parkland; and control and development can range in scope from the pruning of a single plant to the design of entire gardens. It follows that landscape careers will vary in their day-to-day operations and in the academic preparation they require. Each of the following has a role in the land­scape industry:

• landscape architect or designer

• landscape contractor

• landscape gardener or maintenance supervisor

• landscape nurseryman

Landscape Architects and Designers

Landscape architects and designers conceive the ideas that later find form in the landscape. They see the gardens in their minds before the gardens exist in reality. It is the landscape architect who seeks out and studies sites that are to be developed to meet specific human needs. The landscape architect identifies all the capabilities and limitations of the site to determine its suitability for the client’s purposes (Figures 17-1 and 17-2).

In addition to being a competent horticulturist, the landscape architect must possess enough knowledge of geology, hydrology, agronomy, engineering, and architecture to work closely with profes­sionals in these fields. Such affiliations become necessary in large or complex site studies.

Once the site has been selected and the needs of the client deter­mined, the landscape architect formulates the design that will satisfy those needs. Working through a series of stages (rough drafts, concept designs, final designs, planting plans, and working drawings), the land­scape architect turns ideas into graphic plans and models. These enable the client to react to the ideas, and approve them or suggest changes. Later the ideas become detailed explanations to the contractor of how the design is to be installed (Figures 17-3, 17-4, 17-5, and 17-6).

Landscape architects seldom actually install the landscape but usu­ally supervise those who do. The landscape architect is the client’s rep­resentative from beginning to end, and normally has the right of final approval when the installation is complete.

Landscape architect and landscape designer are terms that are often used interchangeably. In most states they are licensed professions and can be practiced only by those holding state certification. In other states, landscape architects may require certification while landscape designers do not. In a few other states, neither term is restricted by such rules. The general trend across the country is to license landscape archi­tects and designers. Entry into this area of landscaping usually requires extensive schooling and work experience.

figure 17-1. A landscape architect completing work on a presentation plan (Delmar/Cengage Learning)

figure 17-2. The landscape architect uses surveying skills to study and record the topography of a site. (Courtesy NRCS. Photo by Colleen Schneider)

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figure 17-3. A concept drawing for the entry road to a college campus (Delmar/Cengage Learning)

figure 17-4. A complete presentation drawing (Courtesy of Light-Heigel & Associates, Palmyra, PA)

figure 17-5. A perspective view can be time­consuming to prepare if done in this detail, but provides a client with the best understanding of what the designer is proposing. (Delmar/Cengage Learning)