Landscape garden designers use their creativity to enhance the gardens of residential homes and those of places open to the general public.
Many garden designers enter into landscape garden design jobs following working as a gardener. They may possess garden design qualifications, such as BTEC Higher National Certificates in Horticulture (Garden Design) or BA (Hons) degrees in Garden Design. Some employers seek landscape garden designers who are members of the Society of Garden Designers. Membership is open to garden designers possessing at least two years' relevant practical experience.
Landscape garden designers should have a sound understanding of horticulture and excellent design and gardening skills. They must be creative, physically fit, organised and able to work to budgets and deadlines. Garden designers who are required to work with gardening staff should possess supervisory skills.
The majority of landscape garden designers are self-employed and run their own businesses. However, jobs are also available in large garden centres and landscaping companies. Garden designers often work evenings and weekends. Much of their time is spent visiting clients and garden centres, rendering a driving licence a necessity.
Employment openings for garden designers are increasing as more people become interested in enhancing the appearance of gardens. Jobs tend to be advertised in gardening magazines and newspapers. Advertisements may occasionally be published through recruitment agencies.
The starting salary for landscape garden designers may be around £15,000 per year. Many garden designers are self-employed and charge either an hourly rate or request a set price for a specific project.