FAQs: Find out if I'm the right landscape designer for you

There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to hiring a landscape designer. And for a big commitment like this, you’ll want to be sure you’ve met the right match. So let’s tackle your questions head-on.

I’m doing a build or a reno. When should I call you?

 

It’s never too early to call a landscaper. It could be 1–3 years before your new build is complete. In that time, you could have planned the landscaping — and even begun it, if there’s access to the space. 

 

As soon as you have a plan, you’ll know how your available garden space will shape up. That’s when it’s time to call me, to at least get the plan in motion.

 

Who will I be dealing with during the whole process?

 

Good question!

 

When you work with me, you get me (Rob). I’m a qualified landscape designer who is also a qualified horticulturist and I very deliberately choose not to dilute the value of my service by employing others who may not have the same love or skill that I have.

How do we get started — what’s the process?

 

We’ll begin with a phone call, where we can discover if we’re the right fit for one another.

 

The project typically begins with an onsite consultation, where I’ll meet you at your home to walk through the garden or outdoor space. 

 

This is where I’ll feel the zone and check the soil. I’ll look at the surroundings to ensure the design is cohesive with the landscape and your unique microclimate. I can answer any questions you might have.

 

If you’re ready to take the project from concept to realisation, I’ll draw your design and manage any trades required. I’ll personally work on the plant selection and planting to soften and enhance hard elements.

 

I also make sure that I leave you confident about how to look after your new dream garden — or I will personally maintain it for you.

Hard and soft landscaping - what is the difference?

 

Hard landscaping means all fixed surfaces that use non-living components (concrete, timber, stone, brick, etc). That could include paving, retaining walls, or decking. 

 

Soft landscaping incorporates the living components of a garden, such as ground cover, hedging, planting, and more. It also includes soil conditions and pH, irrigation, and accounting for the microclimate for the plants. 

 

Because of this highly technical knowledge, soft landscaping is best left to a horticulturist with extensive plant knowledge so you can get the right plant combinations to work in your space.

What’s a horticulturist — and why do I need one?

 

I’m a qualified landscape designer as well as a qualified horticulturist. In my mind, these two qualifications are essential in garden design. 

 

A horticulturist has in-depth knowledge about gardening and can recommend the right plants for your garden based on your property’s unique characteristics, such as:

  • Soil and root compatibility

  • Sun exposure

  • Irrigation

  • Local pests

  • Existing plants and infrastructure

  • Spacing of plants

 

By combining horticulture with landscape design, you can create a low-maintenance garden with soft landscaping elements that will thrive in their surroundings.

What is the difference between a landscaper and a landscape designer?

 

A landscaper is an expert of the non-living components of a garden and is usually skilled at paving and building decks, pergolas, barbecues and retaining walls. 

They’re highly skilled but they don’t have the technical knowledge required to select the right planting choices for your specific garden. 

 

A landscape designer conceptualises everything within a garden design.

They created detailed plans or concepts for outdoor spaces that may include:

  • Reshaping the ground itself

  • Water features

  • Borders

  • Mulches

  • Rock elements

  • Plants (though they don’t need detailed knowledge of gardening)

 

Though I might be biased, your best bet is to find a qualified landscape designer who is also a qualified horticulturist, with expertise in soil, microclimates, irrigation, and plants. 

Are your rates negotiable?

 

Every component of my garden designs are carefully considered according to the exact needs of your dream garden. 

 

That means I always use high quality materials. We can make small adjustments, such as the size of the plants when planting or the size of your garden pots. 

 

But to cut corners in other aspects of your garden would mean you end up with a garden that’s neither low-maintenance nor sustainable. 

 

What you put into preparing your garden now forms the foundation of future growth — and any quality investment now will likely save you money, time, and a big headache in the long run. 

I’ve got problems with my plants. Can you help?

 

While I can provide guidance during my onsite consultation, I’m not your man if you’re just looking for some gardening advice. 

 

My philosophy is about creating sustainable, low-maintenance gardens that work for you, not offering you a band-aid fix that’s only going to cause more headaches down the track

 

If your plants aren’t working for you — if they’re causing ongoing issues that require endless care and maintenance — there’s probably a deeper root cause (sometimes literally!) at fault.

I’m ready — how do I start the process?

 

The best place to start is by booking an onsite landscape design consultation so I can get a lay of the land and give you some recommendations and advice.

 

From there, you can follow up on my recommendations yourself or you can book me in to carry out the work.