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Check out our useful hints and tips articles to help you get the best out of your garden.

Do I need a landscape gardener or a builder?

Garden spade. Photograph by walkersalmanac at Pixabay

Some garden projects are more complex than others and it can be difficult to know who to call when you want to get the work done by a professional.

For example, if you have recently had a large extension built that involved removing internal walls and a chimney stack you might have Googled Plentific structural engineers to find a suitable contractor. After all, a regular builder would not have had the right level of competence. For landscaping work, however, there is a certain degree of crossover between the different trades, so the lines are blurred. If you have a major project planned for your garden, here are some tips to help you decide on whom to call.

What does a landscape gardener do?

A landscape gardener is an expert on all things garden related. They understand everything about the outdoor landscape, from soil types to which plants will thrive in which areas. They design the space and work out how best to maximise what you have. If you have a large garden, this type of service is invaluable, as it ensures you make the most of the space.

A good landscape gardener will work with you from the beginning of the project, designing a garden you are happy with, and carrying out the work to completion. They may do all of the work themselves, or they might work with other contractors, including builders.

What can a builder help you with?

Builders are specialists in their own field. They might not know much about plants and soil types, but they are perfect if you want a new patio or a decking area. They are also pretty useful if you decide to build a garden workshop or construct a wall between different areas of the garden. In some instances, you may even need the advice of a structural engineer - for example, if the garden is constructed over multiple levels and retaining walls are needed to support large amounts of soil.

Find the right contractor

Irrespective of who you contract for the job, it is important that you hire the right person. Personal recommendations are usually the best way forward, as anyone you choose comes with a verification of the quality of their work. If this isn't possible, search online for suitably qualified people or ask at your local garden centre if there is anyone they can recommend. Once you have a few names, ask each person to give you a detailed quote for the work. Compare the quotes and query anything you are not sure about. Once you are happy with the price, hire the person who best meets your requirements.

If your garden design features hard landscaping areas such as a patio or pathway, and you are confident about the planting and other aspects of the design, a builder is the man (or woman) for the job. But if you want a full garden design to include landscape design and planting, it is wise to call upon the services of a landscape gardener who can oversee the project from start to finish.

Photo credit: walkersalmanac at Pixabay

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