The Difference Between a Landscaper and a Gardener

This is a very common question, and it’s one that both landscapers and gardeners hear on the daily. When it comes down to choosing someone to do work on your house, though, it is important that you know the difference between the two – because there are considerable characteristics which set them apart.

What is a landscaper?

To begin with, let’s discuss what exactly a landscaper is.

There are two different kinds of landscapers that you can choose from. First, there’s a landscape architect. This kind of landscaper will design your landscape. Next, there’s a landscape builder, which is what we usually think of when we talk about landscapers because these are the people who actually build your landscape.

A landscape architect can be a landscape builder, or the architect can have several builders working for him or her. Usually, the architect will be the one who oversees the project. If there’s any additional work that needs to be done; for example, if you need to have some rocks excavated or walls built, then the landscape architect will call in a team to do it for you.

Depending on the work you’re having done, you might need to have a landscaping licence. The cost of these licences will change based on where you live. In some places, it won’t be more than a few hundred dollars, but in others it can cost as much as 3 thousand.

What is a gardener?

A gardener is much different than an architect, and the main difference is how much work that they are allowed or qualified to carry out. A gardener is more likely to maintain your landscape after a landscaper works on the space.

A gardener’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, mowing the lawn, maintaining your plants, weed your garden, etc. They won’t be the ones installing fountains and excavating rocks.

When you hire a gardener, you should also find out if he or she has a trade license, which would be an added plus.

Which one is for you?

Whether you choose a gardener or a landscaper depends on what work you need to have done to your property.

If, for example, you have a gazebo or patio area installed in your backyard, then you’ll need to call in a team of professionals, followed by a gardener to tidy up the area that’s been disturbed. The gardener will be able to install plants, manage the lawn, etc.,

If you were to install that same gazebo, but you want to have a large retaining wall installed as well, then you’re better off calling a landscaping architect, who will be able design your backyard and to call any experts you might need.

With any gardener you hire, you should tell them your estimated budget so that they can tell you how much work they can do in return. With a landscaper, you’re better off telling them what you need to have done and he or she will tell you how much it’ll cost.


At the end of the day, you know what you want your backyard to look like. Still, you might not know who to turn to so that you get the look you want. You’re most likely debating between hiring a gardener or an architect, and you might also be wondering which one does what.

In short, a landscaper does more of the dirty work. He or she will make changes to your landscape, and will design your backyard to create the space you want.

A gardener deals with more of the aesthetics. He or she will install plants and make sure that all of the work a landscaper does stays clean and beautiful.

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