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The Disconnect with Landscape Architecture

landscape architects don't do thisThe landscape architecture market is not clearly defined. Sometimes it helps to clarify what landscape architects don’t do to help people understand what they actually do. Landscape architects don’t:

• Sell lawn ornaments and wind chimes

• Select street furniture for municipal projects

• Install fountains

• Paint sweeping outdoor panoramas on canvas

• Specify carved wooden bears or park noise-makers

• Add fake trees to the tops of cell phone towers

• Design parterres for wealthy owners of manor houses

• Use colored glass as mulch

• Design outdoor kitchens and potting sheds

• Install plant material

• Design fairy gardens

There is a disconnect between what the public thinks landscape architects do, and what they actually do. Of course, there are a few exceptions to the list, but most landscape architects these days provide stream restoration design services, plan multi-unit residential housing landscapes, provide ideas for park and campus planning, and work with government agencies to establish policies related to plant material. Civil engineers do a lot of the large-scale hardscape work outdoors, and unlicensed landscape designers and landscape contractors install the plants and hang the wind chimes. I blame Hollywood. Every single show that includes a landscape architect as a character does things a landscape architect wouldn’t typically do. The character often holds rolled drawings in their hand, but they pull up to a site in their pickup truck and start planting pansies—roll camera—cue the disconnect.


Landscape Architects Don’t Do This!