Some landscapers, also known as landscape designers or landscape architects, design outdoor areas for homes, businesses, parks and other public areas. Taking into account the size and layout of the area, natural features that are already present, the climate and available resources and the tastes and desires of the client, a landscape architect creates outdoor areas that are beautiful, functional or both. A landscape architect or designer chooses plants and trees, hardscape features such as walkways or retaining walls and other features, like fountains, ponds, benches or arbors and draws up plans for clients. Once plans are approved, a landscaper arranges for the acquisition of materials and the installation, either through his own team or subcontractors.
Once the outdoor area is designed, a landscaper is often retained to install and maintain the finished product. Landscapers are retained to do complete yard care, maintaining every aspect of the lawn and garden, or sometimes they are hired for a specific task, such as regular lawn mowing and maintenance. A landscaper hired for lawn maintenance, for example, mows the lawn on a regular basis, applies fertilizer or weed treatments and rakes leaves and aerates the lawn in the fall. Often landscaping companies work on contract with customers to handle yard maintenance on a weekly basis, or include the maintenance in the cost of the landscape design and installation. In colder climates, many landscapers offer plowing and snow removal services during the winter months, in addition to preparing trees and plants for the cold weather.
Pest control is another common task of landscape companies. Some landscapers are trained in the application of pesticides and herbicides, and work with customers to eradicate insects, weeds and other unsightly problems in their yards. With the growing emphasis on environmentally-friendly landscaping, some landscapers specialize in natural or eco-safe methods of dealing with weeds and pests.
Nurseries and Garden Centers
Some landscapers work with plant nurseries or garden centers, growing and caring for plants, shrubs, bushes and trees and advising customers on the best choices for their yards. In some case, the landscape company owns the nursery as a side business, and offers their services for planting, installation and maintenance in addition to selling plants. A landscaper employed by a garden center helps customers choose the vegetation for their property, but also offers advice for caring for the plants and designing attractive displays. Landscapers may also offer outdoor home decorating services, such as creating fall decor displays or hanging holiday lights.