Home' Outdoors : WAs Best Outdoors and Gardens 2009 Contents WA's Best Outdoors & Gardens 2010 61
in the ZOO
Beware the title "landscaper". e difference
between landscape architects, landscape
designers and gardeners might not sound
like much; but one requires six years of painstaking
study and experience, and others have years of
valuable experience and contacts under their belt,
but the rest? ey could be you or me.
In Western Australia, just about anyone with
a wheelbarrow and shovel can call themselves
a landscaper -- no registration, experience or
While we know a university degree or a TAFE
certificate is not the be all and end all as far as
competence in the garden goes, it's certainly
worth doing a bit of digging to see if your
prospective landscape professional has got the
goods for your job.
As for DIY? Well, you know what they say: if
something seems too good to be true, it probably
is. e rippling muscles of Jamie Durie might
convince you otherwise, but DIY is never as simple
as it looks on TV after a glass of red. Launching
into the world of do it yourself is tricky, fraught
with potential danger, expensive mistakes and the
prospect of no weekends, ever.
Landscape professionals play an important,
money-saving and experience-imparting role in the
construction of your garden, which, after all, is an
integral part of the investment that is your home.
Further to that, landscape professionals can
protect an even more vital investment -- your
relationship. Even if you've got a bit of an artistic
eye and do a few sketches, or are adept at explaining
yourself away, it's highly unlikely your partner will
visualise the same stunning changes as you.
Stewart Winsor of Winsor Landscaping explains:
"A landscaper will take the clients' ideas together
with what they have in mind, and combine as much
of it as possible to reach the desired finished product."
Even if you have a fabulous concept in mind and
don't see the sense in paying someone to design
it for you, a landscape professional will be able to
assess your space and the feasibility, including
long-term maintenance, of your requests. A good
landscape designer will have a broad knowledge of
local soils, plant selection and hard landscaping.
A landscape architect has to complete a four-
year university degree, with a further two years
of supervised training and the completion of a
national registration assessment. Greg Grabasch
of UDLA is a registered landscape architect, and
the president of the WA branch of the Australian
Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA).
"A registered landscape architect has the skills
to combine art and design with science," he says.
"Landscape architects are trained to consider
physical, social, economic and cultural factors
to generate creative solutions for our urban and
ey are qualified to do projects that range from
big public works to small gardens.
On the other hand, landscape designers will
vary in their qualifications; some will have done
a tertiary course, some will have gained the bulk
So: landscape architect, landscape designer or gardener? When making a decision about who to trust to
transform your sandpit into the ideal outdoor living space it can be more than a touch confusing working out
who does what exactly, and why should you even pay someone when handsome TV hosts make DIY gardens
seem trouble-free? But don't sink the spade in yourself just yet -- Rachael Ciccarelli finds out why professionals
are the true shortcut to the garden of your dreams.
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