Miss R. is Angry

Do people refer to their interior designers as their cleaning services or maids? No. Do people refer to fashion designers as seamstresses? No, again.

Then why do people insist on calling a landscape designer, a landscaper? Not just in conversation, but also in print and on the web. I am not the one who mows your lawn, or blows your leaves, or mulches your garden beds. I am not a landscaper.

I design thoughtful outdoor spaces that compel you to spend more time outside and enrich your lives. I design gardens that delight your senses and bring you joy. I design. I don’t mow, blow or mulch. I am not a landscaper, I am a landscape designer.

13 thoughts on “Miss R. is Angry

  1. Relax, calm down. Count backwards from ten. Have a drink. I’m sure it’s done from ignorance, rather than malice.

    Charge them more. That’ll make you feel better.

  2. People undervalue garden/landscape designers. Landscapers will claim they can do design work, so the public thinks they are getting a good deal. (Some landscapers probably do have a good eye for design, most do not.) Personally I get frustrated because the mow and blow landscapers frequently butcher plants. It would be nice if more people valued skill.

  3. I hear you. What you describe aren’t landscapers either, but rather mow, blow, and go guys. The word landscaper devalues a Landscape designer and elevates the guys mowing the lawn.

  4. Oh – I hear you…my head nearly popped off when I was recently quizzed about why I don’t drive a snow plow this time of year…that is what landscapers do in the winter in New England…

  5. I don’t know if I’ve ever spoken incorrectly, but when I hear the word “landscaper,” I think of the person who designs a space with plants, trees, hardscape, etc. So now I have been educated as to the proper term for such persons.

    When I think of the people who do the actual planting, mowing, cleaning up, etc., I call them the gardener/groundskeeper/lawn service. Maybe it’s a regional thing?

    I understand what you’re saying though. It’s kind of like when someone calls me a dental assistant or dental technician. I am a dental hygienist and what I do requires that I take a board exam. In fact, I am required to take two of them: a national board and a state or regional board. I then am licensed if I do well on both of them. Dental assistants are not required to even have a degree for what they do. That isn’t to take away from their work – I feel they are grossly underpaid for what they do and they are a very valuable member of the dental team, but they do not have the training, skill, or credentials to perform the duties of a dental hygienist.

    Thank you for setting me straight, Susan!

  6. OK, time for a landscaper to weigh in. Prepare for the worst.

    You’re right. 🙂

    As a landscaper, I make no bones about the fact that the meat of my work is often courtesy of people such as yourself who design and quite often then oversee projects in close union with our guys. And that’s a good thing!

    Having said that, a good landscaper will need his own designing chops or face little business at all. The number of folks who want a landscape but who either won’t spend or are simply too dense to ask for a designer are pretty legion. While I don;t believe for a second my designs would surpass those of a great designer, landscapers had better know something about design or face penury, fast. We deal at times with some pretty small budgets.

    Besides, what you’re arguing is a label. Like Jim said, charge more, lol, and have a glass. You can vent on me – call me a horse! Go ahead!

  7. Thanks for your comments Steve. I appreciate that there are people out there reading and enjoying Miss R.

  8. In this economy you can call me the outside maid for all I care.
    Just keep those in the industry employed.


  9. Michelle–

    I agree that these are tough times for many in the business and it is really, when all is said and done, unimportant.

    I was particularly upset that day because along with other landscape designers and landscape architects, we were listed in a showhouse journal as ‘landscapers’ while the interior designers were referred to as ‘designers’. I wrote them directly also and received a chilly response. Oh well, at least I said something.

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