While your landscape architect can provide you with a great design, it’s the landscaper that makes it a reality.  Today’s guest post from Jayde Ferguson and Beacon Equipment is worth a read if you are considering getting into this rewarding industry.

Of course nothing replaces the correct training and experience, however here are a few points to think about!

5 Essential Tips for the First Time Landscaper

You know a landscaping job is right for you when your favourite memories consist of freshly cut lawn, creative outdoor designs and new Bunnings tools you just can’t get enough of. The fresh air, innovative freedom and striking focal points are in your blood – and now you’re ready to take it all on full time.

But it’s not all roses and lushness, getting into the landscaping industry can be challenging and time consuming too. And whilst the rewards can definitely be worth it, there’s an art to landscaping professionally that needs to be mastered. With the right tools, creative outlook, bulk-muscle and an open mind, the landscaping trade can be a great one. Here’s a few essential tips you’ll need to consider to get you started.

1. Make Sure You Have the Right Tools

As a professional landscaper, you’ll be making use of your tools a good 40 hours a week – so it pays to invest in ones that’ll last the distance.  Whether it be manicuring lawns, decking out spaces, shovelling dirt or installing landscape designs professionally, the right tools will make a hell of a difference to your productiveness.

But the world of landscaping tools is a huge one and it won’t be long before your garage or shed is overflowing. Sure, the basics are a given – rakes, spades, shovels, a wheelbarrow, mower and a chainsaw – but landscaping tools go above and beyond this very quickly. Look for landscaping tools that can perform multiple jobs to save you time (and money!) and opt for function and practicality over looks. Tools that are lightweight and easy to use will definitely help you do your job better and heavy duty tools will last for full time work rather than falling apart after a few months.

2. Get Those Creative Juices Flowing

Landscaping isn’t just about a good cardiovascular workout, being outdoors and using great tools – it involves a lot of creating thinking too. One of the most important steps to being a good landscaper is the ability to think outside the box and create something spectacular, so get those creative juices flowing!

GLA Family Garden - View through garden to Sun Room

Finding what motivates you, making plans and choosing the right themes are all essential steps in the industry. You’ll need to map out where each design element will go and consider a theme based landscape to push you in the right direction. Invest time too into learning new gardening and landscaping techniques. Even if you’ve already been working in the industry for a while, there’s always inspiration and new things to learn so be open to different ideas. You can source a lot of inspiration from creative sites like Houzz and definitely pick up a lot of great tricks along the way to help inspire you and get you thinking outside the box.

3. Know Who Your Customers Are

Like with any industry, it’s vital you know who’s driving it before you can expect to get their business. The landscaping trade is more than just garden maintenance and design – it’s an industry where workers are responsible for a huge range of construction activities.  Whilst green spaces are definitely a big part of it, these days the role of a landscaper is made up of about 60% construction and 40% horticulture.

So what customers are driving the landscaping industry then? Affluent homeowners that recognise the importance of stunning outdoor spaces and manicured gardens but don’t have the time to get it done themselves make up a big part of the clients you’ll be targeting. As well as residential and commercial builders who require the expertise of the landscaping industry and homeowners that don’t have the creative vision or skill to tackle the job themselves.

On the flip side, you’ll also find customers that just require the basics of lawn maintenance. These people tend to be real estate agents requiring your services for their tenants, homeowners that are frequently out of town and need help with their gardens, elderly people or facility managers for community gardens and other public places.

4. Put Together a Portfolio

Because landscaping is such a visual industry, it definitely pays to show off your work through a portfolio of images. Whether you put together an online collection to direct potential customers too or keep some visual of higher profiled jobs you’ve worked on, it’ll certainly help bring in more work.

Not only will a portfolio act as a great inspiration guide for homeowners that aren’t quite sure what they want yet, but it will give you a chance to show off what you can do. In today’s digital age creating a portfolio online is the best way to go but whichever you choose, make sure it tells a story and don’t forget – first impressions count! This article provides a few great tips for creating a landscaping portfolio.

5. Create Space

Almost anyone with a little gardening experience and creativity can make an outdoor space look great – especially when you’ve got a lot of room to work with. The real challenge comes though, when you need to make a small space look bigger. Small spaces can create the biggest impact when it comes to landscaping so for a professionally transformed paradise, make sure you can add detailed interest to intimate spaces.

Outdoor lighting, creative flow via walkways, focal points and colour are all great ways to give a small space a grand feel. By getting these harder outdoor rooms down pact, you’ll be able to distinguish yourself from a good landscaper to one that is great.

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Beacon Equipment – a Perth based company with quality garden equipment and landscaping tools to get your landscaping career started.

Photo Credits:

http://www.houzz.com/au/photos/13291940/piper-residence-contemporary-landscape-perth
http://www.houzz.com/au/photos/2502444/urban-courtyards-contemporary-patio-other-metro
http://www.houzz.com/au/photos/13291776/drury-residence-contemporary-landscape-perth