Here's what you need to know before you hire this outdoor professional.

By Lauren Wellbank
July 06, 2020
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Jacky Parker Photography / Getty Images

Landscapers can handle a variety of garden needs: They will do everything from regular yard maintenance to planning and carrying out large-scale projects. But here's the thing: Not all landscapers were created equal. So, how do you choose the right one for your specific backyard? We spoke with David Morello, a garden architect and the founder of David Morello Garden Enterprises, and Coulter Lewis, the co-founder and CEO of Sunday, to find out what you need to know before you hire your next landscaper.

Related: These Beautiful Landscaping Ideas Will Enhance Your Backyard Retreat

Do Your Research

Everything you need to know about a landscaper might be just a few clicks away. And that's exactly where you should begin your landscaper search, says Morello: Start by looking up and prospective landscapers online. There are local websites you can check for reviews (like Yelp) and neighborhood pages where you can seek out recommendations.

Talk It Through

Before you land on a landscaper though, Morello suggests asking them a few questions. Ask how long they have been in business; what services they provide; if they have a portfolio of completed projects you could see (or social media pages you could peruse); if you could speak with a current client; how they normally handle any problems that arise; and lastly, who you will be dealing with after you've hired them (the head of creative or the principal of the firm is the best answer, notes Morello).

Get Comfortable

Because you will spend plenty of time together discussing your dream garden, the most important step in selecting a landscaper is finding someone with whom you feel supremely comfortable. "A good working rapport is priceless," Morello says. "Find someone both artistic and creative." He suggests you keep looking until you find someone who listens well and spends time asking questions. "Be wary of people who tell you what you do," he adds.

Hire Them for Continuous Projects

Many professional firms offer one-stop services, which means that they will design, build, and provide the care for your new garden. They will understand your space and its needs because they are the ones who designed it. "When the planting ends, who better to care for your garden than they who designed and built it?" Morello says. If your landscaper offers continued garden care, and that is something you're looking for, you should consider keeping them on after your design project has been completed. "In the right hands, your garden will always be photo ready," he adds.

Handle It Yourself

Of course, sometimes, the right landscaper for the job may be you, so don't assume you need to hire a professional for every project. "It's not as challenging as you think and, with the right guidance, it can be an extremely rewarding experience," Lewis says. "Plus, it's a great way to get outside and connect with nature."

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