Gardener vs landscaper – What’s the difference?


There is alot of confusion when it comes to the job description of a gardener and landscape gardener (or hard landscaper) with many people assuming that they carry the same set of skills. This simply is not the case. But then what exactly are the differences between a gardener and hard landscaper? Which one do you call for your gardening needs? Running a garden maintenance and hard landscaping business, I hope to give a better understanding of the difference between the 2.

What does a gardener do?

A gardener would typically look after the health and well being of your plants as well as provide Garden maintenance services keeping your garden looking clean cut all year round, although 1 off jobs are of course a big part of a gardeners work too. For example, I have gardeners that attend a customer’s garden on a weekly or fortnightly basis to cut the grass and keep on top of any pruning requirements, de-weeding, hedge cutting etc.. As well as one off jobs which could include a cut back of a well overgrown garden, small tree pruning or even additional services such as jet washing. They should be knowledgeable on which plants are weeds, identify pests and diseases, know their plants and trees and carry their own tools and machinery such as spades and lawnmowers.

What jobs does a gardener do?

Although the services offered by gardeners can vary, I’ll show what services we offer when providing garden services which you can see below.

  • Grass cutting
  • Pruning
  • De-weeding
  • Hedge cutting
  • Turning over of flower beds
  • Tree pruning
  • Leaf clearance
  • Planting
  • Turf laying
  • Waste removal
  • Jet washing

What tools does a gardener typically use?

As standard practice, we would always carry the following tools in the van to make sure that we can meet all of our customers requirements.

  • Lawnmower
  • Hedge cutter
  • Pruner
  • Strimmer
  • Brush cutter
  • Leaf blower
  • Ladder
  • Spade
  • Fork
  • Ho
  • Rake
  • Sheers
  • Sucateers
  • Loppers
  • Wheel Barrow
  • Ton bags for waste removal

What does a landscape gardener do?

A landscape gardener would typically offer all of the jobs that a gardener can do, plus lots more. I would describe a hard landscaper as offering building work for everything Garden related, which involves a wide range of skills including carpentry and brick laying etc..

A landscape gardener would sit down to dicuss your needs and make a plan to transform your garden as well as providing one-off tasks such a fence installation and paving. Where gardeners would be providing a service to keep your garden well maintained, a landscape gardener would provide service to better your garden and then move on to the next job.

What jobs does a landscape gardener do?

Although the jobs can vary from landscaper to landscaper, they would usually have the contacts in place for jobs that not all can do, such as brick laying. Although in my experience, the majority of us can do it all. Here are some of the jobs we offer below:

  • Fence erection
  • Gate installation
  • Paving
  • Decking
  • Brick laying
  • Turf laying
  • Artificial turf installation
  • Block paving driveways
  • Shed builds
  • Concrete pathways and foundations
  • Irrigation systems

What tools does a landscape gardener use?

Depending on the job in question, the tools can vary widely. So below I’ll give details on the tools we use most frequently.

  • Tape measure
  • Spirit level
  • Post hole digger
  • Spade
  • Drill set
  • SDS drill set
  • Saw (including electric saws)
  • Cement mixer
  • Trails, floats, mallet, hammer etc
  • 9″ grinder
  • 4.5″ grinder
  • Electric breaker (or kango)
  • Wacker plate

Jobs that both gardeners and landscapers offer

The majority of landscaper will also own garden maintenance tools such as lawnmowers and hedge cutter and can perform simple gardening tasks as well as hard landscaping, but may not be as knowledable when it comes to identifying weeds, pests, diseases and when is best to prune etc.. There are also jobs known as ‘soft landscaping’ which both gardeners and landscapers should be able to offer. These jobs can also include fence and gate repair, the laying of gravel, shingle or slate etc..

Does a landscaper charge more than a gardener?

A landscape gardener typically charges more than a gardener due to needing a wider range of tools and skill set to be able to get jobs done, although alot of jobs are charged on a quote basis compared to an hourly rate when using a gardener providing maintenance. To give you an idea, on the outskirts of North London in the UK, we charge £20 per hour, per head for garden maintenance which works out to a £160 per day target. When providing hard landscaping services, we work to a £25 per hour basis, with a target of £200 per day per person. But then there are alot more costs involved such as the purchase and upkeep of heavy machinery right down to needing a tier 2 waste carriers license compared to a free of charge lower tier waste carriers license that a gardener would typically use.