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  • Writer's pictureJefferson Landscape

The Difference Between a Gardener and a Landscape Contractor

"What's the difference between a gardener and a landscaper?" We get calls at least once a week where we get this question. We're happy to explain the answer. The more people who know, the better for the client, gardeners and landscapers alike.

Gardening Inquiries – What Gardeners Do

Someone will call looking to have their lawn mowed regularly, looking for maintenance; have a small area less than 10’ X 10’ they want “landscaped”; have a 2’ X 5’ area in front of their doorway they want weed blocked with bark; weeds pulled; hedges trimmed; plants installed they bought themselves; someone to do a spring clean-up; have a handful of plants they want replaced—sometimes they just want someone to come by and tell them which plants to choose; add mulch, rototill, or thatch their lawn...the list goes on. These are tasks for a gardener, not a landscape contractor.

We’ve had calls where someone wanted us to come by and tell them which plant to choose for a pot they had on their porch! That's not a job for a gardener, let alone a landscape contractor. That's really a question for someone who works at a nursery if someone is having trouble making their mind up.

Any number of these items that don’t require a particular skill and are primarily common-sense tasks that simply require (sometimes hard) labor, such as putting weed block and rock down on the side of the house, installing plants in an existing landscape, removing a stump, repairing a sprinkler system, or any small project where the client intuitively knows the project value is less than $5000, really belongs to a gardener. Sometimes, depending on the handyman, or if it’s through a referral, a handyman can be employed to do some of these tasks as well.

We know of Emilio’s Landscape and Gardening 510-303-6493.

Jefferson Landscape and Design, design and install new landscapes for small yards, but that's when the client is tearing everything out and starting from scratch, which is not what we're discussing here. In fact, there’s quite a bit you can do with small spaces. See our blog, Landscaping small spaces.

Landscape Contractors

Landscape contractors generally have a minimum of five years of experience installing new landscapes (5 years is the required experience before you can take the state exam) and carry a C-27 license issued by California’s Contractor’s State License Board. Landscape contractors are second only to general contractors in terms of the services we are licensed to offer as opposed to electricians, for example, who are specifically licensed for electrical work, or concrete contractors, limited to the concrete portion of the landscape. Landscape contractors do concrete, carpentry, outdoor lighting, water features, masonry, irrigation, plantings, grading, drainage, design and much more. However, not all landscape contractors take advantage of their license abilities and limit their tasks, so always be sure to ask what they do.

Jefferson Landscape and Design handles everything From Design to Finish: stamped concrete, ponds and waterfalls, sprinkler systems, fire pits, outdoor lighting, lawns, arbors, masonry, artificial grass, moss rock walls, flagstone, basically anything outside. The only things we don’t do are pavers, built-in BBQs and decks. We do everything else, just not these items. Other companies specialize in these installations where that's all they do.

For a free consultation visit our Contact Page or Call us at 510-861-0944.

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