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How to Select a Landscape Professional

Post Date:03/19/2019 4:42 PM


If you are lucky enough to own or rent a little piece of land, you have a chance to create your own private paradise that marries nature with individuality. But how do you get started? And what if you need help? How do you find a landscape professional that can help you achieve your landscape dream in the most sustainable way possible?  

 Start with refining your dream. You may already have a sense of what you want, but now it is time to refine it with some knowledge and inspiration. Take a walk in the Tempe Xeriscape Demonstration Garden (FREE!) or take the family out to the Desert Botanical Garden and start getting a sense of which desert-friendly plants give you good, peaceful feelings. Bring along a copy of the Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert so you can learn more about the plants you like the most. If you feel overwhelmed with the selection of plants, start with the trees.

Make a wish list and sketch out your landscape plan. Not sure how to create a plan? Take a free Landscape Class with Tempe Water Conservation to learn from a pro. Review the free guide: Xeriscape: Landscaping With Style in The Arizona Desert: A step-by-step guide for planning, installing and caring for your landscapeOrder a print copy on our Free Brochures page.

Get help from a qualified landscape professional. Once you have a good idea of what you want, it’s time to search for help for any part of the process that you don’t want to DIY. Whether you’re looking for help designing the landscape, installing irrigation, planting trees, or all of it, selecting a highly qualified professional will be worth the cost.alca-arizona-landscsape-contractors-association-logo


At minimum, look for Arizona Certified Landscape Professionals (ACLP). These are professionals who have taken classes and passed exams on various horticultural topics, including irrigation, tree planting and staking, tree and shrub pruning, soils and fertilizer, turf care and installation, and more topics. To become certified, landscapers must pass an exam on ten key topics, and then they must take a renewal exam every two years to recertify. 

Consider other qualifications. Some landscape professionals have earned additional certifications to develop expertise in other areas. Depending on the complexity of your project, you may want to seek a landscaper with the following certifications and education:

As with any other business, always do your homework – make sure to see proof of insurance, proper licenses, and references. 

Enjoy and maintain your investment. Sit back, enjoy, and commune with nature in the comfort of your home. Be sure to give just enough water to your plants, no more and no less. Learn more at

Questions? Call (480) 350-2668 or e-mail


Photo Credit: Linda Enger, Linda Enger Photography
Homeowner/Designer/Architect Credit: Landscape Architect credit: Richard Doria, Doria Architecture

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