A beautiful lawn or public space doesn’t just happen.

The best ones are designed to show off their best features, aesthetics and plantings, most often by a landscape architect.

What is Landscape Architecture?

Landscape architecture is the design, plan, management and nurturing of built and natural environments.

Professional landscape architects analyze the existing landscape, looking at things like slope, soil conditions, weather, climate and use. Then they create a design based on the best use of the space. Some landscape architecture is created and built; other types maintain the natural environment while enhancing aesthetics and usage qualities.

Landscape Architecture Definition:

“The design of outdoor areas, landmarks and structures to achieve environmental, social-behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes.

[Involves] landscape design, site planning, stormwater management, environmental restoration, parks and recreation planning, visual resource management, green infrastructure planning and provision, and private estate and residential master planning and design

[Can incorporate] botany, horticulture, the fine arts, architecture, industrial design, soil sciences, environmental psychology, geography, ecology and civil engineering.”

Types of Landscape Architecture

According to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA),

“Landscape architects have a significant impact on communities and quality of life. They design parks, campuses, streetscapes, trails, plazas and other projects that help define a community.”

Residential design is the largest market sector, with most of that work consisting of single-family homes, along with multi-family and retirement communities.

Read more from the Landscape Architects Association about the types of projects that fall into the category of landscape architecture.

Latest Trends in Landscape Architecture

Some of the trends being incorporated by landscape architects include:

  • Restoring and protecting endangered wetlands
  • Securing government building
  • Removing toxins

Examples of these latest trends, as provided by the ASLA, include:

Healing Gardens

Used to reduce stress, boost the immune system, encourage physical activity and reduce time spent in hospitals


These use natural systems of plants, fungi or soil microbes to transform formerly polluted industrial sites to a safe public green space

Green Roofs

Can reduce air temperature by 59 degrees in the summer (to 50% cost savings) and save on heating costs (to 8% cost savings). They can also clean and store rainwater and provided habitat to pollinating insects and birds.

Landscape architecture can transform an area, and has been doing so for centuries.

Think back to the grand royal gardens of France and England. In the United States, famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, often called “the father of American landscape architecture,” designed renowned projects including New York City’s Central Park, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, and the landscape surrounding the U.S. Capitol building.

What is Landscape Architecture for Me?

As a Virginia-based landscape architecture firm, J Duggan & Associates provides landscape architecture, site and community planning, and residential and aquatic design for residential, commercial and federal clients.

J Duggan & Associates gets to know each client personally to discover their needs and wants, and incorporates those into design/build plans that both solve a need and create an inviting environment. For more information, please review our list of services.

Collaboration is the key to our success. And to us, success is your satisfaction.

If you would like to discuss a landscape architecture project, please give J Duggan & Associates a call today.


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