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The 27 Most Iconic Landscape Designs on the Planet

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Employ these winter landscaping services this off-season to stay productive and profitable while preparing for spring. We’ll give you the inside scoop on what other landscapers do in the winter months.

Even the most successful landscaping business owners need inspiration now and again! Where better to turn than Central Park, Kew Gardens or the Gardens of Versailles? These are among the best landscape architecture designs on the planet and for good reason—completely unique in design and style, each one is a testament to the creativity and innovation of its landscape designer and architect.

Join us as we explore 27 of the most famous and best landscape architecture projects and learn valuable lessons to apply to your own lawn care business.

Central Park: The Birthplace of Landscape Architecture

Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux: Pioneers of Landscape Architecture

The very same brilliant minds that designed New York’s 843-acre Central Park came up with the term “landscape architecture” itself. In fact, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, co-designers of Central Park, are credited with founding the profession in the United States.

A Green Sanctuary Amidst the Bustling City

A sprawling green sanctuary in bustling Manhattan, Central Park combines the elements of pastoral, picturesque and formal landscape design envisioned by Olmsted and Vaux. Shaded walks give way to sprawling lawns, public gathering spaces, and peaceful waters. According to the Central Park Conservancy, Olmsted designed the picturesque landscapes to create a degree of obscurity not absolutely impenetrable, but sufficient to affect the imagination with a sense of mystery.

Contemporary Landscape Designers at Work in Central Park

Today, you can see examples of contemporary landscape designers in Central Park on display as they work to restore and preserve this historic outdoor space.

Lesson for Today’s Landscaper: When it comes to design/build the best landscape architecture projects for urban clients, focus on creating a sense of escape.

The Gardens of Versailles: The Epitome of French Landscape Design

André Le Nôtre: The Mastermind Behind the Gardens

A keen eye to art and the best landscape architecture in outdoor spaces came naturally to designer André Le Nôtre. The son and grandson of gardeners of the French court, he eventually became gardener to the king’s brother and other French lords himself.

A Royal Garden with a Rich History

His early landscape architecture works soon caught the eye of King Louis XIV, who chose this seventeenth-century landscaping entrepreneur to design the king’s garden.

Restoring the Gardens to Their Original Glory

Le Nôtre is best known for his spectacular landscape architecture at Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles. Recent restoration efforts combined ancient and contemporary landscaping methods to return the Gardens of Versailles to their original appearance.

Lesson for Today’s Landscaper: Study the history of the property or its location to infuse tradition into modern design.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens: A Blend of Architectural Styles

John Deering’s Vision for Vizcaya Villa

Formerly known as Vizcaya Villa, this property on Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida, was the estate of American businessman James Deering. Sprawling gardens, natural woodlands, and a historic village combine elements of Italian Renaissance, Mediterranean Revival, and Baroque landscape and building architecture.

Diego Suarez: The Landscape Designer Behind the Gardens

Landscaper Diego Suarez worked alongside artistic director Paul Chalfin to bring Deering’s vision for the original 180 acres to life. Completed in 1922, the formal gardens are situated between a native mangrove shore and forest. Geometric plantings, sculptures, and architectural structures beg visitors to explore.

Preservation and Restoration Efforts

Now just 50 acres, the property suffered hurricane damage in 1926, 1995, and 2005. Funders including Miami-Dade County, FEMA, Save American’s Treasures and others have committed substantial sums for restoration and preserving the landscaping and buildings for the enjoyment of all. You can visit Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami or learn more about this iconic landscaping project online.

Lesson for Today’s Landscaper: Consider collaborating with a local historian or interior designer to bring a vision to life. Look at examples of landscape design for inspiration.

Kew Gardens: A Botanical Wonderland for Landscape Contractors

The Evolution of Kew Gardens

In the 16th century, the land on which the sprawling botanic collection we now know as Kew Gardens was simply Kew Field, a tract of farmland surrounded by private and royal estates. Scottish-Swedish architect William Chambers built the first landscaping structures on the park formed by Henry, Lord Capell of Tewkesbury, in what is now southwest London. Kew Gardens was enlarged and extended by Augusta, Dowager Princess of Wales, then enriched by George III.

In 1840, the gardens became a national botanic garden and soon were increased in size. Today Kew Gardens is the “largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world” and is home to approximately 95% of vascular plant genera and 60% of fungal genera. The property boasts a seed collection that would keep even the most experienced landscape contractors busy for weeks; its Millennium Seed Collection represents the greatest concentration of living seed-plant diversity on Earth.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site with an Impressive Collection

Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Kew Gardens is an inspiration to landscaping startups, botanists, and the general public. If you can’t make it to the site 30 minutes outside of Central London in person, be sure to explore the stunning landscape architecture of Kew Gardens online.

Continuous Learning and Professional Development

Lesson for Today’s Landscaper: To cultivate talent and become the best at your trade, allocate time every month to research and professional development. Make sure to study different examples of landscape design.

Epcot: A Landscape Design ‘Living Classroom’

Walt Disney’s Vision for EPCOT

One of Walt Disney’s personal projects, EPCOT is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Although the project didn’t come together quite as he had planned, Disney would surely be proud of the landscaping legacy he left in Epcot.

Gardens of the World: A Horticulture Experience

Today, you can explore the stories of Epcot’s historic gardens in “Gardens of the World,” an experience guided by Disney’s horticulture experts. In the “living classroom” that is Epcot, you’ll learn how the best landscape architecture professionals at Disney tell elaborate stories through garden beds, shrubs, topiaries, and hedges.

Epcot as an Educational Destination for Landscape Designers

Disney promises that Epcot is the place to ignite your imagination, and this is as true for local landscapers and landscape designers as it is for starry-eyed children.

Lesson for Today’s Landscaper: Make Epcot a destination for the best landscape architecture education, inspiration, and innovation, whether you make the trek to Florida or simply visit online.

22 More Inspirational Landscape Designs

Check out these international examples of landscape design and best landscape architecture designs to get inspired for your next project:

Elevate Your Lawn Care Business with Inspiration from the Best Landscape Architecture

Looking to improve operations and grow your landscaping business? Let these famous landscape architecture projects inspire you to improve productivity, better serve customers, and build your business.

Questions? We have Answers.

Who is the most famous landscape architect?

Best known for designing Central park, many consider Frank Law Olmstead the father of American landscape architecture. Other well known landscape architects include Roberto Burle Marx, Dan Kiley and Lawrence Halprin.

What is the difference between a landscape architect and a landscape designer?

Landscape architects are licensed and have a degree in landscape architecture. Their focus includes both aesthetics and designing a space that is functional and sustainable.

Landscape designers aren’t required to have a formal license, and they usually focus on only the aesthetics of outdoor spaces. Their work is limited to design.

Where is the highest demand for landscape architects?

According to Zippia, New York is the best state for a landscape architect followed by North Dakota and Idaho.

Do landscape architects make a lot of money?

Landscape architect salaries vary based on experience and education. Ranges typically range from $81,100 to $112,000.

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