How much does a garden designer cost?

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Price per hour

$50 - $75







Low, median and high bar chart distribuiton

The most beautiful gardens enhance kerb appeal and improve the mind. They also require meticulous planning, thoughtful design, and excellent execution to bring out their real beauty and worth. You need a garden designer to help you with that. 

A garden designer costs $62.50 per hour, but actual garden design prices depend on the many factors that impact them. This guide will enumerate these variables to help you budget accordingly.

Differentiating garden designers and landscape architects

Before we dive into why gardening design estimates vary, let’s discuss garden designers and landscape architects. Are they the same? These two terms are confusing because they both deal with outdoor spaces and plants. Sometimes they share the same goal, but their differences are significant:

  • Landscape architects usually work on bigger projects. They’re the ones often hired for commercial or industrial jobs. Meanwhile, garden designers plan residential spaces like backyards or take on transactional projects. 
  • Garden designers don’t need to pass a certification exam. However, in Australia, they might have to secure a business or project licence, depending on the state or territory.
  • Also known as backyard design, garden design focuses on installing, improving, and maintaining horticultural land only. Landscape architecture has a broader scope, focusing on how their work fits the overall surroundings.
  • Garden designers aren’t landscapers, who do the actual physical work. But many designers work alongside or create a team to turn their vision into reality.

Overall, both landscaping architects and garden designers perform phenomenal jobs in adding more life to a barren, dull outdoor space. But if you’re a homeowner, you’re most likely looking for a garden designer. 

Garden design price list 

Here’s an overview of the cost of garden design and landscaping based on landscape features: 

Landscape feature


Retaining walls

$450–$700 per square metre

Swimming pool

$25,000 per installation


$200–$1,000 per square metre


$40–$90 per square metre

Irrigation system

$1,000–$10,000 per installation


$50–$55 per square metre

Water fountain

$50–$1,500 per design

Factors affecting the cost of garden design

a colourful garden design

Landscape styles and features

How much do garden designers charge in Australia? The answer lies in your preferred landscape style and the amenities you wish to see. For example, a low-cost minimalist garden design could cost around $850 per project, making it one of the most affordable. This is because it compels you to stick to the basics:

  • You use fewer materials for garden planting.
  • The project often doesn’t require designers with extensive working experience. 
  • Completing the work takes only a few hours or days.
  • The features are bare-bones. You might have a beautiful walkway and an aboveground swimming pool, which costs almost $10,000 cheaper than an inground one. 

The project cost also varies according to the features you want. Drip irrigation can become one of the priciest additions because of labour, system design, area coverage, and seasonal maintenance. On the other hand, a simple birdbath hardly dents your wallet at only $50.


Size and materials

Other variables that affect garden design costs are size and materials. It’s a given that the garden design cost per m2 gradually increases the bigger the lot gets. But you can expect to spend at least $20 per square metre for simple jobs, including mowing, hedging, or sod removal. 

The materials' costs depend on the overall design and features:

  • If you want a concrete patio, a pebblecrete surface could set you back by $100 per square metre compared to only $75 for a coloured type. 
  • When it comes to water feature installation, a solar fountain is available for at least $400, while a two-tiered fountain with surrounding ponds is worth over $2,000
  • Retaining wall prices are based on materials and size to cover. A stone wall is about $250 per square metre if you’re using veneers and as much as $500 per square metre if it’s made of sandstone blocks. 

Project complexity 

Lastly, garden designer costs can vary according to project complexity. This includes terrain, timeline, and labour.


Labour cost per hour









Gold Coast


These are the average hourly prices for garden designers in Australia. However:

  • The costs increase if the project demands longer hours, more expertise, and extensive credentials, such as an intimate knowledge of local plants or soil types. 
  • The price is lower if you hire a garden maintenance team
  • Extra work also matters. The cost of a garden design consultation is about $150 if you’re speaking to a team. 
  • The project value can also increase or reduce your spending. An elaborate garden design in Sydney with patios and retaining walls can have a price tag of over $3,500 because contractors might need to secure a structural landscape licence.
  • Terrain matters. A garden design in Melbourne can be pricier if you live in the East because it’s hilly. Contractors now have to work on a challenging landscape or even include levelling some areas in their planning.

Saving money on garden design

garden designer at work

You can build a lush outdoors without breaking the bank with these budget gardening ideas:

  1. Use plants that don’t need a lot of water.
  2. Choose perennials instead of annuals.
  3. Group plants together in clusters.
  4. Go for low-maintenance plants.
  5. Apply mulch to keep the soil moist and cool.

Book a garden designer on Airtasker

If you’re looking for help creating the perfect outdoor space, booking garden or landscape designers on Airtasker is a great way to get the job done! You can easily connect with qualified professionals with experience in designing beautiful gardens.

Finding the right person is easy, too:

  • Register a free account.
  • Create a task including specific details, such as what you want your garden to look like, your budget, and your timeline.
  • Browse profiles of professionals in your area who offer garden design services. Review their portfolios and ratings from other customers.
  • Receive offers and pick the best.

So how much does a garden design cost? The best way to estimate is to look at the many factors that dictate it. Either way, Airtasker has garden designers who can work with your budget without compromising craftsmanship. If you post a task now, you’ll soon say hello to a better-looking garden.

Find garden designers, fast

Post a task


In Australia, the garden landscaping cost per square metre is around $20 for simple work, including mowing or installing a bird bath. It quickly increases if more complex amenities are needed, the terrain is challenging, or the contractor has to secure more permits.

A garden redesign costs at least $20,000, especially if you want a major overhaul.

The cost of a garden designer is $62 per hour, but the price is often worth it. Garden designers are the best in planning and executing even the most complicated projects at a budget you’re willing to spend. Plus, you can save yourself from the hassle of trial and error.

Yes, but the design is often more vital than the garden size. A well-designed garden with thoughtful landscaping can create visual interest and charm, making it appealing to homebuyers.

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