How much does a garden designer cost?

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Price guide

$2,000 - $7,160







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Gardens can transform even the dullest yard into a relaxation oasis. Even better, they can increase your property’s value fast. Though you can DIY garden design, a professional can create something extraordinary. 

A garden design costs $4,580, but actual garden design prices can be higher or lower, depending on the many factors that impact them. This guide enumerates 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 architecture usually works with more complex and 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. 
  • All states and the District of Columbia issue licenses to landscape architects. Garden designers don’t have to, but some choose to get a certification from professional groups, such as the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
  • Also known as backyard design, garden design focuses on installing, improving, and maintaining horticultural land only. Landscape architects have 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 according to landscape features: 

Landscape feature


Retaining walls

$20–$50 per square foot

Swimming pool

$2,900–$35,000 per installation


$20–$50 per square foot


$3,000–$5,000 per installation

Irrigation system

$1.50–$5 per linear foot


$1,800–$3,000 per project

Water fountain

$1,000–$7,500 per design

Factors affecting the cost of garden design

a colorful garden design

Landscape styles and features

How much do garden designers charge? 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 $4 to $7 per square foot, 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 barebones. You might have a beautiful walkway and an aboveground swimming pool, which is over $10,000 cheaper than an inground one. 

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


Size and materials

Another variable that affects garden design cost is the size to work on and the materials to use. It’s a given that the cost of garden design and landscaping gradually increases the bigger the lot gets. But you can expect to spend at least $5 per square foot for simple jobs, including mowing, hedging, or sod removal. 

The materials’ cost depends on the overall design and features:

  • Patios cost around $3,000 per installation, and standard concrete is the cheapest material. If you’re looking for something fancier, brick pavers are excellent for $10 per square foot
  • When it comes to water feature installation, a solar fountain is available for at least $210, while a statue fountain is often $5,000 when prefab. 
  • Retaining wall prices are based on materials and size to cover. One made of blocks is at least $15 per square foot. Timber is less expensive at $20.

Project complexity 

Lastly, garden designer costs can vary according to project complexity. These include terrain, timeline, and labor. First on the list is labor:


Cost per hour

New York


Los Angeles






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

  • The costs increase if the project demands long hours, extensive credentials, and 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 increase or reduce your spending. An elaborate garden design with Buddha fountains and brick patios can cost over $3,500 because contractors might need to secure more permits and licenses.
  • Terrain matters. The garden design service cost can be higher if you live in Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming because many areas are hilly. Contractors now have to work on a challenging landscape or even include leveling some areas in their planning.

Saving money on garden design

a 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.

☞ Get inspired with more gardening tips and ideas: Gardening guide for beginners

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 experienced and qualified professionals with expertise 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 designer 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

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The cost of a garden designer is around $5 per square foot for simple work, including mowing or installing a bird bath. It quickly goes up if more complex amenities are needed, the terrain is challenging, or the contractor has to secure more permits.

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

Hiring a garden designer costs $4,500 per project, but the price is often worth it. Garden designers are the best in planning and executing even the most complicated projects for an amount 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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