Gardening vs. Landscaping: What is the difference?

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Difference between Gardening and Landscaping

Gardening and landscaping both involve the manipulation of the environment, often for aesthetic purposes. They often employ similar techniques in order to shape an outside space into an attractive area, but they do have slightly different focuses and they are often carried out by different types of people for different purposes. Gardening focuses on plants, while landscaping is focused on the overall landscape or environment.


Gardening focuses on the cultivation of plants, although gardeners may also use other techniques in order to manipulate the space in which they are growing their plants. They may wish to build flowerbeds, dig ponds or create structures such as walls and trellises over which plants can be grown. Gardeners typically spend their time preparing the soil, planting seeds, encouraging plants to grow, harvesting flowers, fruit or other products, dealing with pests and diseases, weeding and cutting back vegetation.

Landscaping focuses on changing the visible features of an area. This can involve the manipulation of any element of the landscape, including the living parts such as plants and animals. Natural elements such as bodies of water, hills and other landforms can also be altered, as can human structures. Landscapers design the landscape, sometimes simply to make it more attractive, but also for more practical reasons, such as creating paths that will be easy to follow.

Gardeners and Landscapers

Gardening may be carried out by professionals, but many people also enjoy gardening as a hobby. People may grow plants simply for enjoyment or to create an attractive outdoor space, but gardening can also be about producing edible plants, such as herbs, fruit and vegetables.

Landscaping is more likely to involve professionals and it is also more likely than gardening to take place in a public space. While gardeners typically work in private gardens or allotments, landscaping may involve the shaping of public spaces such as parks or the open areas between buildings in an urban environment. Gardeners may also work in parks, botanic gardens and other larger spaces that are open to the public, while a landscaping professional may be hired to work in a private garden if the owner wants to make some big changes. Gardening can also take place inside greenhouse or even in containers rather than a garden.

Long Term

Gardening tends to be an ongoing process, whereas landscaping involves the creation of a space, but not its long-term management. A space that has been landscaped may require the attention of a gardener in order to keep it looking its best in the long-term.

Landscaping involves the design of a new landscape. This design will then be implemented, through building work and planting. The design may then be maintained by gardeners.

Gardening tends to be more flexible. While a gardener may have a design in mind for their garden, they are more likely to change it over time, perhaps as the plants grow or as the gardener's preferences alter. Landscapers tend to create an implement a design and then to consider their job finished. Gardeners have a longer term involvement in the space, so their ideas can develop over time.

Similarities and Differences


  • Gardening involves growing and caring for plants, while landscaping involves designing the whole landscape and shaping it until it matches these plans.
  • Gardeners and landscapers often use very similar techniques.
  • A gardener may want to alter the landscape of their garden so that they can create a certain look or make it possible to grow new kinds of plants.
  • Gardening is often a hobby as well as a profession, and it tends to involve greater flexibility and a longer involvement in the space than landscaping.
  • Gardening is about tending plants.
  • Gardeners tend to be more involved in the land, over an extended period.
  • Gardeners may tend an area that has been landscaped, keeping it looking like the plans created by the landscaper.


  • A landscaper may use gardening techniques to grow the plants that they have incorporated into their design.
  • Landscaping is about designing and manipulating the whole environment, including the plants.
  • Once they have implemented their design, a landscaper's involvement may be over.

Which one describes your front yard?
  • Gardening
  • Landscaping

Discuss It: comments 1

  • Guest
  • landscaping norwich wrote on February 2011

this was very intresting and enjoyable to read, it also had some helpful infomation in that will come in handy.

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