“Women” and “landscaping” are two words you don’t often hear in the same sentence. According to Statista, “In 2020, 6.5% of landscaping and groundskeeping workers in the United States were women.” So 93.5% are male. However, history reveals that women have devised innovative ideas that have profoundly affected the industry. Learn about the fascinating discoveries they have made that have served as precursors to today’s la and methods.
What is a Landscape Architect?
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) said, “Landscape architecture is the planning, design, management, and nurturing of built and natural environments.” A landscape architect is a person who uses her unique skills in lateral and spatial thinking, attention to detail, and creative flair to improve human and environmental conditions in the community.
A decline for landscape architects is expected at a rate of 2% from 2019 – 2029 making the competition for these positions will be very competitive.
A landscape designer works under the guidance of an architect. She usually has a landscape architecture degree, but has not passed the state license exam. She handles smaller projects and has taken specialized courses in landscape installation and horticulture. Certification from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers helps to demonstrate competency.
History of Architectural Landscape
Before the 1800s, landscape gardening (later called landscape architecture) entailed gardening for the elite. It was exclusively for manor houses, government buildings, and palaces.
In 1712, Joseph Addison was the first person to write about making a landscape. In 1828, Gilbert Laing Meason coined the term “landscape architecture.” However, John Claudius London (1783 – 1843), a Scottish landscape architect and author, made the term acceptable among modern professionals.
Women, Garden Clubs and Societal Factors of Design
Women have always been associated with nature and nurture. Landscape architecture is a natural progression. During the 19th and 20th century, women perceived green spaces as cultural landscapes – something for the community to enjoy.
So social and civic clubs became the place for women to gather and promote their vision of public land, even if they did not have the proper schooling or credentials. They knew then what the world knows now: Society is shaped through landscapes. Consider these pioneering women and their achievements.
|A Partial Timeline of Women and Landscape Architecture|
|A.||1899||Beatrix Jones Farrand||Founded American Society of Landscape Architects. First female landscape architect.|
|B.||1901||Judith Eleanor Motley Low||Founded Lowthrope School of Architecture for women in Massachusetts (one year after Harvard established program for men.)|
|C.||1913||Elizabeth Price Martin and Ernestine Abercrombie Goodman||Garden Club of America was formed with the mission of recording gardens in the U.S. Preserve California redwoods and provides scholarships.|
|D.||1932||Ethel Earley – one of four founders||Negro Garden Club of Virginia sought to improve race relations and home and community improvement.|
Today 18,699 women are landscape architects in the U.S. In Utah, Allysia Angus, Shalae Laresen and others are revolutionizing the industry.
Landscape Laborer, Worker or Technician
So who are the hard-working people that handle the lawn care that surrounds the landscape architecture? Who are the employees that manage mosquito yard control, grubs, lawn fertilization schedules, and tick yard treatments?
A landscape laborer is a person who tends to the outdoor grounds of houses, business parks, and urban areas. This entry-level position ensures that trees are planted, the lawn is mowed, and the hedges are trimmed. A laborer may also be referred to as a worker or technician.
As of 2018, landscaping and groundskeeping workers in the United States earned a mean annual wage of $30,940.
Foreperson, Supervisors, and Managers
A degree in landscape architecture can provide opportunities in supervisory roles such as specialist, foreperson, and manager.
In the field, the foreperson manages crew leaders or supervisors. She may train and oversee landscaping techs about early spring lawn care. The team will learn about fertilizing the lawn, tick control for the yard, and ants in the lawn. The foreperson reports to the operations manager who is in charge of leading the team, strategizing, and ensuring quality control.
It’s worth noting that large companies have an inventory manager who monitors the project’s progress in order to provide the right equipment for a specific project such as over fertilized lawn or fungus that affects turf grass. Also, a hardscape installer has design skills that help with the installation of concrete, clay, and stone pathways.
The operations manager reports to managers or directors of architecture and planning. These professionals are licensed architects with years of experience.
Anyone interested in career support and advancement can receive training by the ASLA, National Association of Landscape Professionals, Professional Grounds Management Society, and Women in Landscape Architecture.
Administration, Sales, and Marketing
All positions in this industry don’t happen outside. A landscape enhancement designer/sales manager builds relationships with clients by assessing their needs and providing customized solutions. She delivers excellent creative landscape designs that are based on site measurements.
A product marketing manager for a wholesale distributor of landscaping products is knowledgeable about public relations, event management, and community awareness. An office manager organizes meetings, trains staff, and oversees special projects.
The landscape architecture and lawn care service industries intersect. As an employee, the next time you dig a hole, trim a hedge, or mow a lawn, reflect on the features of the design. Ask relevant questions about the composition and benefits for the homeowner. Stay up-to-date about the accomplishments of women and use their achievements to inspire you to reach your highest career goals.
As a homeowner, consider all of the elements of your yard. Refer to the concepts and principles that women have developed. Then, you and your lawn care professional can work together to create the best design possible.