Landscape Horticulture & Design (LHD)
Landscape Horticulture and Design is an applied plant science and business profession within the field of ornamental horticulture. Its emphasis is on the sales, installation, and care and culture of ornamental plants, with secondary focus on planting design. Design training is integrated into the LHD curriculum, not because all students should become designers, but so all become knowledgeable about design concepts and principles. This should foster high-quality professional interaction between those who design the landscape and those who build or manage it.
Landscape Architecture (LA)
Landscape Architecture is a land design profession. Its emphasis is on the location and design of areas for human activity on the land, incorporating planting design only as one of several aspects of the developed landscape. The landscape architect's efforts try to ensure that human activity on the land is sustainable based on the ecological fundamentals of the landscape site upon which the activity occurs.
Landscape Horticulture and Design graduates are employed primarily by commercial enterprises such as landscape contractors, landscape management firms, nurseries and retail garden centers. Some may be hired directly by shopping malls, governmental agencies such as parks departments, or large industrial firms.
Landscape Architects are employed primarily by private design offices, land developers and design/construction firms, and agencies at all levels of government. Some may be hired by landscape nurseries, corporations, and utility companies.
Landscape Horticulturists typically work with people and plants. Often, much of their activity will be outdoors, installing plants, caring for existing landscapes including the diagnosis of plant health problems, evaluating sites for future planting jobs, and supervising the work of others. They may find themselves meeting with customers in a retail setting or with clients in an office environment. Indoor activities include business management, supervision of personnel and equipment, and design of plantings for new construction or as part of an on-going site maintenance program.
Landscape Architects spend much of their time at the drafting board or computer preparing plans which explain the design of a project. They meet with project owners and visit project sites to understand a client's needs and to collect and record site information for analysis. Beyond design plans, landscape architects prepare construction drawings and details with written specifications to guide the construction process.
For those Landscape Horticulturists who become designers, they focus on planting design. The scale of projects is typically a single residence, garden, or small commercial facility. The design work is most often exclusively planting design once the site arrangement has been determined by others. The horticultural designer may be involved in determining locations for and the form of walks, decks, fences, swimming pools, etc. as part of a project that includes planting.
Landscape Architects are designers, period! The scale of projects will range from a single residence or small urban park, to a large land area such as a state park, all the way to a very large region such as the Wabash River Valley. It may include conceptual planning, master planning and site planning. It may integrate with engineering and architecture, the behavioral sciences, as well as horticulture and ecological disciplines.