Generally, landscape designers seem to have a more natural, less structural orientation than many landscape architects. If they have the education outlined above, they are at least theoretically prepared to handle a broad range of design projects.
Very often they are dedicated to quality garden design. If they do not have the education then they have followed a vocation, or are just beginning one. If they have followed a vocation and have been at it some time they should have a portfolio as well as the ability to quote price ranges for various aspects.
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As with Landscape Architects, the title does not necessarily signify talent. The education, experience and ability among landscape designers varies considerably. Before hiring a landscape designer, ask to see a portfolio and speak to references, be sure of compatibility and know precisely what you are to expect for what you are to pay.
A garden designer may have a formal education and may not but is usually well versed in horticulture. Garden designers also works with site analysis, light availability, cost estimates and such but often do not work with hardscape elements. These people are generally plants people. Their talent is in using their knowledge to create attractive planting beds with shrubs, ornamental trees, perennials, vines and groundcovers.
Some schools offer professional level courses in garden design, in which they teach; site analysis, client brief, plan drawing, section and elevation drawing and color rendering. The following paragraphs are from the syllabus of one such university.