With Washington’s brutal winter finally in the rearview, it’s time to get out in the yard. Maybe you’re interested in doing some quick updates on your own—if that’s the case, check out our lists of good area nurseries and sources for stylish outdoor furniture and accessories. If you’re hoping to tackle a larger project that requires the pros, we’ve got 22 top landscape architects and designers, recommended by local residential architects.
For complex designs that involve construction, your best bet is likely a land-scape architect, who has a bachelor’s or master’s degree in landscape architecture and can handle structural elements such as patios, driveways, drainage, swimming pools, and retaining walls. (DC doesn’t require landscape architects to be licensed; Maryland and Virginia do.) Landscape designers can be experts in those areas, too, but they don’t have to be and they tend to focus more on horticultural aspects of garden design. They’re also generally less expensive.
Whatever you have in mind, these resources are a good place to start.