How do I find a trusted and reputable landscaper?

I want my garden landscaping – hopes and dreams.

I want my perfect garden with a beautiful patio for entertaining and relaxing, luscious planting with gorgeous colours and smells and I want it to be the space I’ve dreamt about for so long.  That’s where it all starts, and it should be straight forward.  Choosing the right company to realise your dreams is so important but so difficult.  This article will help you navigate the minefield of garden design and landscaping and give you the confidence to help choose a qualified and reputable landscape company to build your dream garden.

Why is it so difficult?

Unfortunately, the landscape industry is not regulated in the same way as, say the building industry.  Anyone can set up and call themselves a landscaper and they don’t need any qualifications or training to do so.  There is no requirement for the work to be checked or signed off and because of this, there are many horror stories of gardens being landscaped and failing, with customers often falling victim to bad workmanship and gardens that aren’t up to standard.  Programmes such as BBC Rogue Traders are so popular because of the number of companies that carry out substandard work.  So how can you avoid the rogue trader trap?

Landscaping, done properly, is a highly skilled job and a trained professional landscaper will be able to confidently undertake a multitude of different construction skills. For example, joinery, brickwork, paving, but they should also have a solid understanding of soils and how different soils impact drainage and horticulture (plants).  There should be a  proper health and safety management policy to keep you and your family safe whilst work is being carried out.

Do your research.

Before you engage any professional, you should do your research, ‘Forearmed is forewarned’ as they say.  That’s all very well, but how do you know where to look for advice and information so that you can make the right choice and understand your project.  We have put together a ‘what to look for’ to help you avoid any bad experiences and ensure your project is built to the highest standards and will last. Check out their website, does it look professional?  Are the images of their own work?

Understanding your landscape project.

What does that mean for you?  If you understand what it is your asking for, you have a better chance of spotting if it’s not up to standard.  For example, if you want a patio building, understanding the construction methods means you know what to look for in a quote for that patio. There are some really useful websites that can help you for instance, is free and clearly shows how a patio should be built.

Some manufacturers also provide free information such as London Stones product installation guides  Find out as much as you can so that you can ask the all-important questions and quiz the landscaper’s knowledge to see if they know what they are talking about.

What should I be looking for in a good landscape company?

Reputable and professional companies usually have accreditations, awards, and reviews on how they operate and their customers experiences.  They may also have affiliations to trade associations who vet them to ensure they meet industry standards.  

Accreditations & affiliations,

Industry affiliations are an excellent indicator of reputation, and you should be looking for companies that are members of at least one.  Associations such as The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) and The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) vet their members to make sure they are reputable, trustworthy, and working to industry standards.  This means that the work they do is checked for quality and is up to standard and their operating methods like Health and Safety, administration and financial conduct is also scrutinised.  This gives you peace of mind and usually gives you a voice if you are not happy with the service you receive. Most affiliations have a ‘find a member’ search to help you.  

Industry bodies;

Click the logos to learn more

Manufacturers accreditations

Some manufacturers and suppliers, that you may have already heard of also offer reputable companies an accreditation scheme and these are useful.  Suppliers do not want their reputations being damaged by poor quality workmanship and so often vet installers to make sure they maintain their high standards.  Many offer training seminars which ensure members are installing their products correctly and are going to last. Here are a few industry leading manufacturers that have an approved installer program to help you find a trustworthy landscaper;

Click on the logos to learn more


Qualifications are all so important.  Staff should be trained and competent to do the work and you should look and ask for qualifications.  What makes this landscape company competent and qualified to build my garden? Untrained staff can also affect any insurance cover should anything happen.

Some of the qualifications you should look for:


Reviews are really useful too.  Finding out about other customers experiences and what they thought of the company they chose, the quality of their work and professionalism and the end result is very valuable.  Do be careful, some review platforms aren’t what they seem, and companies can pay and post false reviews.  Google reviews are a good place to start.  Customers can post genuine experiences and the company cannot alter them, good or bad.  Trustpilot and Trustmark are also good platforms, and some affiliated associations also have platforms for customers to express their opinions.  Other useful tools to help find out what companies are like are social media platforms.  Check out their social media accounts (such as Facebook/instagram) and see if they are the sort of company you would like to work with and that their posts reflect the quality you are expecting.

Landigo Review

“I just wanted to say a huge thanks to you, Calum Jake and Joe, what a great team you are! We have enjoyed having you all here working on the garden and thank you for making what could have been a very stressful time as easy and straightforward as possible. Your attention to detail and professional and friendly approach to the project has impressed us so much, and we are obviously thrilled with the end result! Seeing Jane’s design come to life has been worth the wait, I just need to be patient till spring now to see it in all it’s glory. Just wanted to let you know how happy we are with the garden and all your hard work.”

Mrs D, Chester

Check your paperwork

As with any project, there should be appropriate paperwork.  This usually starts with a quotation, and this should be a written document that clearly outlines what you are getting and how much it will cost you including VAT if the company is VAT registered.   Avoid quotations by word of mouth and on the back of a cigarette packet, ask for a formal quotation on headed letter paper with the Company registration number.  This will help your research.

It is a good idea to ask for a specification with the quotation as this will detail the methods of construction and the materials to be used.  Specifications should reference British Standards and Industry standards for example a patio will be specified to BS 7533-101.  

It is a bit frustrating because to access British Standards you will have to buy a copy but there is plenty of information on the internet that is shared from the standards.  Check out  and suppliers information such as London Stones for installation guides.

Specifications also help when you’ve asked for more than one quote because it allows you to compare and find like for like quotations.  Cheaper quotes may not include everything or may be cutting corners. Make sure you find out what you are getting for your money.

When you are happy and have chosen a company, you should be provided with a written contract which details of the ‘terms and conditions’ of business including your customer rights, data protection policies and complaints procedures (should the worst happen).  You may also receive other paperwork such as a sales order which may detail the works and the payments, when they are due and how much.  You should know exactly what you are entering into and when you are expected to pay and for what.


You may also want to ask for any appropriate licences such as waste transfer licences that landscape companies are required to have by law if they are removing waste from your property.  Some companies only use skips and grab services and it’s the skip and grab companies that are required to carry the licences but is best to double check.

Policies and trading ethics are always good indicators.  Businesses that use only FSC sourced timber products and ethically sourced paving are demonstrating that they care about their environmental impact and this is usually a good mark of a business.  

Insurance documents are very important to protect you, your family and the staff on site.  Reputable businesses should carry public and employees liability insurance and depending on their business,  Indemnity Insurance (designers).  Ask to see copies before you engage their services.

Heath and safety documentation, risk assessments and COSHH reports should be documented for any business with 5 or more employees and available on request.  A CDM (Construction, Design and Management) document should be produced for each project and again, you should have access to this on request.  If all of this information is available, it’s a good sign that the company are complying with an aim to keeping you safe during any work.

When can you start?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get the work completed as soon as possible and ready for the summer weather! 

It would be great! But any business that says they can start next week should ring alarm bells.  Companies with a good reputation tend to be very busy and booked up for months, sometimes years. Customers are prepared to wait because they know they will get the quality and professionalism with gardens to match. 

How much will it cost?

No one wants to pay more than they have to and rightly so.  One quote may be significantly cheaper than another and the temptation is to always choose the cheapest, why wouldn’t you?  

What you should be looking for is the best value.  If you choose the cheapest quote, simply on cost then it is possible that the only way this can be cheaper than a more expensive competitor is by using either substandard materials or by cutting corners.  We have all heard the stories.  

Reputable landscapers would never aim to rip off their customers because that is unproductive in the long game and would damage their reputation.  Similarly, a reputable business should care about their customers and their experience and should provide a service that the customer is happy with.  That said, for any reputable business to provide you with the best service possible, they have to pay for their skilled work force and craftsmen, their insurance and affiliations and buy good quality materials, amongst other things.  Running a business properly is expensive and the key is in the word properly.

So how much will it cost for, let’s say a patio?

Rates differ depending on the circumstances and each job will have its own but as a rule of thumb – Materials and installation of a patio excluding the paving slab itself (as the range of prices for slabs is quite large depending on the material) should be in the region of £100 – £150 per m2 (based on 2024 figures).

If you are quoted significantly less than this you should be asking how the patio is being installed, checking the specification, and try to understand why it’s cheaper.  Have a conversation with each company and ask them to explain their costs. You will quickly learn which companies are skimping on materials and quality.


You may have been recommended a company by someone who has used that company previously, this is also a valuable insight and gives you a first-hand account of their experience.  You should still go through your check list though to satisfy yourself.

Image and professionalism

A company’s image and how they conduct themselves can also tell a story.

A Professional appearance with clean and branded clothing, branded vehicles and polite and smart staff shows a level of care and pride in their work and respect for you and your property. 

You should be asking lots of questions

Especially when you are at the quoting stage to test the landscapers knowledge and to gain confidence that they know their trade.  This may be an obvious question but one that is often overlooked – ask about welfare for their staff on site especially toilet facilities, where are the staff going to use the toilet?  Most companies will provide a mobile toilet for their staff which is cleaned regularly.  This brings us back to costs again and maybe another way that some companies are able to quote cheaper by not providing facilities for its workforce.

Useful or not?

Over the years, we have seen and had to correct many poor-quality gardens because the customer didn’t know how to check if they were getting quality workmanship and a garden built to industry standards with value for money.  Our industry is sometimes seen in a poor light because of a few individuals who have little or no knowledge or experience. Right at the start we mentioned that anyone can set up a landscape business and trade and in todays world, give the impression that they are the best.  We are hoping that this article will help you navigate the trade and find the right landscaper or designer and ensure you get the garden you deserve – beautifully designed, well built and will last for years for you to enjoy.  Please, pick up the phone, email us or contact us through our website if you are considering engaging a landscaper and ask us for advice.  We are always happy to offer our years of experience and knowledge and answer any questions you might have.

We have put together a simple tick sheet for you to use to help check if the landscaper you choose is reputable and trustworthy. Please let us know if you think this could be improved and if it was useful, . Feedback helps us improve our services for you and others. Thank you for reading our article.

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