Design landscape areas and specify materials and components

Business Sectors (Suites): Environmental Conservation,Horticulture
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 31 Jan 2019


This standard is for those who design landscape areas.

This standard covers those functions necessary to design exterior or interior landscape areas. It also covers making estimates and specifying  materials and components suitable for the design.

You must carry out your work in a way which will minimise the impact on the natural environment and enhance its nature, conservation and recreational value.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. assess the risks associated with the landscape areas and the proposed work 

  2. clarify client landscape design requirements

  3. negotiate proposals which take account of all relevant survey and analysis information

  4. create design components and materials which are appropriate to the landscape areas, brief, purpose and expected usage

  5. confirm that the design is consistent with accepted design principles 

  6. recommend plants and specify materials suitable to the design and within budget 

  7. represent the design accurately and clearly to scale

  8. agree design with the client

  9. confirm that  the specifications are established and clearly communicated

  10. maintain working relations with those involved in, or affected by, your work

  11. confirm that records are completed as required by relevant legislation and the organisation

  12. carry out your work in accordance with relevant environmental and health and safety legislation, risk assessment requirements, codes of practice and organisational policies

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. the importance of assessing the risks of landscape areas and proposed work 2. the principles and theory of landscape design 3. the implications of the overall site layout for final design, utility, maintenance and safety of use 4. the main materials and components specified within a completed landscape proposal 5. why all relevant survey and analysis information should be included in the landscape design  6. how to confirm that any survey and analysis information is accurate especially if prepared by other organisations or colleagues 7. the methods to research and evaluate the purpose, function and usage of the landscape area 8. the specific maintenance requirements of different plants within the landscape area 9. client requirements and the need to communicate clearly with the client and those involved in, or affected by, your work 10. why accepted design principles such as unity, scale, proportion, balance, symmetry, space, form, texture, colour, light, shade and congruence are important and how to determine whether plans are consistent with these 11. why it is important to offer clients options to consider and how these options should be presented 12. how to represent landscape design to scale with the required accuracy, clearly and in full 13. the importance of following relevant environmental and ecological best practice to help minimise the impact of your work on the environment 14. your responsibilities under relevant health and safety legislation, codes of practice and organisational policies


A. use the following types of survey and analysis information within the landscape design:
1. prepared by yourself
2. prepared by others

B. position and identify the following main components when designing landscape areas:
1. types of planting
2. heights of planting
3. levels of planting
4. types of surface and structure
5. focal points
6. access routes
7. functional features

C. specify the following types of plants within the landscape design: 
1. shrubs
2. trees
3. turf
4. herbaceous and seasonal plants

D. specify the following materials when designing landscape areas:
1. growing media
2. containers
3. supports
4. hard landscape materials
5. buildings
6. furniture
7. mulch and top-dressing

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Plants and materials cover trees, shrubs, turf, herbaceous and seasonal, growing media, containers, building materials.

Specifications include: drawings, schedules, method statements, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and manufacturers' guidelines, which could include types of planting, heights of planting, levels of planting, types of surfaces and structure, focal points, access routes and functional features.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Landscape Architect, Landscaper

SOC Code



Park; site; garden; plan; sketch; drawing; construction; schematics