Landscape design focuses on both the integrated master landscape planning of a property and the specific garden design of landscape elements and plants within it. The practical, aesthetic, horticultural, and environmental sustainability components merit Landscape design inclusion. It is often divided into hardscape design and softscape design. Landscape designers often collaborate with related disciplines such as architecture and geography, soils and civil engineering, surveying, landscape contracting, botany, and artisan specialties. Design project focus can tend towards: in landscape design - artistic composition and artisanship, horticultural finesse and expertise, and a detailed site involvement emphasis from concepts through construction; whereas in landscape architecture - focus of urban planning, city and regional parks, civic and corporate landscapes, large scale interdisciplinary projects, and delegation to contractors after completing designs. There can be significant overlap of talents and skills, depending on the education, licensing, and experience of the professional. Both landscape designers and landscape architects practice landscape design.
Factors in designing include objective qualities; such as the climate and microclimates; topography and orientation, site drainage and groundwater recharge; municipal and resource building codes, soils and irrigation, human and vehicular access and circulation, recreational amenities (i.e.: sports and water), furnishings and lighting, native plant habitat botany when present, property safety and security, construction detailing, and other measurable considerations. Factors in designing also include subjective qualities such as: genius loci (the special site qualities to emphasize); client's needs and preferences; desirable plants and elements to retain on site, modify, or replace, and available to use as borrowed scenery from beyond; artistic composition from perspectives of both looking upon and being in the *gardens; spatial development and definition; plant palettes in designed layouts, and artistic focal points for enjoyment. There are innumerable other design factors and considerations brought to the complex process of designing a garden that is beautiful, well functioning, and thrives over time. The up-and-coming practice of online landscape design allows professional landscapers to remotely design and plan sites through manipulation of two-dimensional images without ever physically visiting the location. Due to the frequent lack of non-visual, supplementary data such as soil assessments and pH tests, online landscaping necessarily must focus on incorporating only plants which are tolerant across many diverse soil conditions.