How to find help with a home landscape

Homeowners often ask the University of Minnesota Extension how to find a student, a Master Gardener, or an industry professional to help them with a home landscaping project or garden design. They wonder if Master Gardeners can do this kind of activity for their volunteer hours or how to choose a landscape professional.

Landscape professionals typically have a degree in landscape design or a related area, and/or are licensed as a landscape architect. Some garden centers offer full service landscape design, implementation and maintenance services. Homeowners can also find firms by searching the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association website. Use the search function to find the type of help you are looking for in your geographical location; for example, “landscape designer St. Paul, MN.” Word-of-mouth is also a very good way to find a landscape professional. When you see a landscape you love, ask the homeowner for a recommendation.  

Homeowners may also consult the Extension Master Gardener program in their county. Master Gardeners are educated by University Extension, and volunteer by teaching the general public research-based horticulture information.

While Master Gardeners are volunteers and are not allowed to accept payment or work on private properties as part of their volunteer hours, some are professional gardeners, designers or landscape architects by trade, and others can advise on plant choices and help diagnose plant problems.

Start at the University Extension with:

• The University of Minnesota Extension Website at for many helpful publications. Be sure to look for the latest information in Yard & Garden News.

Popular Topics lists articles on topics of interest to gardeners in our area.

The Links page helps to connect with other research-based local or regional websites.

• Submit a question andview previous questions and answers online at

• Ask a question over the phone by calling the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Yard & Garden Line at 612-301-7590 to have your yard and garden-related questions answered by a Master Gardener on duty, or leave a detailed message explaining the problem or question.

Area counties have active Master Gardener organizations:

You can easily access research-based yard and garden information online, by phone, or in person:

• Dakota County Master Gardeners can be contacted at 651-480-7700, by email at or through the website.

• Ramsey County Master Gardeners can be contacted at 651-704-2071 or in person at the diagnostic clinic at 2020 White Bear Ave., Maplewood, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Sept. 30 (closed July 4 and Labor Day). They also have a website,

• Washington County Master Gardeners can be contacted by emailing or going to the website.

Master Gardeners are committed to education and make many speaking and informational appearances throughout the year. Check the above resources to ask a question or find more information at a location near you.


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