Our Mission

To help members achieve business success by promoting best practices, providing educational programs and opportunities for collaboration, and offering market visibility through an interactive web presence. 

Our Vision

To empower and inspire our members to sustain and enhance the world through the art and science of professional landscape design.

Our History


Like many organizations, LDA started as a grassroots group of people who were just starting out in the landscape design profession and needed others to help them work through how to manage their business, how to find opportunities to grow their skills and knowledge—and just to talk over the joys and frustrations of their work.  

These founding members not only helped each other learn and grow, they also gave back.  Several members were instrumental in working with the Chicago Botanical Garden to start a school for continuing education and certification in the field of landscape design.  Today, the CBG certification programs have multiplied and provide designers and horticulturists wonderful opportunities to learn their professions.


This small informal group quickly grew as more people became interested in the relatively new field of landscape design.   The organization was formalized into a not-for-profit association with all the things required--like a board of directors, a president, policies and procedures and bylaws.  


The vision of the original group still lives today—to inspire and educate its members through collaboration, socializing, and programs.  We pay attention to exciting trends in the field, best ways to run our businesses, new plant introductions, and sustainable practices. We still have the “small town” feel that allows us to speak our minds, commiserate on problems, and share our successes.   When it comes to helping professional landscape designers be the best they can be, it’s as good as it gets.

The Future

We recently gathered together for a strategic planning meeting, fancy words for figuring out how we want to operate going forward.  The vision is our guiding light and the mission is why we exist. Both will help us stay on track to offer the best to our members.

Interested in Joining?

Our members are from diverse types of businesses in the landscape world. Our base membership is comprised of landscape designers and architects, many of whom are also contractors. We also have other members who offer services to designers and architects: irrigation, carpentry, lighting, nurseries . . . Collaboration among our members is common. We develop relationships with other members and suppliers during planned networking at our programs. Having face-to-face time with suppliers and other specialists produces better relationships and more reliable work.