Landscape Architect career vs Landscape Design
I am looking for advice from those who currently work as landscape designers or architects. I am looking to make a career change and have finally realized that my calling is plants, gardens, the environment and design. I have been doing a lot of research regarding education and job opportunities in the green industry. I realize that it's a safe bet to get a 4 year degree in landscape architecture from an accredited university, from a job security point of view. From there I've learned you can likely get a good entry level landscape architect job with an established firm.
However, I've researched a lot of local firms from the ASLA website and they all cater to large civil and corporate projects. I'm really passionate about working on residential projects- I like the idea of smaller spaces, working with homeowners and developing a close relationship with one client at a time, rather than large corporate projects where things are more impersonal. It seems like the title I'm more interested in is Landscape Designer- and it seems like LD's only need a 2 year degree.
My question to any landscape architects (and designers) out there would be this: can you work for a larger firm and still do intimate projects? Or do I have to become a "design and build" operation to do what I truly love? Is a Landscape Architecture degree exactly what I need to cover all my bases, or should I get an Ornamental Horticulture degree instead? And what exactly do you all do (specifically in the northwest) during the winter months to keep the money coming in? Thank you all so much in advance for your advice!!!