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I came up with a bunch of nouns, so I'm thinking this is a suru verb.

Closest thing I came up with is 築庭する。 (chikutei suru), but it translates to landscape gardening.

Is there a more common usage?

Thank you! :)

I read somewhere in an example sentence that it could be niwashi suru, but when I looked up niwashi (gardener) it didn't have the noun listed as a suru verb so I am unsure :P !

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You can use ガーデニングする (do gardening) for gardening.

ガーデニング is a generally used term in today's Japan.

So you can say...

  • 趣味の一つとして、ガーデニングを始めた。 (As one of my hobby, I started gardening.)
  • ガーデニング用品を買う。 (Buy tools for gardening.)
  • 子供と一緒にガーデニングした。(I gardened with my children.)

If you don't prefer this word, you can use [園芸]{えんげい}する (do gardening) alternatively.

ガーデニング sounds more modernized compared with 園芸. If you do something in traditional Japanese-styled garden, you cannot use ガーデニング.

[造園]{ぞうえん} or [築庭]{ちくてい} sounds like creating large-scale garden from scratch.

[庭師]{にわし}する(Do gardener) is not a correct Japanese verb.

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In addition to knjname's answer, you can use 庭いじりする for gardening. (Literally it means to play with the garden.)

庭いじり is a very common word for casual hobby gardening. ( http://matome.naver.jp/topic/1LwIE )

And also 庭仕事する is common for gardening. (Literally it means to work on the garden, but doesn't necessarily mean working as a job.)

築庭する sounds like very professional gardening.

And 庭師する is wrong, as knjname says.

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