I am a garden designer, landscape contractor, and horticultural consultant. Most of our projects are in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, CA., but we have worked all over Southern California. I see the successful design of healthy gardens as requiring a connection with and understanding of all the parts of the natural world: soil, microorganisms, water, plants, animals and the atmosphere. It is an interpretation of all these interconnected and interdependent pieces woven together with our man made surfaces and structures. Gardens are managed ecosystems, and as such they are a community of living things not separate from humans.
I have always been interested in plants. As a child I was influenced by my English father whose hobby was creating gardens at whatever house we lived in. The British can't help it you know, gardening is in their blood, and so it must be in mine. I learned the names of many plants from him, and was taking cuttings and propagating things at an early age. His interest was in ornamentals, while mine was more in edibles, always growing things like vegetables, grapes, and raspberries. This tended to conflict with his aesthetics at times, but we now know the importance of plant diversity in the garden and mixing things up is the way to a healthy landscape.
I studied Ornamental Horticulture and then graduated with a B.S. in Plant Science from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. I also did studies in Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Irvine, Extension. I received my C-27 landscape contractors license, no. 518870, in 1987. It seems I'm always taking a class, seminar, or workshop in something plant related. There is so much to know about the natural world and new research is always revealing more.
As you can see from the various galleries in this site, I have worked on and understand many different garden styles. My current interest and passion is studying, observing, and working with California native plants. This stems from the need for sustainability in the landscape, which is all about reducing the inputs to, and outputs from the land. It is the sensible garden path to take into the future because the trend that is driving changes in the landscape industry these days is that of water use. The question is, how can we create a beautiful landscape while using less water, keep what rainwater we receive, and minimize runoff? This is today's design challenge in California.