People in the world of landscape design usually start by saying, “I’ve always loved plants,” but as a child, I loved architecture. I liked sharp angles and clean lines, rectangles and squares, forms that made sense to my very practical and analytical mind. I used to visit the city dump and pick through the trash before it was fashionable to do so, finding treasures like tiny blue glazed tiles, or the end of a 50s style bookcase with just the right shape, or the marble base of a beautiful old lamp. I built forts, doll furniture and tiny buildings to fill the time when homework was done. I was into recycling and re-using early on.
I found myself in a series of desk jobs, all with lots of responsibility, details and organization, always keeping everything in the right place, running smoothly. Then I noticed that my spare time was filling with friends and neighbors asking me about their gardens and what they should plant “over there,” or how to revive an ailing plant. I seemed to know the answers or would research and learn what to do, and loved helping them make their gardens special—invoking the “spirit of the place.” I was hooked. I took jobs to learn more about design, and that’s when I met my husband, a soil scientist and biochemist. I knew we would make a good team.
I’ve always been independent, done my own thing, rather than following the crowd. While enrolled in Environmental Horticulture at Sierra College, I became extremely interested in water conservation and low water-use garden design in particular. These gardens were beautiful, practical and completely logical. That day I saw “The Big Picture” and knew this would be my life’s focus. It didn’t occur to me that I was leaping into the exploding field of precise, science-based water management in the landscape. Even now, years after graduation, I thrive on all there is to know about the world of landscaping and jump at opportunities to share my passion through workshops for families of all ages.
In the past two years, I have contracted with the Regional Water Authority on several special projects, including the River-Friendly Green Gardener Program. I recently became a Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor and an EPA WaterSense Partner. I love being deeply entrenched in this business of wise water-use and management, not only for the landscapes I design, but all landscapes. Its importance to the continuing quality of our lives is just starting to be recognized. Frank Lloyd Wright said it well, “The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.”