|Beautiful gardens begin with good design: design that understands space and proportion, plants and materials, and balances creativity with experience. Design sets the stage for the integration of the home and landscape and how we enjoy that intersection of the built and natural environments. A garden is a living canvas that combines elements of soil, plants, paving, stone, water and patterns of light, color, texture, movement and time. This is a canvas that you can walk through, touch and care for—and be changed by that experience.
My design approach
Because each site is unique I do not apply a single template to any given project. If I were to describe my general approach to design, it is as follows: Gardens need to be functional and practical spaces. If a plant (no matter how beautiful the form or flower) will struggle on site, find another. Clients trust me to bring my experience to bear on plant selection and placement. Gardens also need to fend for themselves. I chose plants and combinations that work together without weekly attention. Clients need to understand that plants function best when they grow naturally, without excessive pruning or fertilizer and where they are adapted for the existing soil, light and weather conditions. Most of my projects are inspired by the lush naturalism of the ‘new wave’ or ‘New American Garden’ style of Oehlme Van Sweden, Piet Oudolf and Roy Diblik. I work to balance the exuberance of this style with an appreciation of the restraint and formalism of modern and Japanese design. The Japanese garden, in particular, understands how a simplified palette of materials and attention to details can transform a tight space.
The following portfolio highlights a range of projects that we have developed in the Chicagoland area in the past 10 years.