"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> urbanMamas

Seeking recommendations: Local Landscape Designer

Some of us mamas are not visionaries in the garden.  I think I only know how to weed, and I only know where to weed once I am told.  I cannot plan or plot where to plant what.  I am glad I am not alone in my situation.  An urbanMama recently emailed:

After seeing all the gorgeous gardens around here, I have serious green envy. But I know nothing about landscaping, and previous efforts have involved picking plants I think are pretty at the nursery, sticking them in the ground randomly, and seeing if they live (usually not). I'd love some real help making a plan for the garden, with someone who actually knows about plants -- and is especially knowledgeable about low-maintenance, native species and edible plants. In my dream world, the result would look like a wild-ish French garden with flowers and butterflies that I could upkeep myself (in other words, easily). It would be good if that person knows about backyard design, since we could use help with layout, deck, etc.  Has anyone used a great local landscape designer that doesn't charge a fortune?

For those of you inclined to DIY in the garden, perhaps you'd like to peruse How does your Garden Grow?, Part 1 and Part 2, or Veggie Growing 101.


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Here is info for a local papa that could have the vision... http://www.myurbanfarmer.com .

We have used planscaper at Seven Dees Nursery at our past two houses. You take pictures and draw out general demensions of your yard and schedule an appt. at seven Dees. We have used Melissa at the Powell Store both times.
You have to buy a 500$ min gift card and in return they will design your yard for you. The gift card goes directly to buying plants and you get 10% off all of their plants. You can also stop in to ask questions any time.
We have been very happy with the results of both of our yards.

We used Alissa and Dreya of Seed Garden Designs last fall.
Our front garden was already fairly developed (no grass, flower and veggie beds, as well as parking strip area with raised beds...) But we felt that we needed some help in cleaning it up/moving stuff around/refreshing things that hadn't grown so well after having sewer work rip it up, etc.
They were awesome. Very sweet and really worked in the direction I expected. We increased the amount of edibles and so far, the results still show.
I'd love to have them come back and do our back yard (wild space) but alas, no money at the moment.

We worked with Bob Drendel at Preferred Landscape Construction and Arbor Care. Excellent to work with, knows his plants, and their work is fabulous! Our backyard was a nightmare, and now we love spending time out there. Huge transformation, yet all within our requested budget. Give him a call. I think you will be pleased.

Phone: (503) 319-0307

Nancy Kelly is wonderful. Portland Nursery is also a great place to scout around and ask questions of the staff.

A friend forwarded me this post. I am a Landscape Designer in Portland. I have been working in Landscape Architecture for 7 years and residential design for about 5 years. Here is the link to my website www.erinjmuir.com - which is basically a business card right now. I am in the process of building it.
I am a certified organic landcare professional. My design philosophy centers around the importance of a landscape honoring both the people that will enjoy it every day and the larger environment in which it exists.
I love what I do and have recently gone out on my own so I am looking for new clients!
My email is: erin@erinjmuir.com & my number is 503.206.6041.

Affordable and excellent:


"Not just a place to pick late-summer tomatoes or feast your eyes on a patch of unruly wildflowers, we see the garden as a vital element in a landscape that joins beauty with food to foster a quality of life not measured in dollars or titles, logos or brand names. When we look at a landscape, we see the opportunity to deepen our connection to the earth and initiate true social, economic, and political change. Our collective involvement in the landscape is a simple and pleasurable way to celebrate relationship and connection — with friends, families, and neighbors to the living systems that support us.

To cultivate this interdependence we create ecological designs that plan for present and future generations. We are happy to take a look at your outdoor space and devise a design that feeds your body and mind while satisfying the demands of your lifestyle."

I highly reccommend the landscape design service at Portland Nursery. http://www.portlandnursery.com/service/landscape.shtml We worked with Terrie Stubbs, and she was fabulous. Also, very affordable!

We used Donna Giguere a year ago and were very happy. http://www.giguerelandscapedesign.com/

I highly recommend Amy Vail. She helped us with our front and back yards and they are gorgeous. Amy Vail Interior & Garden Design
503-805-6961; info@tasteofdesign.com.

We used a small local company. The Yardbirds. We pretty much had a concept, they tweeked it, and they picked appropriate plantings, installed sod, hand laid a flagstone path, helped with childrens play area, all at a fraction of the price of the bigger companies. We get compliments all the time on how awesome our yard looks...very park-like, but low maintence!!!

The best price around is a guy named John Crain. He does beautiful landscapes at the lowest prices I've seen. He also builds garden beds and ponds. I can't find his card, but I remember his email address is johnbenjamincrain@yahoo.com. Give him a try!

When I wanted to plant a garden I got books from the library on english gardens (that's what I wanted). I wrote down all the names of the flowers I wanted them looked through our Sunset Garden book to see what I could grow in our "zone". I wanted a garden that I could cut flowers for bouquets and plants that had foliage or blooms in the fall and winter also. I am very happy with it now. If you don't have the Sunset Garden book, I would recommend getting it.

Email Chris at csm71@hotmail.com

He's planted our entire front yard plus parking strip, and the design is fantastic! Very reasonably priced, great crew, fast, and beautiful results.

You've seen her work in the Oregonian and around town!

Land line
pnw modern landscape design
Melissa Medeiros

She did great designs for our co-housing garden and patio spaces!

If you need any stonework in your project, I highly recommend Dan Calvert. He is very conscientious about how children play in a yard. His stone walls are safe and he makes play nooks out of plants and pathways that really help create a diverse landscape. Website is http://www.home.comcast.net/~zeolite

Emalee Assenberg is a local gardener & landscape designer, single mama, and wonderful person. She has wonderful vision, is an artist, and is passionate about plants! Her business is called Queen of Spades Gardening and her email is queenofspadespdx@gmail.com.

My neighbor, Marina Wynton is a landscape designer with an office in Kenton (North Portland), http://www.olivine-associates.com/.

She will do as much (the whole thing from plan to reality) or as little (a suggested site layout) as you want or anywhere in between. She also volunteers with Audubon's Backyard Habitat Certification and specializes in native/sustainable landscaping. Her yards are amazingly beautiful and functional with plant, hardscape, woodwork, etc flowing together without looking over-designed. Okay, I could go on but I'll stop there because, clearly, I recommend her.

I highly recommend Julie Gatti, a local Waldorf teacher who also does garden planning, consulting, and planting/tending!

She can be reached at juliegatti@hotmail.com and her ideas are terrific.

My friend Jesse Stemmler is awesome! He's been working for well-known firms for years but has decided to start his own firm and is looking to build his personal portfolio. He does great work and is a nice, upstanding guy. Here is his bio. Call him! :-)
Residential Landscape Design - Professional Design at Affordable Rates

I have my Masters in Landscape Architecture and a background of working with renowned firms on projects ranging from vineyards and residential estates to public parks and urban plazas. My design looks to reinforce and reestablish local ecologies, using native plant palettes and local materials to create vibrant, functional spaces.

I place great effort in establishing good client relationships, relying on these relationships to collaborate on designing beautiful, inspiring landscapes.

I would be happy to make a site visit then put together a work proposal with cost estimate - free of charge. Samples of work and references available upon request.


Stemmler Design

I agree with Fran. John Crain definately knows his stuff and does great work for really fair prices. He seemed to know everything about growing food, flowers, trees and perrenial landscapes. He also taught us how to maintain our garden easily and how to keep our compost working. Great guy.

Good to read this article. I got some useful informations here.
Thanks for sharing.

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