How did you get into landscape design?
I grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley where the environmental surroundings are incredible. My favorite subjects were art and science when I was younger, so I think it was a pretty natural fit.
What inspires you in your work?
I think one of the benefits of working in a creative field is that you draw inspiration from many things. The natural environment has always been my ultimate inspiration. Getting outside or looking through nature photography and native garden designs are a great creative pick-me-up.
But I can always count on our sales/design team for inspiration. Most of them have been in this profession a lot longer than I have. Their insight comes from many different areas of expertise which often encourages me to look at things differently.
Also, the energy of my clients is extremely motivating. For example: I had a client whose daughter loves to make fairy gardens. I designed a hideaway nook under their trees that had some really neat plant species that wouldn’t normally be great for large-scale gardening but would be perfect for a seven-year-old to pick apart and make her fairy-sized projects. When I went over the plan with the client, I got to hear her daughter get all excited that her fairy garden was on our plan—it was wonderful. In my mind, there’s something to get excited about on every project, no matter how big or small.
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on to date? What made it your favorite?
It’s hard to pick just one, but I think one of my all-time favorites has to be the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation. I donated a small design and hand-rendered drawing of their front entry which featured some engraved bricks they sold to raise money for the foundation. I then got to go out and spend a Saturday helping install it with a few other members of our team. The Foundation is wonderful and the youth of our community really benefits from their efforts. I was thrilled to be involved and have the opportunity to give back to them.
What is your favorite plant and why?
I have a lot of “garden” favorites, but above all, I absolutely LOVE our native wildflowers. I’ve tried to get out to the super bloom every year it’s arrived. Two of my all-time favorites are Fritillaria biflora (Chocolate Lily) and Dodecatheon clevelandii (Padre’s Shooting Star). I will full-on plan hiking treks based around where I think they’re supposed to be blooming each year.
What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
My biggest hobby is being a dog-mom. My dog, Lily, is a rescue (suspected Carolina Dog/German Shepard mix) and has a TON of energy; her favorite place is the dog beach so we spend a lot of time there. I also love pressing, then framing, plants and flowers I find on our walks and hikes. Once Lily burns her energy, I like to dive into my books and watch movies.