So, why natives?

I was a native plant nut  before it was the environmental thing to do. I have long loved natives simply because to me they feel remarkably special, and they are so extraordinarily beautiful.

I love the deeper beauty that native plants convey…the sense of “this region of the world is unique because we are here” that they lend to a landscape. That snugly-fitted, beautifully adapted, feeling of deep belonging.

PGD 05My mission is to fill the American landscape with native plants!

I’ve been designing landscapes full time since 2007. I have a master’s degree in sustainable landscape design from George Washington University. And I’ve been teaching classes on landscape design with native plants for over twelve years.

I served on the board of the Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council for three years, and  I am currently Lead Designer for the Native Landscape Design Center at Adkins Arboretum.


Prior to that, I designed other things:

  •  classes and instructional materials (using my earlier degree in linguistics and graduate work in language education)
  •  publications and marketing materials (largely for the foreign language education market), and then,
  •  for 13, way-too-technical years, I designed user interfaces for computer software (the part of the software that regular folks have to be able to understand and use) and managed a fascinating research group of linguists, anthropologists, psychologists, and usability engineers in the telecoms industry, doing human factors research. (That was actually a lot of fun…)

It’s always been about design!

Bottom line, although I’ve worked in several different areas, it’s always been about design, education, and thinking about how people experience or interact with things.

Gardening and ecology from my folks…

I am grateful to have grown up in a family that cherishes gardening and ecology. My earliest work, while in high school and college, was in greenhouses and plant retail centers. My parents have been hugely supportive, as I found my way to becoming a landscape designer with a passion for really excellent design with native plants.

And if I’m not gardening or designing, I’m probably out dancing with my husband. Argentine tango is how we met. We are also crazy about all kinds of swing dance.


I am happy to hear from homeowners with landscaping aspirations!
Feel free to send me a note, below.