Seasons Garden Design




The Association for Professional Landscape Designers
convenes an annual conference in a selected city
where we landscape designers gather to hear great
speakers and visit gardens. It's always a terrific
learning experience, as well as a barrel of fun!


What appealed to us most during the garden tours
was practical mastery versus floral majesty.  We saw
centrally-pivoting gates, a variety of paving, low-mow
& grow lawn substitutes, celebrated water storage
and recycled materials as garden art, and comfortable
outdoor porches. Drought-tolerant plants are commonplace
in lieu of thirstier plants, but the Dan Kiley Fountains
at the base of the IM Pei Building was spectacular!
Visited at night, it is magical.

Dan Kiley fountain

Dan Kiley designed this gorgeous experience of a fountain which was a stellar delight at night.

recycled seating
A little rush on some recycled seating added charm to this garden.

mosaic column
Colorful mosaic covers this whimsical column.

Displayed like a giant piece of art, this cistern captures rainwater near the front entry.
roof garden
Part of this garden's charm was its roof garden as seen from below.

low mow
This wasn't an unsual sight to see unmown, short grasses in Dallas. This is a particularly nice-looking use of it.


The San Francisco conference was divided into
3 primary regions: San Francisco, East Bay & Peninsula,
and the North Bay. All of the gardens had a level of
sophistication one would expect from the Bay Area
and yet they had distinctly disparate influences.
Certainly high on our list of favorites were gardens
that included edibles, native plants, recycled objects,
great art, sustainable gardening, and simplicity.

  • Walter Hood garden design
  • Benzinger Winery biodynamic garden
  • Flora Grubb Nursery
  • Tah Mah Lah LEED house & garden
  • UCSF Medicinal Garden
  • Cornerstone Gardens
  • Asian garden
  • Julia Morgan home & garden
  • artful garden
  • Marcia Donahue's garden & art
  • A tropical North Bay garden retreat
  • Haybale seating in Wine Country
  • Ruth Bancroft Garden cacti
Walter Hood designed garden in San Francisco
A Walter Hood designed garden in San Francisco is the ultimate example of simplicity and beautiful detailing.
Benzinger Winery garden
Amazing biodynamic gardens at Benzinger Winery. I wanted to bring it home with me.
Flora Grubb Nursery, San Francisco
Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco is a not-to-be-missed gardener and garden designer delight.
Tah Mah Lah LEED house and garden
The name Tah Mah Lah is local native American. This house is LEED-acredited with sustainable gardens & pool. Patrick Dougherty created the willow playhouse.
UCSF Medicinal Garden & Topher Delaney
Topher Delaney leads us on a tour of her garden. Note the names of the plants lettered on the corten steel retaining walls.
Cornerstone Gardens, the John Greenlee design
Art provided by Cornerstone Gardens graces this garden full of grasses designed by John Greenlee.
Asian garden
A peaceful space by the pool in this well-designed Japanese/Asian garden.
Julia Morgan home and garden, Berkeley
Julia Morgan designed home with appropirate garden in Berkeley, CA.
An East Bay garden full of sculpture
An East Bay garden full of sculpture.
Marcia Donahue garden with her art
Marcia Donahue art in her own garden.
tropical garden
back among native forest lies a home with a tropical garden retreat

Next to an orchard of potted olives & beneath a large oak tree, haybale seating surrounds a long table in Wine Country.
Cacti in the Ruth Bancroft Garden
The Ruth Bancroft garden and just one of its amazing collection of succulents.


Preliminary impressions of Detroit before my arrival
there were a bit anxiety-driven. However, the
downtown area where we stayed was fun and inspiring.
Garden tours in adjacent towns, like Grosse Pointe,
were luxurious and often lakeside. The gardens tended
to be one of three types: formal, large lawn + borders,
or informal meadows combined with contemporary design.
For those of us in an area with one predominant stone-type,
we were shocked to hear there were 6 different types in that part of Michigan!

bench & pebble mosaic
A white bench catches your eye among the myriad of curved box balls until you arrive at this gorgeous swirled pebble mosaic.
reflecting pool
A beautiful reflecting pool surrounded by drought-tolerant plantings and sculpture.
sunken garden
A colorful sunken garden was a surprise because you don't see it coming!
gabion wall
Gabion walls defined many areas in this garden, creating a beautiful structural element that contrasted well with the loose, textural plants.

I'm a sucker for a large patch of echinaceas. Beautiful!
Rudbeckia amongst many of the flowers in the meadow plants are a sharp contrast to the white buildings, traditional & contemporary.
perennial + grasses
Orange flowers and blue grasses...wonderful color combination!
Detroit Garden Works
Detroit Garden Works was a little slice of heaven for those that love garden object d'art and other garden furnishings.
landforms & paving
A private company garden used hill & valley landforms, striped paving, and contemporary curved benches to good effect.
Frank Lloyd Wright house
A Frank Lloyd Wright house +a renovated garden + whimsical owners = FUN!
Ford rose garden
Edsel & Eleanor Ford's rose garden.
lakeside formal garden
X-inspired formally designed garden adjacent to Lake Michigan - fabulous!
limestone paving
This garden had beautifully detailed limestone walls and paving.


Because I had been to Orlando and the surrounding area before,
I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. We saw lots of amazing, lush,
tropical foliage. Coming from the Pacific NW I was in deep envy! In October,
it wasn't too hot and the humidity was much lower than during the summer.
Enjoy some of my favorite garden views.

Cirecle Patio Pots

A circular entry anchored by 4 Grecian urns.
Just inside the entry gate at Sea World, we saw a flock of flamingoes.
recycled fish
An enormous fish completely covered in recycled materials makes a real splash in a garden! At Seaworld.

Intriguing contrast of two types of concrete, one using recycled glass mixed with aggregate.
Tropical foliage
Gorgeous tropical foliage at SeaWorld.
Pot with Dichondra
These hanging pots at SeaWorld were dripping with Dichondra 'Silver Falls', one of my favorite annuals.
Modern garden entry
A very contemporary home has a landscape to match.
modern garden patio
This elegant modern garden was very serene with its color palette limited to black and white.
modern garden water table
Imagine sitting at this table on a hot day with water splashing over your lap to keep you cool.
Victorian pool
Minimally fussy chairs at this table still coordinate well with the details of this Victorian home.
Victorian porch-Shaker rocker
Common to find porches with fans for cooling in Florida, these simple Shaker rockers still coordinate with the Victorian house.
Victorian planting
The Victorians were incredible explorers and brought back many new plants to England. This Victorian house exhibited plants in the Victorian mood.
pig on a pedestal
Two adorable pigs perched upon a brick pedestals at either side of the driveway greeted vistors to this home.

award-winning, sustainable landscape design - NE/NW Portland, OR, Vancouver, WA and SW Washington

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