Jennifer Kate Brand
I’ve been gardening all my life. I grew up on a homestead farm just outside of Auburn, CA. My parents were master gardeners and since I could walk, I followed them around learning as I ate. I am a former computer scientist, a trained horticulturist, a landscape designer, and a landscape architecture student. I enjoy creating gardens that feel as good to be in as they do to look at when passing by. I give careful thought to the function and placement of hardscape and the unique geography of each site. I specialize in blending California natives, and other Mediterranean plants, in a way that makes both functional (must work for the site and situation) and aesthetic sense. Through experience I have learned that every site and set of goals has unique challenges and great potential. Slope, aspect, drainage, budget, soil type, neighboring yards, reflected heat, existing trees, maintenance, and micro-climates are just a few of the competing factors that should be taken into account when designing a layout and choosing materials.
There is a momentum building toward the establishment of residential landscapes that are tailored to local climates, water budgets, and reducing fertilizer and pesticide run-off. As our population increases, it will only become more important. The success of the movement toward sustainable landscapes involves industry professionals adopting responsible practices and it also requires homeowners to re-imagine the traditional home landscape. Instead of picturing yards of green lawn and hedges, we should be embracing what we have and providing habitat for what we want to keep. California is an incredible place to live. We have one of the best climates for living and growing in the world; our yards should reflect this and relate to our homeland.