What inspired your career in landscape design?

Lynn: I was always looking at compositions and thinking about form, line, color, and light. After a decade in the art gallery world, I completed a second degree in something that I loved, Landscape Design.

Kira: My background is in interior design and visual arts and was inspired to become a landscape designer after my family’s commercial greenhouse business celebrated 100 years. I felt called to embrace my farming and horticultural heritage.

How do you decide on the overall “feel” of a garden and create a landscape that is beautiful in form and function?

Lynn: Every garden is a personal expression of the homeowner. We ask what matters to them. Safety, calm, joy, exhilaration? We blend their goals with our expertise to develop an engaging and functional design.

Kira: A garden design is driven by a client’s favorite color, plant, season, fragrance, or memories. Those whimsical elements are woven into functional needs like spatial flow and privacy screening to create a practical, yet personalized space.

We love your approach that gardens are “living time-based art.” Tell us about selecting materials that thrive over time.

Lynn: Central to our practice is time devoted to analyzing plants and materials for our changing climate, durability, beauty and suitability for projects. Those materials become the tapestry of color and form that create the landscape.

Kira: A garden is living and breathing, feeds insects and animals, and has something visually appealing to offer each season. We pay special attention to climate zones, sun and wind exposure, and specific site needs.

What are your favorite hardscape features and why?

Any features perfectly executed, suited to the client and the needs of the project stand out. Beautiful pathways tell the story of the garden, unite the whole and link the residence to the garden. A handcrafted element in the form of a gate, bench, railing, or statement piece adds personality and charm.

Outside of your work, what are you currently interested in and how is it influencing your design thinking?

Lynn: Volunteer work with Portland Japanese Garden has been influential in my design thinking: framing views, material selection, exceptional maintenance, and a sense of the garden as restorative space are principles that inform all designs.

Kira: Cooking, making jewelry, learning about diverse cultures through travel and community activities. No matter what the medium or subject matter, there’s composition, color, technique, and a story from which to gain understanding.

How do you stay inspired?

Lynn: Travel, nursery and garden visits, meeting with design professionals.

Kira: Any kind of art, beautiful imagery, being in nature.

How did your growing-up experience impact your appreciation for outdoor spaces?

Lynn: Gardening was not a hobby in our household, it was part of the annual cycle. My mom’s dedication to gardening and my dad’s degree in architecture and focus on design were very influential.

Kira: My parents instilled an appreciation for flowers and nature by raising me in the countryside. The forest was our garden, and favorite views centered on the valley and mountains beyond.

Three words that most appropriately sum up your design approach are…

Lynn: Understanding, collaborating, creating.

Kira: Respecting, engaging, optimism.