About | Satori Garden Design
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Arleen Ferrara

(APLD, Registered Horticultural Therapist, Certified in Permaculture and the Watershed Approach to Landscape Design)


I grew up in the San Joaquin valley surrounded by orchards and endless fields of vegetables. My family had walnut trees and a huge garden which I helped tend. My love of all things plant related was really sparked when I studied sustainable landscaping and California’s Floristic Province through the Master Gardener Program at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and then later at Pierce College and UCLA.  


Ultimately, I came to landscape design as a second career when my kids were little. Satori Garden Design was born in 2008, at the same time as the city of Santa Monica was offering generous rebates for homeowners who were transitioning away from lawns to sustainable landscapes. Designing many of the city’s rebated gardens helped inform my practice of using low water plants, native flora, re-purposed materials, efficient drip irrigation and water harvesting techniques.


I love working collaboratively with clients helping to artfully shape a shared vision of how they want to live outside. I consider myself a teacher as much as a designer so my goal is to not only design a beautiful outdoor space but empower each garden owner with some knowledge and perspective on how they can take care of their garden. I’m certified in permaculture and the watershed approach to landscape design.


The healing power of working with plants and in the soil has always been evident to me and so I eventually became registered in Horticultural Therapy. Since 2013, I successfully nurtured a therapeutic gardening program at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services. At Vista, I’ve designed, and now maintain, two large school gardens totaling over 13,000 sq. ft. I run multiple sessions weekly with children ages 5 to 22 who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. Daily I’m reminded that nature can heal.


  • Joan R.

    Arleen did a wonderful job on our backyard.  She not only listened well to what we had in mind, she... read more

    20 Jul 2013
    Nancy Russell

    Am I glad we used Satori Garden Designs—YES! Did I like Arleen (the owner/designer)—YES! Do the people in... read more

    19 Jul 2018

    I hired Arleen of Satori Garden Design to design and plant for me a sustainable low-water usage back garden at... read more

    28 Aug 2014
  • joedoe23

    We had a fantastic experience working with Satori Garden Design. From the brainstorming of what can be done in our... read more

    21 Aug 2014
    Heide Franke

    Working with Arleen at Satori Garden Design was a simple pleasure from beginning to end. Arleen came prepared with... read more

    05 Feb 2017

    Arleen is knowledgeable, professional and pleasant. Her follow through and accessibility are excellent. She always met the deadlines.... read more

    11 Aug 2014
  • Zina Josephs

    Arleen Ferrera from Satori Garden Design did an excellent job with our front lawn and parkway. We hired her based... read more

    12 Feb 2017

    We hired Satori Garden Design to freshen up our landscaping a couple of years ago and they were excellent! ... read more

    21 Aug 2014
    Mikie A

    Satori Design transformed my run of the mill San Fernando Valley front yard from a thatch-infested lawn with old-fashioned garden... read more

    13 Jan 2017
  • Amir nissanov

    Arleen is exceptional in her knowledge of plants and gardening. Shes a master of her craft! She truly... read more

    11 Oct 2017

    Arleen of Satori Garden Design first grabbed my attention because she volunteers her time and knowledge to the children of... read more

    10 Aug 2014
    Amir N.

    Arleen is very helpful and easy to work with.  She is extremely knowledgeable and saved me about 50% off the... read more

    11 Oct 2017
  • cortesejocelyn

    Arleen was thoughtful and creative in her design. She took into account water conservation, our budget, and our existing landscape.... read more

    15 Aug 2014
    Alf S.

    After two previous, disasterous efforts by other contractors to redesign my front yard, I cut my losses and contacted Arleen.... read more

    04 Jan 2018
    Ron F.

    Arlen is a doll. Very professional and talented! I really love what she did to our house. Many compliments from... read more

    11 Aug 2014
  • Frank S.

    Arleen and her team did an amazing job transforming our backyard into a great drought resistant place. She is on... read more

    03 Feb 2017

    Arleen designed both my front and backyards. The front is a beautiful drought tolerant oasis and the back features reclaimed... read more

    10 Aug 2014

    Arleen Ferrara is a talented garden designer who has considerable expertise in edibles, native plants, and drought tolerant landscaping. ... read more

    11 Aug 2014