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.


  • sunnyholden

    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
    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

    Arleen Satori was excellent to work with. She was thoughtful, thorough, and had great resources. Arleen assisted us... read more

    07 Sep 2014
  • 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
    Jane B.

    Arleen is brilliant!  She was our guide in creating a backyard haven for birds, butterflies, and humans that looks like... read more

    28 Jul 2013

    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
  • 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 is just the best.
    She made our backyard come alive with beautiful succulents that continues to flourish!
    I look forward to...
    read more

    10 Aug 2014
    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
  • lkellis2

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

    11 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

    I hired Satori Garden Design to work on a combination of landscape and hardscape in both my front and backyard.... read more

    11 Aug 2014
  • kacimages

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

    21 Aug 2014
    Nancy R.

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

    19 Jul 2018

    Satori did an excellent update of my small garden at a very reasonable rate. Arleen is incredibly knowledgeable particularly about... read more

    21 Aug 2014
  • besedaj

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

    11 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