(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.
Arlen is a doll. Very professional and talented! I really love what she did to our house. Many compliments from... read more11 Aug 2014
Am I glad we used Satori Garden Designs--YES! Did I like Arleen (the owner/designer)--YES! Do the people in our neighborhood... read more19 Jul 2018
Arleen did a wonderful job on our backyard. She not only listened well to what we had in mind, she... read more20 Jul 2013
After two previous, disasterous efforts by other contractors to redesign my front yard, I cut my losses and contacted Arleen.... read more04 Jan 2018
Satori Design transformed my run of the mill San Fernando Valley front yard from a thatch-infested lawn with old-fashioned garden... read more13 Jan 2017
Arleen and her team did an amazing job transforming our backyard into a great drought resistant place. She is on... read more03 Feb 2017