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.


  • syrac

    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
    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

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

    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

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

    07 Sep 2014
  • 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

    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
    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
  • 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

    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

    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
  • deblehman0104

    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

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

    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
    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