Even after 30 years, I still love the challenge of creating Portland area landscapes that thrill my customers. I truly enjoy working together to create beautiful landscaping that treats the senses and presents an overall cohesive and appropriate improvement to complement their site. Creative design, imaginative problem solving, patios, water features and proper plant selection are some of my specialties.
I’m Landscape Industry Certified through PLANET (The Professional Landcare Network) and my landscape design/build projects have been featured in many magazines, including Better Homes and Gardens, Portrait of Portland, Oregon Home and Luxe Magazine. Over the last 21 years, I’ve consistently won numerous industry recognized awards presented both by PLANET and OLCA (Oregon Landscape Contractors Association). Most recently in 2012, I received the highest level national award from the PLANET Environmental Improvement Awards committee; the ‘Grand Award’ for an estate project in Lake Oswego. I was also most thrilled to learn that I’m now one of the most decorated residential designers from any non-national company in the nation with a combined total of 12 ‘Grand Awards’ (or 1st place), 7 ‘Merit Awards’ (or 2nd place) and 1 ‘Distinction Award’ (or 3rd place). See a complete history of all awards here.
I have been a landscape designer my entire life. My first attempt at landscape design and installation was when I was 9 years old on my family’s farm in Eastern Oregon. Outside my parents’ dining room window were these two smelly, over-grown junipers. I persuaded my Dad to remove the junipers and allow me to install a small rock garden with plants. It was my first success! I continued to dabble in design while attending high school but ultimately chose a career path chasing the ‘big bucks’. I received my degree in finance and economics from the University of Oregon, which led me to a career in finance and accounting in Hi-tech. Having international aspects to my job enabled me to travel to Europe and Asia. This experience exposed me to cultural and environmental diversity and enabled me to visit both public and private gardens. The travel was enriching but also fueled my desire for a change from the cubicle/corporate life style. Consequently, I took the plunge, stopped chasing the ‘big bucks’, and went back to college and obtained both an associate’s degree in Landscape Technology and a degree in Landscape Design. Throughout this incredible journey, I have had the unwavering support of my husband, family, and friends. I am truly grateful to be able to do what I love: Landscape Design.
My background began in the mid-west. After completing degrees in Fine Arts (photography) and Business Administration at Ohio University I moved to the western United States. The first eleven years of my career were spent building my own business as a commercial advertising photographer. My clientele included such varied companies as Danner Boots, Red Lion Hotels and Speedo swimsuits. The more I lived in my adopted Pacific Northwest, the more I became fascinated by the plants and trees that make up this beautiful part of the country. I became an avid home gardener. So avid, in fact, that I decided upon a career change. Instead of designing photographs, I turned my artistic skills and vision toward designing landscapes. Joining Dennis’ 7 Dees in 1987, I was willing to begin at the production level and spent two years in the field as a maintenance and landscape foreman. I learned the business literally from the ground up while attending night courses to increase my plant knowledge, design skills and expertise in all phases of the industry. I think of it as a ‘total immersion’ landscape education. Moving into the design and sales office in 1989, I have been involved in helping people create and enjoy their outdoor landscapes for well over twenty years. My specialties include landscape renovations, low voltage lighting systems and irrigation design. I have attained a variety of landscape industry certifications: (CLP) Certified Landscape Professional, (ICPI) Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute and (NCMA) National Concrete Masonry Association for retaining wall design and installation. During the fall and winter months I also design and supervise our fast growing Holiday Decor and Lighting department. With my diverse background and long experience in the industry, I am looking forward to working with you to design and install an enjoyable and functional landscape.
With fresh, innovative ideas, Jonah can help create a landscape that is truly unique and tailored to fit you. He believes that every landscape has the potential to be not simply a landscape but a wonderful outdoor living space. It can become something that draws you outdoors not simply to see it, but to experience it. By using cohesive design principles to create a landscape that works in harmony with your existing living space, Jonah is truly able to bring a new vision, and new use, to your outdoor space. With a strong commitment to sustainable construction and innovative design and construction techniques, the landscape Jonah will create for you will truly be a unique, comfortable and relaxing space to enjoy. With over 13 years combined construction and design experience, Jonah is well prepared to help you tackle even the most challenging projects.
My design philosophy is simple. It revolves around my clients and their needs and wants. I add touches from my experience they may have not thought of or thought possible and temper them both with details to make their new garden as functional as it is beautiful. I achieve this end through open conversation and listening to the needs of my clients all the while offering suggestions from my experience. I feel designers often get too wrapped up in making their own creation. I never try. Instead my goal is to make my client’s creation using the tools I bring to them to achieve the result they have always been looking for. I do not find any particular type of garden the best, only different. I take joy in all types of design from ultra-modern to traditional Japanese. My clients are as diverse as the styles you see, and it is my job to look beyond boundaries and find what matches their needs and wants best, and I enjoy it tremendously.
My passion for gardens started in Spain where I lived for 2 years after attending my first year of college as an English Major. I instantly fell in love with the Old World architecture and the beautiful parks and gardens that were tucked away into city centers. And I couldn’t help but admire the mosaic pebble plazas of Sevilla, the fountains and statues of Madrid, and the reflection pools of the Islamic gardens in Granada.
When I returned to College at BYU-Idaho I decided to take an Intro to Landscape Design Course and before the semester ended, I knew that landscaping was what I wanted to do. So I changed my major, got some hands on experience during the summer as a landscape foreman in Idaho and Washington, and graduated 4 years later with a BS degree in Ornamental Horticulture.
After school I went right to work as a Landscape designer for a leading Design/Build firm in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I had the opportunity to design residential landscapes of all shapes, sizes and styles. I gained valuable exposure to the landscape construction process and became Landscape Industry Certified through PLANET (Professional Landcare Network). After nearly 5 years in the Bay Area, my wife and I decided to move our little family out of California to join the Dennis’ 7 Dees team. My diverse background and exposure to landscapes in Spain and throughout the Western United states have produced in me a well-rounded approach to landscape designing, which I enjoy implementing as I help people throughout the Portland area to build the outdoor spaces of their dreams.
I have been a part of the landscape industry for over 25 years. After graduating from Pacific University, (I majored in baseball and soccer with a minor in secondary education), I didn’t have a path or vision of what I wanted to do for a career, so I took a temporary position as a concrete paver installer. Little did I know that it was going to be the beginning of a long career in landscaping. It led to 10 years in the field, 11 years in sales with a local concrete and clay manufacturer and another 4 years as an estimator for a construction company before establishing roots at Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping. In that time, I became a certified paver installer, permeable paver installer and instructor through the ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) and a certified segmental retaining wall installer through the NCMA (National Concrete Masonry Institute)
Though most of my background is in “hardscaping”, I’ve always had a vision of how the entire landscape will develop into a balance of function and aesthetics. Being a realist, I believe that the space should dictate the design based on wants, needs and budget. Obviously, with my strong background in pavers and walls, I feel that the hardscaping (or the “skeleton” of the landscape) should be considered first. After that, the remaining space should speak to you on its use of form, balance and style. Ultimately, your outdoor space should be an extension of you.
I am a down to earth person that will provide excellent service and communication from start to finish. My goal is to exceed your expectations with practical ideas, clever solutions and great creativity. Though the weather may not dictate it, my goal is for you to WANT to spend more time outside than inside. Whether small, large or in between, enjoying your new outdoor living space will be my ultimate satisfaction.