Garden Aesthetics

Linda Engstrom, FAPLD

GARDEN AESTHETICS is the name of my 30+ year old landscape design and consulting business located near Portland, Oregon in the Pacific Northwest. Beginning in 2014 I will be retiring from full time designing, and will instead focus on teaching, sketching and encouraging people to include art and nature in their lives. I feel strongly that we need more than ever to emphasize regionalism and the natural environment....to create gardens with a 'sense of place', and to encourage a philosophy that every landscape on our earth is unique. I feel that it is important that we first 'read the landscape' and learn from what we see. Our gardens should reflect both the region we live in and our own individual personalities, with the realization that gardens themselves can be strongly theraputic and healing in nature. Gardens, above all, can teach us to see what is really important, can help us reconnect to the natural world, and can slow our lives down! Creating a home sanctuary....a tranquil place that extends indoor living space is more important than ever in today's modern, fast paced world. Even the smallest space can be transformed into something that will inspire creative thought.


I grew up on the East coast, earning a design degree from CORNELL UNIVERSITY and worked eight years as a designer for Armstrong World Industries. In 1973 my husband and I moved to OREGON with our two young sons, and in 1976 I received a degree in Landscape Design from Portland Community College. We established CLOUDREST VINEYARDS in 1984 on our 12 acres of hillside property outside of Portland. During the 1980's and 90's I traveled and photographed gardens in England, France, Japan, Italy, Germany, and even Siberia! I studied under the English landscape designer, John Brookes, and the late Oregon landscape architect, Barbara Fealy. In 1995 I collaborated with Al Rogers on a book, PEONIES, published by TIMBER PRESS.

I am a certified member of the ASSOCIATION of PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE DESIGNERS, and the OREGON CHAPTER OF APLD and have served on their International Board of Directors as APLD's first webmaster and later as President in 2003. I was honored in August of 2008 to be named a Fellow by APLD. I have taught in the Landscape Technology Program at PORTLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE since 1989, and also offer workshops in landscape illustration and design at my Cloudrest studio. In 2000 I started a mentoring program with graduates of the Landscape Design and Technology program. Barb Simon was my first mentoree, followed by Adriana Berry, Deb Rossi, and Izzy Baptista. I invite you to look at their websites as well as many of my other former students, at the APLD website.


  • SLIDE-LECTURES ..negotiable plus travel expenses. I am available to groups for 1-2 hour lectures on a variety of topics: Japanese, French, English, Japanese, Italian Gardens,or (my favorite) the Gardens of Siberia!. I can also cover Design Process, Plant Composition, Using Art in the Garden....and more. Call to discuss.
  • LANDSCAPE DESIGN AND SKETCHING WORKSHOPS..to be held at my Cloudrest Studio. Subjects covering Quick Sketching, Color Sketching, Sketch Journals,Perspective, and Design Practicums.....Look for announcements or call me at (503) 628-2552 / email me to add your name to the rosters! Small class sizes and individual attention.


    Garden-making concerns the relationship of the human being to his natural surroundings and an awareness of the interplay between objects occupying outdoor space. When we 'landscape' we attempt to make the best use of the space available by shaping the land to reflect the natural qualities of the site and selecting plant material that is a reflection of the region. A landscape becomes a garden only when it becomes an extension of the owner, both functionally, aesthetically, and emotionally.

    Please feel free to read the CLIENT-SITE ANALYSIS a questionnaire that will help you understand what elements are needed in your garden.


    You might want to visit a few of my FAVORITE GARDEN-RELATED SITES:

    For more design photos go to my profile on Houzz If you are interested in unusual plants go to Lakewold, a once private NW estate that is now a public garden! Another creative website developed by Scott Anderson is Seiwa-en, the Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden. For the academic types try the OSU Plant Materials Course or take an online course in Landscape Design from John Brookes!

    A sampling of some of my published work:

    Look for the article 'A Slope Transformed' in the Sept.-Oct., 2003 issue of Fine Gardening.

    Look for the article 'Fertile Ground' in the March, 2003 issue of Smart Money.

    Look for pictures of my home garden in the July, 2002 issue of Better Homes & Gardens.

    Look for 'Shady Arrangements' in the Early Spring 1999 issue of Garden Shed magazine

    DESIGN ISSUES AND MORE: There are always questions and issues to explore that relate to design and gardens in general. You might like to check out my BLOG, 'MEANDERINGS and SKETCHES' where you will find some of my sketches and we can continue the discussion.

    Last updated Dec.6,2013

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