Marilyn Guidroz, APLD
- Profession: Residential Landscape Designer since 1977
- Company: Marilyn’s Garden Design since 2004
- Education: Bachelor of Science in Agriculture w/Honors for Horticulture degree, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 1977
- Area of Services: North County San Diego since 1994
- Affiliation: Certified member of Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD)
How did it all happen?
After studying the Principles of Horticulture for 3 years, I finally signed up for the required course on Ornamental Plant Materials in the College of Landscape Architecture. As a part of the course the class walked around a landscaped neighborhood near the campus to identify these plants in a design setting. I was hooked!!!
Who pulled it all together?
My mentor was a seasoned landscape contractor who made me get off the drawing board and out into the field to place boulders and contour drainage swales with river rock. He inspired me to learn nature’s artistic balance from the environment itself.
What keeps it going?
The never-ending process of discovery! Knowing “ there is always something to learn” keeps me interested in exploring, experimenting and sharing. Every project is new. I am open to the potential of new garden ideas and include my professional experience at the same time. It is a juggling act.
What is my design philosophy?
I believe that our surroundings influence our state of being on many levels. A passion for beauty, a talent for visualizing the dynamics of structure and the skill to blend them together is a must. It encourages people to get outside and engage.
Where does it go from here?
You never know what is on the horizon or around the next corner. I was invited to design the 2010 San Diego County Fair display for the San Diego Horticultural Society for which we won awards for the Most Practical and Water Saving Garden. In 2011 I was invited to implement a Summer Intern Program for MiraCosta College students to actually get a hands-on experience installing the Fair display garden. Good principles and lots of hard work always produce something of value. My goals are to keep having fun and do what I love!
What is the most interesting design that I have done?
I was chosen to design the Pala Indian Reservation historical restoration site using indigenous, medicinal and ceremonial plant material. I referred to research that the tribe provided based on their history in the area to help me select the plant palette. They wanted to give their people a sense of what was in their past. I designed this garden to be a learning tool and to be used by the tribe as it might have been by their ancestors.
What advice do I have for new designers?
Two things. First, learn all you can about the science and the art of landscape design and installation. Shadowing a contractor is an invaluable experience that will help you to be a better designer. Second, remember that a garden design is for people and animals to live in. Get to know who is going to be using this garden before coming up with your ideas.
How has APLD improved my business practice?
I have formed new friendships with other APLD members, participated in APLD events for on-going education and shared what works and what doesn’t in our design businesses. APLD has given me a deeper and richer experience to draw on as I continue to create beautiful garden design.
For more about Marilyn’s Qualifications
contact Marilyn’s Garden Design.