About Garden Stories

Sustainable Landscape Design | Portland, Oregon

Our Philosophy

At Garden Stories we approach every new landscape design with a "wide-angle" perspective. We like nuance. So we make every effort to get to know you, the client, the character and style of your home, and most importantly, the specific site conditions that will make for a successful landscape design.

Good landscape design is an art and a science. One informs the other. We firmly believe in this alchemy as we create gardens that are low-maintenance, long lasting, balance both function and beauty, and that are firmly integrated within the context of your home, region, and lifestyle.

Our Approach

We believe in the concept of "less is more" yet we love designing gardens that are rich in diversity and life. Amateur gardens are often prone to the proverbial "curse of chaos", so it's important to know when to exercise restraint and how to properly edit a space to achieve pleasing results.

Plants are tricky things, and it's easy to treat them like colors and textures, but they don't perform exactly the same way every time you plant them. It's important to work with a designer that not only has an extensive knowledge of flora, but also has a lot of "real-world" gardening experience, understanding each plants proper care and culture. Our background in plant ecology and fine gardening has informed our design sensibility, but most landscapes we design are not set in the wild, and so we always design with an understanding that a plan should adapt to and complement your specific site conditions.

This is why good garden design can actually save you money in the long run, by designing a landscape that is long-lasting and offering you choices that balance cost vs performance. It has the potential to also add value to your property by creating a landscape that enhances your house and making it feel larger and more connected to the property and neighborhood that you reside. We would love the opportunity to demonstrate these principles for your next project. Let's get started!

Our Story

James Wilson is the owner and lead designer at Garden Stories of Portland, Oreong. James is a licensed landscape contractor. After graduating with a degree in Environmental Science he spent time as a field botanist for the National Park Service before he shifted focus into the fields of horticulture and landscape design. His love of natural plant communities and local ecology of the Pacific Northwest greatly shapes and informs his design sensibilities.

LCB # 9161