Pamela Palmer

Pamela Palmer

“What we can do as landscape architects is look at these notions of materials, and how we can use them to the best advantage, and our resources like water. Water is so precious that we can’t waste it, we have to use it in small amounts, and we have to use it effectively.”

Pamela Palmer has always been interested in water and its calming and healing effects. This interest has been evident throughout her life, as an artist and as a professional landscape architect.

Focusing primarily on residential design, Ms. Palmer is known for the creative way in which she incorporates water into her work. In her design of the Horizon Garden, she took advantage of its proximity to the ocean to highlight inspiring views. Blue Oak Hills, a residence in Sonoma, is a 40-acre site peppered with blue oaks. To celebrate the trees, Ms. Palmer created two level plains of water, so that as one circulates around the site, they’re always seeing the trees in reflection in the water. The water creates a kind of false horizon that is constantly morphing and changing.

Ms. Palmer’s education includes a B.S. in Art from UCLA and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.


“I’ve seen very small gardens that she’s done in the city that are designed around the idea that even a small exposure to nature is a very soothing antidote to urban life, and much bigger landscapes that she has done in relation to a larger, natural context…. But in both, there’s a strong sensitivity to the environment, and to the plants and materials that belong in California, and don’t demand too much of our limited resources.”

Susan Heeger

Writer, Critic & Magazine Editor