Places of public and private sanctuary, social interaction, plantings, sensual beauty, and personal interests that serve the quieter moments in our lives

The personal interests of the client and the specific characteristics of the site inspire each garden we create. We learn the owner’s intentions for the garden and the garden’s relationship with the building.  We investigate the site and its context, and then we engage the owner in resolving the garden spaces in creative but environmentally responsible ways, uniquely suited to the setting.

We often work with architects and interior designers to develop spatial relationships that complement both interior and exterior, and to choose garden materials that are appropriate to the scale of the spaces and intended uses.   It is important that our gardens enhance the link between architecture and landscape. We enjoy creating garden details that are unique, beautiful, durable, and affordable.  The intimacy and personal nature of gardens allows us to experiment with materials and special features not often used in the public realm.

John Northmore Roberts & Associates has designed hundreds of private residential gardens for homes throughout Northern California– large or small, urban or rural, wooded or open, renovated or new. The garden spaces support a variety of uses, from quiet contemplation to active social interaction or from athletics to such horticultural pursuits as edible gardens or native creekside plants. In each case, we strive to make a beautiful and distinctive setting for the individual owner’s enjoyment.

In addition, we have designed many public gardens – places conceived as garden spaces that serve a community purpose – for use by a wide variety of different groups and functions.  In each case, the garden becomes a primary focus for community interaction and appreciation of nature. Often, it is through public gardens that an ecological linkage can be made with the natural landscape setting of the place.  In other cases, gardens serve as an expression of the cultural heritage of a particular site or offer an opportunity for people to come together with common horticultural pursuits.  Many of our public plazas and parks are developed as a kind of public garden while accommodating a broader range of uses, and usually at a larger scale.

Public gardens that we have designed include:

  • Community Gardens
  • Period-appropriate gardens supporting historic buildings
  • Gardens associated with archeological resources
  • Botanical gardens
  • Public spaces for plant display
  • Gardens integrated into public plazas and parks