The Profile

Richard McPherson
Landscape Architecture Oakland


Landscape Architect specializing in residential and commercial garden design: arbors, hardscape: paving/walls, ‘outdoor rooms’, perennial beds, swimming pools, fountains, low maintenance, drought tolerant gardens, and ornamental grasses.



WORK EXPERIENCE

1998 - Present
Richard McPherson Landscape Architecture, located in Oakland
Residential Garden and Commercial Landscape Design (self-employed)

1998 - 2004
Suzman Cole Design Associates, San Francisco, CA
Affiliate in design and project management of residential gardens


1988 - 1998
Raikes Landscape Co., Mill Valley, CA

Penny Raikes, Owner; Design/build company: Designer/Draftsman/Project Management/Graphic Artist/Cost Estimating/Research/Office Management

Pre-1988

Ron Lutsko & Associates, Landscape Architecture, San Francisco, CA (9 months)

Draftsman/Design Assistant/Office Management

Performance Lab Acting School, San Francisco, CA (7 years)
Co-Administrator/Registrar/ Producer/Graphic Artist/Project Supervision/Conference & School Organizer/Bookkeeper/Public Relations

T. Delaney Landscape Company, Corte Madera, CA (1 year)
Draftsman/Site Construction Supervisor/Cost Estimating/Laborer (1 year)

Department of Architecture & Civic Design Greater London Council,
London, England (3 years )
Landscape Designer in charge of housing estate landscape design (including complete working drawings) for expanding towns: Haverhill (118 homes) and Houghton Regis (320 homes)




EDUCATION

University of California, Berkeley
B.A. degree in Landscape Architecture


San Francisco State University, San Francisco, undergraduate program
College of Marin, Kentfield, A.A. degree




TEACHING

1998-2004
U.C. Berkeley Extension Landscape Architecture Program

3 TO 6 WEEK CLASSES:
Developing the Critical Eye: Field Study of Bay Area Gardens (1998 – 2001, 2003)

Developing the Critical Eye: Field Study of Public Spaces (1999, 2000, 2002)
The Legacy of Thomas Church (2000, 2001, 2002)

WORKSHOPS:
Thomas Church and the Donnell Garden (1999, 2000-2004)
Design with Ornamental Grasses (1999)



GUEST LECTURING

January, 2012

Association for Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), Lafayette branch. Topic: The Low Maintenance Garden Now. Power Point presentation.

April, 2008
California Preservation Federation: Guided tour and lecture of Thomas Church’s Donnell Garden, Sonoma

October, 2007
American Society of Landscape Architects, national conference in SF, two days of guided tours of Thomas Church gardens. PowerPoint presentations at Moscone Center.

June, 2007
Jeff Sainsbury Tours: six day guided tour of Bay Area gardens designed by Thomas Church

June, 2007
City College of San Francisco: Power Point presentation on Thomas Church and his modernist work

May, 2006
Garden Club of Marin: lecture and field study on Thomas Church and the Donnell Garden

October, 2005
The Garden Conservancy field study class: Guided tour of Thomas Church modernist gardens in San Francisco, Hillsborough, Atherton

September, 2005
The Garden Conservancy conference: Gardens to Match Your Architecture:
Mid-20th Century California Modernism: Lecture/slide show topic: Modernist Gardens of Thomas Church

August, 2004
Association of Professional Landscape Designers: walking tour and lecture about how hardscape is installed in residential gardens: construction detailing, materials and surface installation

June, 2004
Association of Professional Landscape Designers: walking tour and lecture about
designing urban front gardens and the techniques of construction design

October, 2002
Gamble Garden Center, Palo Alto: workshop on Thomas Church designed gardens in Atherton/Woodside

October, 2002
Association of Professional Landscape Designers: walking tours of gardens
3 workshops: Legacy of Thomas Church (San Francisco, Hillsborough)
1 workshop: Designing Gardens to Harmonize with Period Revival Architecture

June, 2001
Association of Professional Landscape Designers: slide show/lecture: In Search of the Low Maintenance Garden

February, 2001
Garden Club of Palo Alto: lecture/slide show: ornamental grasses in a
Saratoga garden

February, 2001
Association of Professional Landscape Designers: walking tour of the front gardens of Palo Alto, discuss design principles

October, 2000
Gamble Garden Center, Palo Alto: workshop on ornamental grasses,
walking tour of Fireman grass garden.

October, 2000
American Assoc. of Botanical Gardens & Arboretum, Regional Conference
at Stanford University, topic: Ornamental grasses in the garden

September, 2000
Hillsborough Garden Club, walking tour of members’ Thomas Church gardens;
discuss and review garden design principles

May, 2000
Gamble Garden Center, Palo Alto: ‘Garden Tour Revisited’
Tour of area gardens to examine design concepts

October, 1999
Marin Garden Club, Kentfield, topic: ‘Remembering Thomas Church’ (famous California landscape architect 1940-1977)

October, 1999
Marin Master Gardeners, topic: ‘The Myth of the Low Maintenance Garden’




PUBLISHED DESIGN WORK

2009

“The American Meadow Garden”, Timber Press, Inc. 7 photos


June, 2008
“The View from Above”, Landscape Architecture Magazine, 8 page cover story
about Twin Peaks garden, San Francisco

2006
“Western Landscaping Book”, Sunset Books Publishing, photo of Saratoga ornamental grass garden

Spring, 2006
“Big Ideas from a Small Space”, Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications, (reprint)
 

2004
“Plants for Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates", East Bay Municipal Utility District, photo of Fireman garden


Fall, 2004
“Big Ideas from a Small Space”, Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications, Photos and story of San Francisco garden


Spring, 2004
“Pool Idea Book”, by Lee Anne White, Taunton Press, 12 photos of pool and
lanai at Agardy Residence, Hillsborough

Summer, 2003
“Features for Pools”, Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications,
Photos of pool and lanai at Agardy Residence, Hillsborough

Summer, 2002
“Seeking Shelter”, Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications,
Photos of pool and lanai of Agardy Residence, Hillsborough

March, 2002
“Grasses”, by Nancy J. Ondra, Storey Books, MA, 9 pages of photographs
of Fireman garden in Saratoga

October, 1999
 
“Icon of an era”, Meg McConahey, Press Democrat Newspaper, Santa Rosa, story on my UC Extension workshop on the life of Thomas Church and his work on Sonoma’s Donnell Garden

1999
“To the Rescue”, American Homestyle and Gardening Magazine, Nov.,1999, a design make-over of a home in San Pedro, CA




DESIGNED GARDENS ON TOUR

June, 2012
Open Days, Garden Conservancy Tour at Fireman Residence, Saratoga


May, 2010
5th Annual Open Garden Tour, Valley Humane Society at Morgenroth Residence, Pleasanton


March, 2007
Foothill College, horticulture class, guided tour of Saratoga grass garden: Fireman Residence

May, 2005 & 2006
Open Days, Garden Conservancy Garden Tour at Riley Garden, San Francisco

October, 2000
Open Garden Tour at Fireman Residence, Surrey Lane, Saratoga
(open garden for area garden clubs)

October, 2000
American Assoc. of Botanical Gardens & Arboretum
Fireman Residence, Surrey Lane, Saratoga
(scheduled on tour with Filoli & Hikone Gardens)

May, 2000
Los Gatos Garden Tour
Fireman Residence, Surrey Lane, Saratoga

May, 2000
Hillsborough Garden Tour
Agardy Residence, Hillsborough

October, 1999
Pacific Horticulture Magazine garden tour
Fireman Residence, Surrey Lane, Saratoga

May, 1996
Mt. Tamalpais Garden Tour
Julian Residence, Tiburon

May, 1993
Hillsborough Garden Tour
Hoster Residence, Hillsborough




PUBLISHED WRITING

Author of book cover story: “Grasses Grace a Garden”, Exploring Garden Style, a Fine Gardening Design Guide, The Taunton Press. Topic: designing with ornamental grasses

Author of magazine feature: “Grasses Grace a Garden”, Fine Gardening Magazine. Cover story/article on designing with ornamental grasses

Author of magazine feature: “The Low Maintenance Garden: Fact or Fiction?”, Pacific Horticulture Magazine. An examination of garden maintenance using as a case study a one acre Saratoga garden of my design, published 1999

Pre-1990
Author: Introduction to Housing Layout, Architectural Press. One year project to write book for designers on how to improve the layout and landscape of public housing projects in Great Britain. Written while working for the Greater London Council in the Expanding Town Division, Project Supervisor & Main Contributor