What is Dobro Design all about?  Simply put we strive to connect people to nature through the beauty of awe-inspiring gardens.  In modern times, we find that the delicate balance of nature is being disturbed by the activities of man.  As our relationship with the environment becomes fragmented, gardens are the place we retreat to reconnect to nature, to remember our unity with nature which has existed since the beginning of time.  All of our projects are founded on three fundamental design principles to restore this connection: embracing ecological and resilient design, creating emotive and atmospheric scenic effects, and incorporating engaging aesthetics such as suggestion, irregularity, simplicity, and perishability.


Looking closely at history to interpret what is constant and alive today, we see the common element of humanity, the human body and its five senses.  Through the five senses all perceptions pass and stimulate emotions.  Gardens at their core are distilled and nurtured nature; they are created to engage the senses.  As with art and beauty, we believe gardens transcend time, place, and culture; they bring joy, inspire, and ground.


Regardless of size or place, Dobro Design bases all its work on this belief and strives to connect people to nature through the beauty of awe-inspiring gardens.



Trained as both a Japanese and master gardener, Desi holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Colorado State University and is a licensed and registered Landscape Architect.  She believes you can never build a garden better than yourself.  She pursues this belief through a balanced study of Japanese cultural arts, garden design, maintenance and construction, as well as learning from the works of past masters and carefully observing nature.  As an instructor and presenter at the International Japanese Garden Training Center and numerous international conferences, she continually engages in outreach to the community. 


With over a decade in experience, Desi currently serves as the founding principal of Dobro Design and the Garden Asset Manager for the Portland Japanese Garden.  In these roles, she leads garden renovation, design, construction, asset management, and research while guided by a strong personal design philosophy.  Regardless of the project location or scale – expansive forlorn urban industrial areas or intimate historic gardens – Desi passionately strives to connect people to nature through the beauty of awe-inspiring gardens.