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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. 


Dobro means good, and with each project we endeavor to make people feel good through good design. To nurture the spirit of people and our home in the universe. To bring beauty, engage the senses, and create deep emotion. 


Our design style is fluid. Rather than a specific design signature, our work is guided by a refined sense of beauty and aesthetic hierarchies, creating emotive and atmospheric scenic effects, and embracing ecological and resilient design. Whether the garden style is modern, cottage, native or Japanese inspired – experiential and engaging vignettes of exquisite quality and craft are constant in each project.


While the firm’s founding principal Desirae D. Wood has extensive training in traditional Japanese gardens and techniques, this sensitivity to design, attention to native plants and local materials allows her to seamlessly transition between project scales and aesthetics styles. The creation of multi-sensory environments through the dynamic use of space, consciousness of mood, and the understanding of the long-term life cycle of projects and their systems are skills from this unique training which support all facets of her work.


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.



 A Landscape Architect inspired by Japanese gardens and trained in both Japanese garden principles and practices, as well as ecology based principles and practices; Desirae D. Wood 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.

With seventeen years of experience, Desi currently serves as the Founding Principal of Dobro Design and was the former Garden Asset Manager for the Portland Japanese Garden. While at the Portland Japanese Garden, she ap­prenticed for twelve years in the craft of Japanese traditional garden building under the guidance of the following Japanese garden masters:

  • Sadafumi Uchiyama, Chief Curator of the PJG, Director of the Intl. Japanese Garden Training Center

  • Kazuo Mitsuhashi, President of the Garden Society of Japan, Tokyo

  • Tomoki Kato, Ph.D. and President of Ueyakato Landscape, Kyoto

In these roles, she has led garden renovation, design, construction, asset management, and research while guided by a strong purpose – to carry forward the lessons of the ancient craft of Japanese gardens and in doing so, ensure gardens evolve in a way that meets the challenge of our times; the loss of nature and spirit.

All of her 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. While her design style is fluid, the central aspects of beauty, the human senses, and nature are ever present.

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.

Her current range of services and expertise includes the following:

Landscape Architecture & Gardens (All scales and phases), Landscape Operations & Maintenance, Boulder Placement, Aesthetic Pruning, Green Infrastructure, Ecological Analysis, Asset & Project Management, Research & Development, Education & Community Outreach, and Cultural Arts.

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