Karen is a landscape designer and landscape contractor who is passionate about year-round beauty in the garden. She is an avid practitioner of permaculture and California native plant design, edible landscaping and medicinal herbalism.
Karen received a BA in Psychology and worked her first job as a social worker serving developmentally challenged children in Wisconsin. After coming to California in her early 20’s, she worked primarily in computer programming for about 20 years and later earned an MA in Counseling Psychology.
Karen’s travels began in 1990. She spent an adventurous year traveling solo around the world, returned to the United States long enough to earn a TEFL certificate, then continued on, living and working in Ecuador and Japan teaching English as a foreign language.
After settling back in the States, Karen found her true passion in horticulture. She earned a Permaculture Design Certificate at La’akea Gardens on the Big Island of Hawaii and furthered her studies at Merritt College in Oakland, CA, where she received certificates in both Landscape Horticulture and Landscape Design. She augmented these with additional work in Medical Herbalism at the California School of Herbal Studies in Forestville, CA.
In 2003, Karen founded Wild Willow Landscape Design, where she offers landscape coaching, consulting, design and installation services. From 2003 through March 2010 Karen stewarded the gardens of Kenwood Permaculture. There she developed, designed, nurtured, grew and harvested food forests, an olive orchard, a roof-top herb garden, keyhole vegetable beds, water-wise landscaping and native plant restoration projects.
Karen is an International Society for Aboriculture (ISA) certified arborist – WE-9654A. She is also a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL). Her California Landscape Contractor’s License is #974035.