Donna earned an art degree in sculpture from Portland State University
while also studying and practicing horticulture. She received her landscape
design education from landscape architects at Clackamas Community College.
Her artistic ability won her awards in sculpture and in
landscape design at the 2001 Portland Home and Garden Show. There
she was awarded the Landscape Design Award presented by the
Association of Landscape Designers, (APLD). Her display garden, consisting
entirely of native plants, was presented with the Wildlife Habitat Award and the
Water Wise Gardening Award. In the 2005 Portland Home and Garden Show Donna's garden was
awarded the Silver Award for her display garden, the Palette Award for use of color, and the
Art Award. Donna was an OSU
Master Gardener volunteer for 11 years and is highly supportive of the program.
She has been a volunteer for Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden for 12 years and
is curator of trees at the garden. She has published a booklet on trees in that
garden and is highly respected for her knowledge of plants, planting design and the
pruning of rhododendrons and other shrubs and trees. She is permanently certified by the National
Association of Professional Landscape Designers and is a founding member of the
Oregon chapter. She currently serves as Past President of that organization. In addition Donna
has been certified by the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (Clean Water Services) as an
Ecological Business and has taken the City of Portland's Green Roof seminars. Rated highly by members of Angie's List,
she will gladly provide references on request.
In our busy lives low maintenance is frequently an issue. We want to enjoy our outdoor
space but not become a slave to it. Selecting the right plant for the right place is essential
in achieving a low maintenance landscape. Rate of growth, drought tolerance and disease
resistance are all important maintenance issues. Choosing plants that are disease resistant
reduces the need for chemical use in your garden and makes your maintenance easier. Good
soil is the basis and foundation of a successful garden. Improving the soil before planting
and maintaining the soil is important. Often, we have to choose plants that can tolerate a
certain type of soil such as clay. It can sometimes take years of toil to create healthy soil.
In an urban garden, native plants can provide a way for people to get in touch with the
complex indigenous biology of this place we live in. Both native and introduced, non-invasive
plants can attract birds, butterflies and beneficial pollinating insects adding yet another level
of enjoyment to your garden. Water attracts wildlife and creates serenity. This can be a simple
birdbath or a pond for tree frogs. The underside of a rock or a bio-swale can provide a damp
place for a Pacific salamander to seek shelter.
"I’ve been meaning to write for awhile to express how grateful we are for your extremely well-thought out, deliberate selections for our landscaping.
When you said your intention was to have something “interesting/flowering” year round, I don’t think we could have imagined our delight every time we look
out our windows, walk around the neighborhood, or pull in and out of the driveway."
I just have to let you know that I keep staring, walking around and looking at our landscaping, and I fall more in awe with
your choices, design and artistry each time. Thank you so much."
"I wanted to let YOU know how thrilled we are with the finished result. It’s every bit as
good as we anticipated. Knowing the underground story that went into what doesn’t meet the eye,
it is certainly better than we expected. We know you had a hand in this every step of the
way—well beyond just the design phase.Thank you so much for making our tiny yard functional
instead of an aggravation. I know that as the plants mature it will only get better."
-Sally & Perry
"Thank you for your presentation and wonderful drawings for proposed landscaping to our
church building. You captured our random vague ideas and developed them into a workable and
Rose City Park Presbyterian Church
"I have to thank you AGAIN for the entire hillside design. I'm absolutely loving it. If
it hadn't been for you we'd probably have some cement product sterile wall. Instead we have
this living creature out there that we can engage with. You do great work. Have a sunny day,"
Donna Giguere began the renovation of my backyard in the fall of 2000. I
feel that Donna has made optimal use of our small, 'L'-shaped yard. I had often read in
gardening magazines that one should strive for creating "rooms" in a garden and I never quite
envisioned what that meant, until Donna's design was put into place. We went from an uninviting,
little-used yard to a beautiful space with numerous rooms: bluestone patio for dining; sunny
corner for Adirondack lounging, raised bed area for tomato plants, a spot for the charcoal
grill, a lawn for the dog, and an arbor that accommodates swings or a hammock. We are a
family of 5, (plus dog), and in spite of the yard's tiny dimensions, can all enjoy it
simultaneously while each "doing our own thing".
The design elements are beautiful and perfectly complement the house. The curving lines of
the patio and lawn soften the chunkiness of our large house, while the fence and arbor have
a strong, substantial feel that aren't dwarfed by the house's bulk. I especially like the
routing detail in the fence that mimics the detail in the house trim. The swing/arbor is a
particular pleasure as it manages to turn what felt like an odd little strip of a side yard
into a separate area that actually has a reason for being. The arbor also somehow works to
visibly widen the side yard.
After the fence and unique gate went up numerous passers-by inquired about the builder. After
telling them who built it, I always was sure to say, "But what you really want to know is who
Donna Giguere designed an outdoor living area/courtyard entry for my home in Lake Oswego
creating a large usable entertainment area with a southern exposure...
I've been extremely happy with the design and thouroughly enjoy being able to use my sunny
front yard. I receive numerous compliments on the unusual design and "imaginative" use of
formerly useless space.
Thank for the wonderful design for our garden. We think the design is perfect and that
we will get much pleasure from it for years to come. We couldn’t have been more fortunate
than having you as our designer.
-Sarah and Warren
This letter is in regard to the landscape design Donna Giguere developed for us...We really
were happy with her ability to be practical and creative at the same time...Donna developed a
wonderful planting plan. She incorporated many native plants that were low maintenance.
She helped us determine what plants would do well with the type of soil we had...
We had a very positive experience working with Donna and would highly recommend her to anyone
looking for a landscape designer.
“Donna Giguere believes in the right plant for the right place to ensure that our
diminishing native plant habitat can survive. This award winning, certified landscape designer brings her
sculpture background into every garden design she creates."
-Oregon Home Magazine The Get Guide 2009