5 Iconic Women In The Landscape Industry Tell All! Ready To Discover Female Landscaping?


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Landscaping is a notoriously male-dominated industry, with the average landscape architect and owner of a landscape company tending to be male. It's not hard to see why. Even just the idea of a landscaping business and the work that goes into it evoke more masculine images over feminine, especially considering the landscaping industry has close ties with the construction business.

Such thought processes are factually evidenced in demographics such as this one by Zippia, which shows how in the US, 20.3% of all project landscape architects are women, while 79.7% are men!

While the numbers are staggering, there is hope. Now more than ever there's a clear trend in the landscape industry which is seeing a rise in female landscaping, and it's just this topic that we'll cover in the following post.

As stated, this article will focus entirely on women owned landscaping companies. We'll do this by introducing you to a few of our favorite female icons of the landscape industry and detailing how they got their start in this male dominated field, as well as what made them successful in the green industry.

Each section will then end with a personalized question for our icon that will give you a better understanding of the industry and the women succeeding inside of it.

This will all be done in hopes that in the future, more women will see work as a landscape designer as a feasible career choice, thereby inspiring the next generation of landscape architects.

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Our 5 Icons Of The Female Landscaping Industry

1. Martha Schwartz

Kicking off our list of iconic females in the landscape industry is none other than Martha Schwartz. A landscape architect, urbanist, and climate activist, this trail blazer also founded Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP), a globally recognized landscape architecture practice with over 4o years in the business.

female landscaping
©Newsweek magazine

But wait, that's not all!

Martha's also a tenured professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where she teaches the next generation all she knows about the landscape industry. And if that wasn't enough, she's also a founding member of the Working Group of Sustainable Cities at the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Landscape Architecture Foundation's “Working Group on Climate Change.”

Before the accolades came reeling in, Martha cut her teeth at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment. After earning her Masters of Landscape Architecture from their program in 1978, she joined The SWA Group in Boston. Ever inquisitive and possessing an entrepreneurial mindset, it wasn't long before she started her own company with her husband at the time.

Today, MSP has offices in London, New York, and Shanghai, and continues to carry the torch in the landscape industry. With a unique blend that mixes landscape architecture with fine art, Martha believes there's nothing more important than creating climate ready cities that will take us into the future.

Notable achievements

  • Town Square Dubai
  • Beijiqia Technology Business District
  • Jeju Dream Tower

Question: How has the industry changed over the years? Overall and for women specifically?

What about the business side? Find out How To Get Commercial Landscaping Contracts

2. Jinny Blom

Next is Jinny Blom, a pioneer in the green industry hailing from the UK. Jinny made the transition into garden and landscape design after a stint working as a psychotherapist for mentally ill clients in London.

Since the launch of her own landscape company in 2000, her business has gone on to to win numerous awards with its garden design projects for clients.

Aside from such success, Jinny is an artist in Residence for Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, a member of the Artworkers Guild, and a longstanding member of the Garden Media Guild. She also sits on the board of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network, a knowledge space with a passion for spreading the word on how plants and horticulture can benefit the physical and mental health of people around the world.

At the core of her work is the idea of longevity. This is exemplified in a 2021 interview in which she states, “I build my gardens in the same way a house would be built. Gardens are not ephemeral things and I don’t like ephemeral materials. When we make a garden we are drawing things out of the earth; it is a permanent structure, and deserves all the same consideration as other permanent structures.”

female landscaping
©Architectural Digest magazine

Notable Achievements

  • 5 Chelsea Flower Shows!
  • Author of "The Thoughtful Gardener: An Intelligent Approach To Garden Design"

Question: Has your early work as a psychotherapist had any influence on your current profession?

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3. Majora Carter

While not explicitly part of the lawn care industry, Majora Carter is very much a female pioneer in the green industry, hence her inclusion on our list.

So, what does Majora focus on exactly?

To summarize, Majora is a woman who's made it her life mission to take on the challenges of living in an urban environment by pushing for sustainable urban revitalization. She was almost destined for this career path, as, hailing from the Bronx, she was witness to the lack of proper landscape design and beautiful spaces her home received compared to its neighbouring boroughs. Upon graduating from NYU with a Masters of Arts in 1997, she returned to the Bronx with plans to revitalize the land.

female landscaping
©Environmental Science Institute

Since then, her position as a leader in the community continues to gain momentum. The culmination of all her work resulted in Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx), an organization which strives to better the environmental and economic state of the South Bronx. This is done by teaching the residents about the green industry, in hopes that one days more businesses will give back to the community and create a society of environmentally conscious citizens.

Notable Achievements

  • Bronx River Alliance project
  • Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training Program
  • Peabody Award winning radio program "The Promised Land"

4. Nahal Sohbati

female landscaping
©Landscape Architecture Foundation

Born in Tehran, Nahal Sohbati is a landscape designer who's also the co-founder of a landscape design company that does work in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and The Bay Area. With an innate passion for art and design, her foray into the landscaping industry came after she received her Bachelor's degree in Interior Design from Ajman University of Science and Technology in Dubai. Making the transfer to the Academy of Art in San Francisco, she got her Master's degree in Landscape Architecture and that's when the seed really began to sprout.

Today, her award-winning firm Topophyla is lauded for its innovative approach to landscaping. Focusing on an analytical and process based approach to overcome challenges and satisfy their clients needs, Topophyla has successful overseen both garden design and public realm projects.

Aside from this, Topophyla is modern and a believer in the intersection between technology and the environment. This is evident by their use of drone technology to aid in the design process of their landscaping. By mapping and scanning a project site, they're able to produce comprehensive 3D models that further aid in the landscaping process--Never has the future looked so bright!

Notable Achievements

  • Ridge Lane community service project
  • Architectural Digest 2021 - 5 Women at the Forefront of Next-Gen Innovation

Question: What do you believe the future holds for the landscaping industry, as well as for women in this sector?

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5. Ramona Mullins

Though not as globally renowned (yet), Ramona Mullins is as every bit of a high-achiever as the other women on this list. Her story begins in 2010 when she needed a job and started learning how to mow lawns after her husband had been deployed. Upon putting out some advertisements in the neighborhood, her lawn care company really began to take off. Her hard work has paid off and today, Ramona is the co-owner of Mullins Lawn Enforcement (MLE), a landscaping company she runs with her husband.

Besides lawn care, MLE takes care of landscaping, demolition, excavating--Even French drain installation! Although a relatively new business compared to others on this list, Ramona Mullins is a testament to why and how more women should step out of their comfort zone and take on the challenges of operating in the green industry--You never know how it could change your life!

female landscaping
©Ramona Mullins

Notable Achievements

  • Testimonials and images available on website
  • 4.9 star Google rating with over 150 reviews

Question: What advice do you have for women who want to get started in the lawn care industry?

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