About Karen

Began gardening in Los Angeles at age four with my grandmother. Planted sweetpeas and ‘Dusty Miller’, her favorites.

Almost gave birth to my third child in the 5th floor architecture studio at U.C. Berkeley.

Stayed up late placing 200 potted lilies in a 90-degree pool house to encourage bloom for a wedding the following day.

Watched as an 84-year-old client stood in her bathing suit in the deep end of a newly plastered swimming pool waiting for the water to fill up to her waist.

Listened to the story of a husband who chain-sawed a perfectly beautiful Chinese tallow tree because he was mad at his wife.

Almost passed out when I hit my elbow ‘funny bone’ on a fence post.

Watched boulders slide down the back of a steel end-dump truck and create enough friction to start a small fire.

Had a moving, headless rattlesnake thrown at my feet by workers breaking the boredom of digging out poison oak and thistle.





Image Credits

Marion Brenner
Clayton Cotterell
Jon Jensen
Karen Ford

“I enjoyed working with Karen, and could see that her clients felt the same. While photographing Karen’s work I was struck with a sense of calm and awareness of place. Her work integrates beautifully with the surroundings, whether in a densely populated area or a pristine natural setting.” – Marion Brenner