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Design a landscape like you'll live forever.

Huge trees line a road.  What would it be without them?
Giant guardians welcome you down a path

It's an interesting thing how our outdoor garden venue came to be. We originally had no idea that we'd be building a place where people could host their special day, a corporate event or anything else where people needed a place to gather. We just wanted to build a stunning outdoor garden space for people to enjoy.

If you've read the 'about us' sections throughout this website, you know that we are landscape design/build contractors. We are also artists. The venue is first and foremost about the landscaping and having the amenities surrounding it to make it a comfortable environment for people to host their special events.

We've been landscaping higher end homes here in the Greater Salt Lake Valley for over 90 years as a family owned business. I'm Joi Aoki. My dad started this business and I took it over from him in 1986.

Landscape design as an art form.

Here is the design/build project, 'Bamboo Forest' Steel Fence with Ipe Wood with it's neighboring Fernleaf Full Moon Japanese Maple we built in 2012. We were so moved by the bamboo forest we walked through in Hawaii, that we wanted something that reminded us of the way it felt to walk through it.

Steel bamboo forest fence. Aoki Event Garden landscape design.
'Bamboo Forest' fence we built in 2012. Full Moon Fernleaf Japanese Maple.

Landscaping the outside of a home is a diverse subject. Some people don't want to have to take care of a yard. You might hate to mow the lawn or weed. I totally get that. Todays lifestyle here in the United States is a busy and complicated one. Just to make a living anywhere you live takes up the majority of our time and energy. Lately there's been a trend in new homes to have little to next to no yard space to take care of. So this landscape blog may not be for you and your situation. But if you love a beautiful landscape you don't have to take care of, come to our garden venue.

However, those of us who do have an inclination to stop during a walk to observe the flowers on a plant or bend backwards to marvel at the height and grandeur of a decades old tree are somehow intrigued with the living things on this earth that grow without any aid from us. This speechless form of life that makes their way in all types of conditions, needing the same things as us, oxygen, nutrition and sun. Trees have always astonished me with their built in pumping system that soundlessly takes water up to their skyward masses of leaves that through photosynthesis produce oxygen for us. It is to me nothing short of miraculous. All of this stuff that grows, that's what we want around us at our homes. Then of course we want a comfortable spot to kick back and enjoy it.

Weeping blue atlas cedar. Landscape design DIY.
The trunk of a 35 year old Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar in our back yard.

So because we want to surround ourselves with these reminders of this beautiful earth, the need for landscaping has been around for probably as long as we have. Not everyone can have a panoramic vista of an uninterrupted forest or jungle of vegetation, especially when people have the tendency to set down their roots (no pun intended) near other people where we can get the stuff we need quickly. We have our own plots of land to build shelter and if we're fortunate enough, a place to grow something beautiful that is of benefit to us.

So I've heard it said, 'it isn't what you do, it's how you do it'. I've always believed in this axiom. Safe to say that anyone who is known for a particular skill in any art form is a testament to that saying. So someone could play the exact same pieces as a seasoned virtuoso, but it's how it's played that makes the obvious difference. Training and a tremendous amount of practice and a love for what they do and how it makes them and others feel are elements in their art. I'd say this applies toward anything someone has a passion for.

I do very strongly believe that landscaping is truly an art form. How it is done is of the utmost importance to what it will mean to anyone dwelling within it in the many years to come. And it will mean different things to different people because it is so ever changing. Unlike acrylic or oil paint, the wood, marble or steel of a sculpture, the media continues to grow and change significantly for years and years in a landscape. The composition is one thing at its initial installation, but something completely different through the passing of time. This is something that takes time, patience and experience to learn about. Then the education continues as you learn how to build and install the components. It has taken me most of my life to learn and I'm happy to say that I'm still hungry to learn more.

Every aspect of designing and building an exceptionally landscaped space juts off into several other tangents, like the spokes of a wheel. If you are apprehensive about tackling the rather daunting task of trying to figure out how to create an exceptionally landscaped space, you are not alone. But before you decide that it's 'just too much', because 'I don't know what to do', please consider the next paragraph:

If you have the desire to have a well-designed landscape to enjoy, then we invite you on this journey with us and hope you continue to see that what we've learned can be passed on and benefit you. If this was even one year ago (2023), I wouldn't have even considered spending the time it's going to take to write this blog series. But our circumstances have calmed down, and now we're anxious to share what we know. We sure hope that you decide to travel with us on this journey. Don't think of it as an overwhelming task, think of it as an opportunity to build confidence, skills, knowledge and a gorgeous landscape that reminds you of this beautiful earth.

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