Wimberg Landscaping is pleased to announce a new addition to our design team, Natalie Selker LEED AP BD+C. Natalie brings her love of incorporating nature inspired design and sensibility to her large scale projects as well as more intimate, residential designs. I asked Natalie to share what inspires her designs and what she believes makes a successful landscape.
Natalie, let’s start at the beginning. Where did you study landscape design?
I earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado in Boulder in Environmental Design with an emphasis in design. I went on to earn my master’s degree at the University of Colorado in Denver in Landscape Architecture. I built upon that well-rounded design degree by specializing in landscape architecture where I learned design theory, history and overall concepts. I was taught to design big (with no budget to be considered) which pushed me to go beyond what was typical and expected. Today, I apply that out-of-the-box design insight to all my projects, from pocket-size backyards to large commercial projects.
Everyone has that moment when they fell in love with designing with plants. What was yours?
I discovered landscape architecture my junior year in college. I enjoyed creating models so I shadowed the masters program where I fell in love with the landscape architecture studio and using plant material to design interest through layers, textures and colors. It was at my first landscape design job after graduation that I was given the opportunity to study for the LEED exam. Even though mostly architects were taking it at the time (it is very architecturally focused on building systems), I felt that it could only help me professionally. Throughout the years I have been contracted to help on various residential and commercial LEED projects.
What landscapes inspire you and why?
Natural landscapes in any capacity always intrigue me, from the simple colors of a prairie to the colors of the mountains. On the other side of the spectrum, I love the very formal and manicured gardens found throughout Europe. Surprisingly, one of my favorites was a kitchen and herbal garden in Ireland because not only was it beautifully laid out and quite formal, but it was juxtaposed with the irregularity of the plants and vine’s natural tendencies.
What makes for a successful landscape?
A successful landscape needs to be loved by the one experiencing it. If I can help a homeowner create outdoor spaces and rooms they love whether that’s in the form of a simple garden bed re-design or creating a space they’ve always dreamt of, it doesn’t matter, as long as they are happy with the result. However, I believe the most successful designs have varied colors and textures that can be experienced through all seasons in some capacity.
What do you first notice when visiting a new landscape?
The first thing I want to ascertain is how is the outside of the client’s home going to be used. Do the homeowners entertain? Do they garden? Do they like to experience their garden from the outside or would they prefer to experience from the inside looking out? Having a clear understanding of the client’s expectations enables me to create a beautiful landscape plan that makes their vision come to life.
How do clients benefit from your LEED certification?
I am more conscious of how my client’s landscapes affects their home’s sustainability.
When you are not designing, how do you spend your time?
I love spending time with my husband and two boys, especially when we are traveling. My family and I love snow skiing and biking the many trails Cincinnati has to offer. I enjoy growing herbs and making delicious meals. Baking is my true passion, I love baking pies, cakes and of course cookies!
Call today to set up an appointment with Natalie.
LEED AP BD+C