The Ease of Designing Remotely

This pandemic time has forced me to come up with solutions to carry on designing in ways that aren’t necessary when I could simply visit a residence. Thinking through the steps that ‘usually’ take place I came up with ways to carry on with consultations, design work and even consulting on installation without being on site. Who would think it would work? Well it went remarkably smoothly. A designer needs a cooperating client and I was fortunate to have that. Having accurate space measurements, topography, details of existing elements along with photographs documenting the property, the design process commenced. Working closely with the homeowner via Zoom and Facetime The landscape design for MODERN SPANISH began in June of 2020 and the installation completed in March 2021. Park Slope Design recommended the contractors who installed the hardscape and landscape and installation consultation services were provided – check out MODERN SPANISH! I will be meeting with my client in person for the first time in May and I am very much looking forward to meeting her 10 months after starting this design.

I Can Be a Designer and a Fine Art Photographer

I started out as an artist in New York and when I moved to Los Angeles I became intrigued with the landscape and expanded my art to the land. Weaving in and out of landscape design and fine art for many years  I experience similar aesthetics. After moving to New Mexico 6 years ago I picked up the camera. I would use the camera to capture what I see to use as a reference for painting as I always did in the past, but I discovered that it was already in the picture – complete as is! The experience of the moment was enough for me. Many years earlier I was documenting people and this has most recently come full circle with a new fervor.

Splendor in the Grasses


October 5, 2016 by Joan Grabel The grasses are in their flowering glory and what could be more complimentary to Bill Barretts’ Visual Poetry sculpture. The fall wind moves through the flowering grasses creating a sweet rhythmic motion as seen… Read More.


What’s in Bloom – Morphing Into Fall


September 1, 2016 As Santa Fe is transitioning into fall the blue skies and cloud formations have been magnificent and the autumn blooming plants are… Read More


What’s in Bloom: Summer Symphony of Purple


July 1, 2016 By Joan Grabel Although not a complete list of all plants in bloom, this article will feature a few to look for while in the gardens. Featured in the… Read More .


What’s in Bloom Early to Mid-Spring?


By Joan Grabel Although not a complete list of all plants in bloom, this article will feature a few to look for while in the gardens. Featured in the Botanical Garden at Museum Hill: Scientific name: Malus x ‘Radiant’ Common name: ‘Radiant’… Read More.


Houzz Editorial Idea Book

Park Slope Design is featured in an editorial idea book on the homepage of Houzz!

To see the article translated, please click on the following link:


Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin” has new layers of meaning these days. Southern California is in the 4th year of a drought and this seriously influences how I, as a landscape designer, help my clients to reach their vision with responsible design options.The days of sprawling lawns and thirsty plants are over, at least for now, in Southern California and other parts of the country. There are substitutes to organic lawns. Many people have responded to the idea of artificial lawns with an immediate “no” as they thought of the early artificial turf that was introduced in the 1960’s. Over the years artificial turf has evolved and there are high-end brands that look very real. I have clients who welcomed using artificial turf for a variety of reasons. Here are a few:

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After Design/Before Installation

Design is a process. I am starting from the premise that you hired a landscape designer or landscape architect. So now you have your design. The time to make modifications is before the installation begins. If you have hardscape elements in your design, such as a pool, spa, custom BBQ, outdoor kitchen cabinets, counters, patios, pergolas, custom fire and water features my advice is to have the contractor(s) take landscape spray paint and lay out all the elements on the ground in the with the measurements on the landscape design. This way if you have to make any changes to, for example, the size of the patio, you do this before installation begins. You might have decided to buy oversized outdoor furniture for your new patio and perhaps the patio should be enlarged or your new custom fire table needs to be a little smaller.

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Infratech’s Designer Spotlight

Artificial Turf

Infratech, a pioneer and leader in infrared technology is featuring Park Slope Design in their recent edition of their Designer Spotlight. Learn more about Park Slope, The Southbay Transitional Home and Joan Grabel’s design process at

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