Perhaps my love for the garden and landscape architecture came from an unusual place…
As a child, I grew up on a street lined by homes built in the 1950’s where the neighbors all took pride in the appearance of their yard. The neighbor on the corner always planted the most beautiful floral gardens in Spring and Fall – I was fascinated by the color and perfection. I too always loved to be outside in the garden – so much so that as a young teen, I mowed lawns in the neighborhood – such satisfaction seeing a garden reformed…not to mention a few dollars for my efforts.
In high school, I decided that I wanted to be an Architect, but it was fairly clear that my math skills wouldn’t quite get me there. Once I learned that there was something even more fitting for me, it was full steam ahead – I wanted to study Landscape Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona. My high school prepared me well as I took classes in mechanical drawing, technical illustration and architecture. (I was the only girl in each class). This background and knowledge allowed me to be accepted into an ‘impacted program’ right out of high school.
Year 1 at Cal Poly was intimidating – only 6 of us had come directly from high school – most were older. It was not what I expected – it was too much ‘abstract thinking’ for me…..but I stuck with it and by the latter part of my sophomore year, felt that I had indeed made the right choice. All throughout my college years I worked for a company that allowed me to learn a great deal about engineering, so it provided a solid understanding of different aspects of a project. By the time I completed my studies at Cal Poly, the firm I worked for was acquired by a multi-disciplinary firm and hence I stayed with them. 2019 will mark my 33rd year with the firm….it’s been a great run and I hope to continue to learn and grow with each new project.
And by the way, I still love to work in the garden!
Kim Rhodes is the Landscape Architecture Business Development Manager and Vice President at David Evans and Associates.