Though Arica learned to grow vegetables with her mom in the Rogue Valley, she rediscovered the joy of gardening while living on two acres in Portland. Feeling unsatisfied with teaching English as a second language and enjoying the freedom of designing the garden and growing vegetables again, her husband introduced her to the idea of studying Landscape Architecture. Building on her art background and architectural drafting courses, a love for the forests of the Pacific Northwest, and a desire to make a difference for the environment; she dove in and moved to Eugene to obtain a Master’s degree. Never intending to stay, the town quickly grew on her and she and her husband found a community of friends who made Eugene feel like home.
Specializing in plants and dabbling in teaching Landscape Architecture courses at the University of Oregon, Arica’s inspiration comes from seeing older, deteriorated gardens renovated into beautiful new spaces, educating people about habitat issues, and sharing her love for plants with anyone who will listen. In her spare time, she enjoys deer-proof ornamental gardening, organic vegetable gardening, home improvement and Pilates.