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Donohoe Living Landscapes Inc.


Regions Served

  • Pacific Northwest

Donohoe Design is a Vancouver-based landscape design and development firm that offers a unique mix of both principal design and full project management services for landscape development to clients.

The firm’s success is rooted in Donohoe Design’s commitment to honour its clients in the landscapes they create. The ability to adopt an unorthodox approach and international influences on a variety of properties and personalities have allowed Donohoe Design to work on a number of diverse sites and projects. From ultra contemporary homes in West Vancouver to lush suburban acreages in Surrey, Donohoe
Design creates highly bespoke, personalized environments—hand-selecting materials and custom building almost every detail in the design.


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  • Ryan Donohoe


  • Pacific Northwest, Vancouver and Lower Mainland, Gulf Islands

Featured Projects

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Deep Cove Woodland Residence

Our clients hired us to completely makeover their landscape. We conducted a full front yard excavation and demolished a retaining wall that obscured their home and entrance from street view.  We created the inviting curb appeal that the clients requested—pouring low architectural concrete walls and laying meticulously staggered, custom cut stone steps with recessed strip lighting to guide visitors to the front door.  The graphic forms and patterns contrasted in the front yard design are inspired by the Brazilian designer, Roberto Burle Marx.

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We replaced and extended the decks on the top, front and back side of the house. Our clients can look out their floor-to-ceiling windows to an outdoor seating area perched above the stream that runs through the ravine in their backyard. Sustainable transition from the hardscape to the ecologically sensitive woodland area was imperative and we mimicked woodland ground cover in our planting style and selection. Mahonia, Sarcococca, Oxalis, big leaf vine maples, deer and sword ferns flourish here needing little irrigation and maintenance and blending right into the surrounding forest.

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Contemporary Jericho Residence

The landscape for this ultra contemporary Jericho home was for clients who stressed the importance of minimalism, low maintenance and a design that complemented their extraordinary 270-degree view of the ocean and mountains. The severe grade on all four sides of the property provided an interesting challenge. Through the use of glass and artful terracing, we created a visual and functional solution that lifts you from the sidewalk to the front door.

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We used traditional elements of grandeur in a contemporary setting—the wide, lit staircase was set with a red aluminum stripe into the concrete to add visual energy and movement to the architecture.

Details are everything in this design: the concrete retaining walls were dyed dark grey to match the home and contrast the red aluminum; custom cut granite steps and pavers made from imported granite fit together like a jigsaw flanking low growing blue, orange and white perennials and evergreen trees. Loose, leafy planting provide balance and contrast to the sharp, linear elements of the design. Two pines planted in the front and back of the home maintain its good Chi. Custom fabricated fencing and hedging provide the clients with privacy and their raised, astroturf seating area gives them the low maintenance outdoor social space they have always wanted.

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Multi-Sensory West Vancouver Residence

The landscape design for this private residence brings together a diverse array of elements to create an ethereal, multi-sensory experience where sound, movement, colour, and scent are simultaneously evoked.

Shielded by a forty foot hedge, the site challenged us to create a private world where Asian and Western influences intersect, honouring the traditions of Feng Shui. Meditation pathways lead to areas of retreat and socialization including an outdoor fire, a restored pool and covered seating area.

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An ergonomic vegetable garden lined with fruit trees allows the client to grow her own plants and vegetables. A multi-leveled water feature is framed with Japanese Maples, Azaleas, Boxwood and Feather Grass; the landscape is lined with lush camellias, peonies, evergreens and decorated with Chinese basalt and local granite.

The multi-sensory design comes to life in the grove of Shirofugen cherry trees as it sheds its petals to the music of a custom Corten steel wind chime sculpture designed by Ryan Donohoe and fabricated by English artist David Harber. A weather station was placed on site for a month to determine the weight of the chimes—each one set to the pentatonic scale. This is a space where our clients can grow and evolve their lives with the seasons.

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South Surrey Family Home

This suburban acreage is home to a family of four. Our design and execution transformed an unfinished landscape with poor drainage and poor soil into an elegant and gated outdoor space that functions for the whole family. An extended wood deck, a hot tub, fire pit and built-in barbeque with concrete countertops is surrounded by a sprawling lawn that maximizes children’s play and parent relaxation.

Bright, bold colours are the client’s favourite and Crocosmia, Rudbeckia and Hellebores were planted to get a variety of complementary colours and textures throughout the seasons.

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Layered perennials look neat in organized garden beds around the home. Tall, orange planters illuminate the landscape at night for dramatic effect and a Robinia tree with bright yellow leaves will grow up to 100 feet tall providing scale to the property as time passes.

Most importantly on this project, we merged ecology and economy by choosing to preserve the woodland space that surrounds the home. We hired an arborist and a landscaper to weed, prune and cultivate the woodland back to health. With meandering pathways that lead through the yard and deep into the woodland, the entire landscape is a place to wander and get lost in your dreams.