BY NISHA MAXWELL
SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE DESIGN FOR DRY CLIMATES
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ABOUT NISHA MAXWELL
LANDSCAPE DESIGNER, DESERT FARMER
I hold a B.A. in Graphic Design and Art Theory and will have completed a minor in Sustainable Horticulture from Oregon State University by September 2023. I also hold a Permaculture Design Certificate, certified by Permaculture Institute of North America through Oregon State University with Andrew Millison. I run a California Licensed nursery out of my Joshua Tree studio and am a Certified Producer for vegetables and microgreens in Los Angeles and San Bernadino County as well as a certified Egg Handler by California State.
I love plants and I love the desert. You would think that those two things would be contradictory, but as it turns out there are many amazing plants that can be grown in this climate for beauty and for food! You just have to pick the right plants. I also love drawing - especially drawing plants. So, landscape design and helping people grow food are the obvious things for me to do for a living. Hailing from San Francisco originally, I now live in Joshua Tree by way of Boston, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and New Zealand. I have a little homestead with my artist boyfriend, a 2,000 square foot vegetable garden, 16 chickens, 2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks and many more creatures!
SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE DESIGN
Based on your desires and your property's challenges, I shape your vision into a design program, plant list and exact drawing (to scale) that can be handed to a landscape contractor to implement. The drawings are handmade on vellum with ink.
WHAT'S GROWING IN THE NURSERY?
I grow seedlings (mostly annual vegetables and herbs) during the major planting seasons and sell them to my neighbors. The seeds I use are heirlooms that have been bred to handle our hot summers and cold winters. These are sourced from my own garden, the Native Seed Exchange in Arizona for summer planting and the High Desert Seed Bank in Colorado for winter planting. I use no pesticides, organic soil and no artificial lighting. It is a pure joy.
grown to order
I grow gourmet, small batch microgreens for local restaurants and grocery stores. With a background in design, I use interesting flavors and colors to create unique visual and taste experiences. Unlike most microgreens mixes, I use micro herbs and surprising greens like opal basil, dandelion, purslane and marigold to produce a unique flavor palette. The greens are grown in soil without pesticides or herbicides using natural light. Only all natural, sustainably-sourced vegan OIM inputs are used for nutrients.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Nicole G, Salon Owner
“Nisha was wonderful to work with - she really understood my concerns and desires for my home landscaping and came up with beautiful creative solutions which is going to give my property lush jungle vibes while still being waterwise. I’m especially excited about the banana and palm lined walkway and the contemplation herb spiral. I highly recommend Nisha as a designer.”