Born into a privileged life in Southern California, Florence Yoch studied at the University of California at Berkeley, at Cornell, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she completed a degree in landscape gardening. She began practicing in 1918 and over 53 years completed more than 250 projects. Her work encompassed a broad range of landscape types from grand estates to campuses, parks, even a botanical garden and five movie sets. Lucille Council became an apprentice to the firm in 1921 and as partners they lived and worked together until Council’s death in 1964.
Prestigious commissions included the residence of Mrs. Howard Huntington in Pasadena, California, Shoshone Falls National Park, and the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles. The first female movie director, Dorothy Arzner, introduced Yoch to such distinguished Hollywood personages as Jack Warner and David Selznick, for whom Yoch designed the Tara set for Gone with the Wind. Yoch and Council traveled to North Africa to research the set for The Garden of Allah. With the advent of World War II, their work, greatly reduced, became more naturalistic, centered on the land, largely in the Pasadena region. Their designs were noted for the juxtaposition of informal, wild plantings and formal geometry, as well as the theatrical and unexpected.