Residential Gardens

For more than three decades, Oehme and van Sweden collaborated on hundreds of residential commissions, developing working relationships and great friendships with clients who became some of their most ardent advocates. As David Ebershoff, van Sweden’s editor at Random House, said, “Jim understands that the art of garden design, like the art of storytelling, is about people—that there is no point in laying a path or seeding a meadow or writing a book if it is not going to touch the people who experience it.” [1]

In The Artful Garden, van Sweden wrote, “I want to put the mystery back into the heart of garden design, where it needs to be. It’s what lures you in through the gate, keeps you moving through the landscape, and fills you with excitement along the way. The sense of mystery is what turns a mere display of plants, paths, and ornaments into an adventure.” [2]


[1] “Reflections by David Ebershoff, August 2010,”, last modified October 2, 2010.

[2] James van Sweden and Tom Christopher, The Artful Garden: Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design (New York: Random House, 2011), second cover.


Projects (10)