The “How Does a Landscape Designer Work?” Edition

Meet a landscaper who creates yards that express their owners’ selves.

Tom Noll.
Tom Noll.

Mickey Capper

Listen to this episode of Working with guest Tom Noll:

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Tom Noll trained as an artist, but he eventually translated his passion for plants and green living into a career as a landscape designer. Working mostly out of Washington, D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood, he decorates the yards of the area’s many row homes, turning small plots into colorful expressions of their owners’ selves.


Noll led us through the process of designing a yard, telling us about everything from his initial conversations with clients to the actual effort that goes into realizing his visions once he’s dreamed them up. He also talked to us about some of the difficulties that can ensue along the way, and got into the work of maintaining a yard once everything’s finished.

In a Slate Plus extra, Noll told us about his two children’s books and discussed his passion for recycling. If you’re a member, enjoy bonus segments and interview transcripts from Working, plus other great podcast exclusives. Start your two-week free trial at

Twitter: @Jacob_Brogan

Podcast production by Mickey Capper.

Update, April 6, 2016: The audio player and other links on this page originally led to a previous edition of the podcast. Those links have been swapped out.