Business Card
Life's Potting Mix
About Me

"All the world is a stage and all the men and women in it merely players."—Wm. Shakespeare

These are the words I was weaned on from the age of eight, when I started studying theatre. For the next 20 years, I worked at becoming an actress and then a director. I staged plays and created worlds for the characters to inhabit, bringing in sets, lights, and costumes—so that for a while the audience was transported.

But my life wound on, and things changed. I moved to Los Angeles, ran into (literally) my husband to be, and had a daughter. Somehow after all that, I found that theatre just wasn't for me anymore. However, that need for a creative outlet pulsed on and I found myself writing instead. One day, I started out with the phrase "I eat dirt." Those 3 words were the beginning of the shift to my new life.

So, here I am now, several years later, wondering how I got from theatre to landscaping, when I start to see the similarities. I am still a director, only this time the characters are my clients. It is my job to work with them, to coax from them their true desires. From there, I look at the 'stage' and start to imagine. Like theatre, we bring in the set—this time made of stone, wood, iron, and water. We add our props, our lights, and our music made of whispering branches and trickling streams. And when all the stone is laid, the trees planted, the fountain turned on, we have indeed created a new world for our characters to inhabit.

We never know in the beginning, how it will turn out in the end. And the path we start out on is rarely the path we finish. But the glorious thing is, nothing in life is wasted, though sometimes we wonder at the pit stops. All these experiences lead to a fuller, richer experience. So it was with me, so may it be with you.


It was in 1999 that Marianne Simon left her cushy job with MGM to start her own landscape business. But, her love of nature goes way back.

Head Shot A Head Shot B

In fact, while most kids were making mud pies, Marianne was eating them. Since then, her choice of dining venues has changed, but not her affinity to the earth. She founded her Landscape Design Company, Poetic Plantings, with the vision of creating gardens that would nurture the spirit and nourish the earth.

Marianne has now received her certificate in Landscape Architecture from UCLA Extension, and as part of her studies in Landscape Architecture, she also spent two and a half years with Katherine Spitz Associates, Landscape Architects, further developing her skills. In addition, she is now a G3-LA Certified Sustainable Landscape Professional and is member of Santa Monica's Sustainable Landscape Program, as well as having been nominated for Santa Monica's Sustainable Quality Award.

In an interesting reminder on how life can come full circle, Marianne now stands on stage once again, this time speaking on sustainable design.

Read the article "RADICAL SABATICAL," written for the "Fine Living Network" by Bill Spring.

"Thank you for providing us with a beautiful water garden. We experience great joy and appreciation each time we see and hear it."
—J.D. & J.E.

Poetic Plantings
Landscape Design