Biography and Resume


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Peter has been building & landscaping since he could hold a bucket and a trowel. Regrettably, none of his early works survive, but the city of button towers does live on in family lore.


 

Moving to a rural county at age 9, he led the storybook life rambling over the land, doing barn chores, growing vegetables and creating mischief.


 

Returning to Oakland at age 13, Peter shouldered the family yard & handyman chores. Soon, he was working for the neighbors as well. In high school, he began working summers & vacations for a carpenter remodeling houses.


 

Feeling the call to service, Peter stopped out of college to join the romantic movement and to save the planet, moving back to the land to learn how to farm. From 1981 - 1985 he was an apprentice at the University of California Santa Cruz Farm & Garden and staff at the Farm & Wilderness Camps in Vermont. Returning to the bay area, Peter worked for the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners (SLUG) from 1986-1989.


 

Along the way, he earned his degree in Community Studies, with honors, from the University of California Santa Cruz. In an interconnected world, Peter found an interdisciplinary department in which to study social change. His senior thesis used a training manual for his successor at SLUG to address the larger issue of building community organizations.


 

Peter returned to his former job remodeling houses in the bay area. In 1991 he founded his landscape gardening business "A Gardener For All Seasons", drawing on his broad experience. Employing refugee Guatemalan coffee farmers for the first 14 years, Peter speaks Spanish rapid fire. He also resumed his formal horticultural education at the distinguished Merritt College Horticulture Department in Oakland, CA.


 

At Merritt, Peter completed intermediate and advanced certificate programs in Landscape Design and Construction, Parks And Garden maintenance, and Aesthetic Pruning, all c. 1998. He's also traveled all over California with instructor Stew Winchester studying botany and natural landscape interpretation.


 

In 1993 Peter also became a student of Dennis Makishima, the leading figure in the Aesthetic Pruning of woody ornamental plants. Peter studied with Dennis in the class room and in an experiential apprentice program known as the Merritt College Pruning Club. Rising through the ranks, Peter recieeved a Certificate In Aesthetic Pruning from Merritt, and became an instructor for pruning club service-learning projects at a number of prominent public gardens.


 

Through his work at numerous public gardens, and from colleagues in the pruning club, Peter developed skills and appreciation in the naturalistic style known as Japanese Gardening. As a result, he was selected to serve as designer of the Oakland Garden being built in the sister city of Fukuoka Japan. In this work, Peter combined his interests in social studies, design, California natural landscapes and Japanese gardening. He worked and traveled in Japan and speaks basic conversational Japanese.


 

True to a family heritage of teachers and preachers, Peter is founder and lead instructor of the Japanese Gardening Class Series at Hakone Estate & Gardens in nearby Saratoga, CA. He's also been serving as lead designer-builder of a companion Fukuoka sister city landscape in Oakland. He is married to a Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Licensed Accupuncturist, Sibylle Dreyer.





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