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Landscape Architect Lends Grace, Function To Projects
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Monica Perrone - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader

Monica Perrone, a local, licensed landscape architect with more than 20 years experience, is one of those lucky people whose creative talent is balanced by an analytical mind, which comes in handy when she’s approaching a project because she can immediately envision beauty without losing the details.

Raised on a dairy farm in Tulare, Perrone found Oakdale a familiar and comforting fit in the agricultural setting. As a young student, Perrone attended UC Davis — where she also met her future husband — with the intent to become a doctor but along the way found her true calling quite by accident.

Perrone needed to take a class to fulfill a requirement and filled the slot with Intro To Landscape Architecture.

That class — and her admitted dislike for chemistry — changed the course of her life.

“That’s the beauty of college, you get exposed to things you wouldn’t normally consider,” she said.

With that one class, she discovered a profession that “appealed on some innate level” and spoke to her dual nature as she loves the combination of science and art inherent to the job.

While she may not have become a doctor, Perrone offers a kind of healing in the form of aesthetics.

“I believe I practice my own brand of medicine. I try to remove dis-ease from people’s lives,” she said.

She continued, saying landscape architecture is, “an opportunity to improve the environment of everyday. I believe in the power of the environment to influence attitude and behavior. I provide a service to the property owner to realize and meet those needs.”

And it’s about more than just plants, Perrone said.

Most people are unaware of the sheer breadth and scope a licensed landscape architect can encompass on a project.

“Every encounter I use as an opportunity to educate,” Perrone said. “I think this profession often misunderstood.”

From light to wind, soil and decorative elements, with a practiced eye Perrone can assess a project and pluck the potential as deftly as a surgeon on a table.

Her past projects range as widely as her talents and fit within any budget. She’s been hired to work with the City of Oakdale on a few light industrial projects; she’s worked with homeowners to increase curb appeal. One of her bigger projects was the Alexander Cohen Hospice House in Hughson, a 16-bed facility owned by Community Hospice Inc.

She admits to a strong interest in healthcare facilities but she enjoys the challenge of any project.

“Sometimes people don’t realize the potential of a place and that a problem doesn’t have to be a big problem,” she said. “Hiring me gives the homeowner the confidence to proceed. We all respond well to the opportunity for increased comfort.”

And, often, Perrone can prevent costly mistakes by helping the client make wise choices in the beginning rather than going back to make corrections later.

“The design process is undervalued but it’s by design that good things happen and mistakes are expensive,” she said.

Her favorite question from clients is a simple why.

“There’s a reason and rhyme to every decision. I’m not going to recommend it if I can’t tell you why,” Perrone said.

With each job Perrone endeavors to bring a sense of value, function, comfort and beauty. She welcomes any budget, style or scope.

“My favorite project is the one I’m just starting,” she said.

Perrone was recently tapped to teach a class, Design Within Reason, at UC Davis during the winter quarter.

For more information on Monica Perrone, call 606-8038 or email at