Deborah Kuchar is the principal and designer behind Green Alchemy. For over a decade, Deborah has used plants, stone, water, pottery, ambient lighting, and found materials to create one-of-a-kind natural spaces that reflect the unique desires of her clients. Water thrifty, low maintenance, and natural are the top concerns of her clients. Her portfolio features a range of design styles and includes adapting boulders as bird attractants, a renovated foundry of live/work homes, and co-housing that contributes to community.
Where It All Started
Deborah started her career at the San Francisco Flower Market selling interior plants and cut flowers from around the world. Eventually the desire to know more about the plants attached to the cut flowers led her to work as a landscaper.
While employed with Marriott Facilities Management Deborah collaborated with Tom Bresson of the Urban Farmer Store and implemented installation of one of the California first water conservation irrigation systems that watered lawns from below the soil surface instead of sprinkling from the top.
After leaving Marriott Deborah worked for Kaiser Permanente in Oakland renovating the grounds and installing drip systems. Her designs and maintenance practices were a reflection of her studies at the Horticulture Department of Merritt College where she focused not only on plants but entomology and construction.
Because of her work at Kaiser Medical Center it was made clear to Deborah that her designs contributed healing and refuge to staff, patients and visitors.
Self-taught in design Deborah crafted many garden designs for friends and coworkers before her contractor buddies started asking her to design for their clients. As a result, Deborah left Kaiser to start her own business in 1999. Since then Deborah has been featured on Home & Garden Television (HGTV) and was key speaker at the 2003 Sacramento Home and Garden Show where she designed five gardens for sponsor OSH. Her draught tolerant garden designs have won her clients rebates from EBMUD and she is certified in installation of controllers that work off of evaporation rates.
Deborah has been a member of the Renaissance Toastmasters and served as President, VP of Education and Area Governor. In 2007, Deborah traveled to Washington DC and donated her design services to the University of Santa Clara as they competed and took 3rd place in the Solar House Decathlon, hosted by the Department of Energy.
During winter months you can find Deborah volunteering at the Spiral Garden, a nonprofit in Oakland that feeds the elderly. She is also a member of the East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden and the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society.
Where We're At Now
Deborah's design methodology is guided by the simple yet profound belief that gardens should seamlessly integrate into the lives and lifestyles of the people who use them. She begins her projects by listening to her client's goals and then helps them explore their unspoken and underlying desires. Using twentytwo years of garden and plant knowledge as a foundation, Deborah guides her clients through a design process that emphasizes their collaboration and creative exploration every step of the way. The end result is a unique natural space that reflects the client's true nature, personality, and lifestyle.