John DeVore

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1410 Hogue Rd. 45013

John DeVore, a noted designer in greater Cincinnati, has trained professionals nationally and internationally in design, stone construction and aesthetics, hardscape, water features, Japanese garden principles and horticultural practices.

w: DeVore's Land and Water Gardens

w: Houzz



John DeVore, noted designer, contractor, project manager and educator, established his unique business with his love for nature, knowledge of water, skills with stone, and passion for art.

Since 1979, DeVore’s Land and Water Gardens has specialized in the creation of functionally artistic gardens surrounding the Cincinnati area.

As an educator and public speaker, John has trained professionals nationally and internationally in design, stone construction and aesthetics, hardscape, water features, Japanese garden principles and horticultural practices. He specializes in hands-on live build training.

John is an active participant, as well as speaker, in the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA), The Stone Foundation, and the International Professional Pond Companies Association.  He was also the founding US partner of Garden Design School from the UK.


On Design

1.Design Series on Space, Stone, Water, Native Plants (can be presented separately)


A.The Creation of Space: The foundation of design*

a.Space is the invitation into a garden, plants are the life of the garden, stone is timelessness of the garden

b.Strategies and methods for developing the “outdoor rooms” that we hardly even think about

c.How to create movement through a garden – physically and simply with your eye.

d.The right materials used the right way to create the right effect.

B.Welcome to the Stone Age: The use of stone in design

a.Special dynamics of using stone elements in design

i.Space, vertical containment, grade change

ii.Water management, focal points

b.Varying textures of natural stone and how to implement with landscape

c.Lines of force – understanding the visual and dynamic effects of stone arranging

d.Japanese Garden principles

C. Design Priorities:  Rainwater Management and Drainage

a.All design must consider water flow first and foremost

b.Sustainable options

c.Erosion and groundwater considerations

d.Making it beautiful

D. Water Features That Work: Plus some bling

a.Basics of water feature construction

i.Liners vs. concrete

ii.Skimmers or not


b.Pond or pondless

c.Stone and edge aesthetics

d.Plants and natural elements

e.Placement in design

E.So easy!  Designing and Planting with Native Plants

a.Design principles always come first…mass, void, texture, etc.

b.Using the best native plants in your area without compromising your design


On Business


1.Developing a Niche Landscaping Business*

a.What sets you apart from the rest?

b.Know yourself…be yourself…improve yourself

c.Live and work positively…live and work joyfully…live and work proactively

d.Observe people…understand people…serve people!

e.Above all…love what you do

2.Selling Sustainability  (3 Part series)

a.Selling Sustainability…It’s easier than you think!

i.Defining Sustainability and Sustainable Landscapes 

ii. Using Sustainability to Increase Your Bottom Line

b.Designing with Sustainability in Mind

i.In 50 years will:

1.The plants be there?

2.The stone be there?

3.The soil be full of life?

ii.Will the clients be able to maintain the garden with minimal effort?

c.Managing Water: Making a Sustainable Difference    

i.Using Drainage and Storm Water Runoff as an Opportunity to Create Sustainable Landscapes    


Specialty Talks


1.Japanese Garden Design Principles for Anywhere*

Discover how to bring the experience of nature and serenity into your garden design and installation

a.The goal of the art of Japanese gardening is to evoke the experience of nature’s best dynamics…mountains, seas, islands, forests, plains, rivers, etc.

b.Through the use of natural materials indigenous to any region a Japanese influenced garden evokes memories, thoughtfulness, and quietude with close attention to details.

i.Scale and texture

ii.Utilizing architectural detail

iii.Carefully chosen viewpoints

iv.Asymmetrical balance

c.We will also look at the roots of Japanese design influences compared to western design influences…seeing the foundations of both…where they collide and where they complement. 

2.The Art and Craft of Stone Construction*

a.This talk is about the “how to’s” of stone construction as well as presenting standards of great craftsmanship

b.This would include all styles of work

i.Dry stacked walls with flat stone

ii.Boulder and stone outcrops

iii.Stone paving


3.Restorative or Healing Gardens - The Science, Spirit and Art (3 Part Series)*

Gardens should evoke a visceral response to those who enter them or even view them from indoors.  Our bodies and minds respond to sensory stimuli of all kinds.  Today science is revealing what we have always known…that life, peace, and health are enhanced by our connection to nature.  

This 3 part presentation will give you insights into yourself, your clients, the materials of our trade, and how to successfully communicate the vision you bring to the garden.  These can be applied to the residential garden, hospice and health care grounds, as well as public gardens.


Part 1.    Restorative Gardens   

 The Science of the Interactive Garden

Science has continued to confirm the measurable effects of nature and healthy living on the cellular level.  This session will outline different physical, psychological, and transformational effects that the built environment can have on us all…both positive and negative!

Participants will gain understanding of how our minds and bodies change in response to touch, sound, fragrance, form, and color. How aging is slowed and moods are enhanced through garden activity.  Science is proving how truly “magical” this world is.  It is truly inspiring and truly awesome.  


Part 2.   Restorative Gardens  

The Intuitive/Spiritual Dynamics of a Restorative Garden

Whether indoors or out, the environment in which we find ourselves affects our thoughts and emotions.  However, we are not always aware of why we are affected and by what.  Biophilia is a hypothesis being confirmed daily by science…an innate desire for and response to life and nature.  

The restorative garden should feel safe, have opportunity for private thoughts, and promote peace of mind. 

Participants will see for themselves their own:

1.Intuitive responses to space and containment in a garden setting

2.Intuitive responses to materials used in the landscape from plants to concrete.   

3.Intuitive responses to form, line, and detail in planting and construction.

As a result, participants will be enabled to be more thoughtful in their design and construction of projects and be able to communicate with their clients and staff the goals of a meditative garden.  What makes it work and what works against it.


Hamilton, OH 45013 serving the greater Cincinnati area. John will travel anywhere!

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