Deborah Silver is a landscape and garden designer whose firm, Deborah Silver and Co Inc, opened its doors in 1986. Her formal education began as a scholarship student at Grosse Pointe University School, and culminated in a degree from Kalamazoo College in 1972.
After a brief graduate stint at the Iowa Writers workshop, she supported herself as a fine artist. Her informal exposure to the biological sciences, horticulture and gardening began at an early age at home and has continued throughout her career. At the conclusion of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in a Michigan school district, she managed Hughes Gardens, a well known wildflower and perennial nursery. She briefly managed the perennial plant sales and design division for Al Goldner at Goldner Walsh Nursery until he retired in 1985. Her landscape design projects combine a thorough knowledge of horticulture with an artist’s eye for design. Her distinctive designs for gardens and landscapes are as much about sculpture and the human hand as they are about a great respect for the natural world.
In 1996, she opened Detroit Garden Works, a retail store devoted to fine and unusual garden ornament and specialty plants. Named by Garden Design Magazine in 2004 as one of the top 25 garden shops in the U.S., it now has an enthusiastic local and national clientele. In 2004, she founded and opened The Branch Studio, which fabricates garden ornament, fountains, containers, structures and sculpture of her own design in a variety of media. The three companies together are able to provide an extensive range of products and services to its clients.
Her commercial projects include a ten year tenure designing and planting for the landscape and gardens at Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan, a schematic plan for an arboretum and plantings at the Baltimore Zoo, the design and installation of the common property at Turtle Lake, and the landscape design for the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, among others. Her residential projects are located primarily in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, but also include projects in Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, New York, and Canada.