Garden Design and Coaching

In addition to designing gardens for Bel Giardino, Marlys Bell assists others in making their property more sustainable. Her design approach is guided by the belief that it is an interactive, iterative, intuitive, and informed decision-making process. To

be successful it recognizes the many players: the client, the designer, the climate/microclimates, the plants, and the surrounding environmental factors, (including deer, gophers

and other challenges.)


Marlys’ expertise is creating thriving interdependent ecosystems that function with minimal routine human intervention and maintenance. She pays attention to the ingredients that produce a healthy garden-the soil, the pollinators, the water and light needed to support the functions-food producing, aesthetic enjoyment, erosion control, wildlife/wind barrier, etc.


Take the garden tour on this website to see  more

examples of Marlys’ garden design.


California native plants, the UC Davis Arboretum All Stars, Mediterranean plants and other proven winners are all featured in the gardens of Bel Giardino. The first step in any collaboration is visiting the garden to see examples of:

• Plants that thrive in the Foothills

• Landscape design principles such as scale, line, repetition, and texture

• Edible Landscapes

• Gardens for bees, birds and butterflies

• No water gardens

• Year-round veggie gardening

• Gardens for sun, shade and filtered conditions

• Gardens showcasing California natives and the All Stars