Nature Nurtured: A Q&A with Landscape Designer Ghada Dergham

We once were told by an artist-surfer that you don’t find surfing, surfing finds you.

We smiled at the sentiment, thinking privately it was sun-baked and saltwater-logged.

But over the years, we’ve come to the conclusion that we were wrong, what the artist-surfer-fellow said was bang on.

A lot of passion-inspiring pursuits, like surfing, gardening, golfing, painting, sailing, do somehow find you and if you’re receptive at the moment, you take the opening and don’t look back.

Seriously, how many people do you know just wake up and suddenly declare they are going to buy themselves a pair of snips or a 9-iron? It doesn’t happen that way.

For Ghada Dergham, gardening found her at an early age. Her mother’s love of horticulture inspired her to become a professional landscaper.

Dergham opened her firm, Jupiter Island Landscape, over 15 years ago. And since then, she’s designed and created original outdoor lifestyle designs for numerous clients in the US, Caribbean, Central and South America.

You may know Ghada from her appearances on Man Cave or The Vanilla Ice Project.

But if you haven’t seen her green-thumbed achievements, or landscaping isn’t your thing, the following Q&A could prove inspiring . . . with an idea, or two, taking root.


The NewsWhistle Q&A with Landscape Designer Ghada Dergham

Name: Ghada Dergham
Date of Interview: 7/25/2013
Age: 50 (one)derful  … Loll
Birthplace:  Beirut, Lebanon
Current town:  North Palm Beach, Florida
Occupation:  Outdoor living/ and landscape designer extraordinaire  ; )

1. What’s the funniest or saddest thing that’s happened to you this week?

I broke my toe for the third time this year…lol. You would think since I wear boots to work I would be more careful with those little guys in my boots…. Ouch ; )

2. What’s your favorite movie? And why?

“Terms of Endearment.” It has every element of what life can be.  It has the one-liners from Jack that will make you laugh until you cry, and leave you crying at the loss of a loved one.  The film simply states, “Life happens, period.”

3. What’s the biggest risk you took in life?

Everything I have done in my life is considered a risk by others standards.  I’m a dreamer; I take chances whenever I am passionate about anything.  I’ve reinvented my entire life so I’m never forced to compromise or become complacent.  There’s nothing wrong with taking a risk.  I have always said, “Show me someone who has not made a mistake and I will show you someone who hasn’t learned a thing.”


4. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be?

I would tell my mother more often how much I love her but most importantly why I loved her.

5. Tell us your favorite joke:

My favorite joke is the one that makes me laugh in that moment.

6. What’s something that most people don’t know about you?

I own a little piece of heaven on an island that I turned into a beautiful seaside boutique hotel.


7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?

Never be afraid to embrace your destiny.

8. Who’s your favorite celebrity? And why?

There are too many great celebrities to choose from. Since many are my clients, I am fortunate to know that lots of celebrities are great and ordinary people with a gift.

9. What’s your strangest phobia or superstition?

I’m not superstitious.  My phobia is that I won’t have enough time to do all that I was born to do.

10. Last, but not least, is there anything you want to pitch, promote or discuss?

I want the world to know that having your own edible garden is not only easier on your pocketbook but it can also create a beautiful sense of community and family bonding.  I want the world to know that gardening and harvesting with family and friends can be most gratifying for your soul!

11. Oh, and a bonus curve question, or two . . . What’s your favorite landscaping tip? What’s a tip that you like but rarely tell people?

“Plant what you love” is my favorite landscape tip. Experiment in your garden, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain : )


Photos Courtesy of