Sensible Modernist

Sensible Modernist Garden

Hesla Project

The homeowner’s contacted Drake’s 7 Dees to start the landscape design process just as they were about to break ground on a complete remodel of the home itself, which was the perfect time to get us involved.  This way we worked together on the concept and style of the landscape as it related to the proposed new architectural features of the home.

We came up with some beautiful features in the landscape that reflected the modern sensibilities of the home’s redesign.  The home and landscape came together seamlessly, and our favorite part is how the plant palette accentuated the building façade. The homeowners tell us frequently how many compliments they get on their new landscape, and how happy they are to have worked with us.  For us, we are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate on such a beautiful project and to put our skills, talents, and expertise to good use for others.

Shady Boulder Garden

Shady Boulder Garden

Diwan Project

For a busy, young professional couple there is hardly time enough in a day for the essentials, let alone contemplating and executing the perfect shady boulder garden.  Such is the case for many of our clients, including the homeowners of this project. Enter: Drake’s 7 Dees design team.  

Located in Portland’s ‘Banana Belt’ on the inner Eastside, the home itself was a beautifully restored craftsman with many high-end finishes.  We looked to maximize the front yard’s potential vis-à-vis the microclimate. The shade, however, kept things interesting in that we had to look for ways to brighten with color and texture without the luxury of sun-loving flowering shrubs and perennials.  The boulder rockery helped with the slope, but we also made sure to source near white boulders to help brighten the space. We then repeated a few select shade lovers known for their colorful foliage and ended up with a beautiful well-rounded front yard to match the home.

PNW Poolside

PNW Poolside

Hanton Project

A critical part of pool design is not just the pool dimensions, but how the pool fits into the site specifically and its surroundings.  Elevation changes, location and layout of nearby structures, setbacks and overlay zones, the size and shape of the pool deck, necessary retaining, material choices… these all play an integral part in the design and planning process.  Another consideration would be whether to go with a traditional construction approach (shotcrete, gunite, sprayed concrete) or the increasingly popular prefabricated in-ground option.   

Taking all considerations into view, we set out to design the perfect backyard poolside setting.  Many of the trees and larger plantings we had planted during a phase 1 project we worked on with the clients 8 years prior, so the privacy elements were fully in place.  The clients were more than pleased with the results of both project phases and now enjoy their backyard oasis even more each summer.

Skyline Viewing Deck

Skyline Viewing Deck

A Modern Backyard Pavilion Built for All Seasons

This viewing deck, just off Portland’s famous Skyline Boulevard, pulls the outdoor entertaining experience out into the forest canopy. An outdoor living and dining experience suspended from the trees.


Oregon Home Magazine Structure + Style 2018: OUTDOOR LIVING DESIGN WINNER



California Relaxed

California Relaxed

This active Lake Oswego family was struggling with an insufficient patio perched at the base of a steeply-sloped backyard. The hill that emerged from the backside of their home occupied nearly the entire space. Where they saw a challenge, the design team at Drake’s 7 Dees saw an enormous opportunity. Sure, the backyard was a giant, dirt-covered incline, but it was spacious. The team set to work parceling out the property into distinct, usable areas.

The entire family, including their three athletic sons, now enjoys grilling and entertaining on the enlarged back patio, sinking a few shots on the custom putting green or sport court, and relaxing in the hot tub and taking in the view from a perfectly terraced platform on what was once a very underused outdoor space.


California Chic


Plaza Paver

Anchor Diamond Wall Block

A lifelong Oregon resident, Drake has been passionate about plants since childhood, beginning with propagating and growing flowers at his grandfather’s nursery. He opened Drake’s 7 Dees in 1974, while earning degrees in Business and Horticulture from Oregon State University. He later expanded into the design/build side of the industry, allowing him to combine his passion for plants with his love of family by maximizing the quality of family time spent outdoors.

Drake is co-founder of the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association and is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager (LICM)—a designation that less than two percent of landscapers have attained. Additionally, Drake serves on the Board of Directors for the Portland Japanese Gardens, widely regarded as one of the seven best Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

Drake is married to former Oregon Speaker of the House, Lynn Snodgrass. Together, he and Lynn received the Farm Bureau President’s award in 1999 for their service and dedication to agriculture in the state of Oregon. Drake and Lynn have two wonderful daughters, two talented son-in-laws, and seven grandchildren. In his spare time, Drake enjoys camping, water and snow skiing, reading, and of course, gardening.