Do you imagine beautiful gardens, and wonder how to bring them to life?

Within You is the Ability

Within you is the ability to design a beautiful home garden in harmony with the web of life- a place to retreat to, to celebrate in, and to bring you in closer connection with the wild and the wonderful all around you. We are a part of nature, not separate from it. Placemaking is the act of joyfully and creatively connecting with the natural world right out our doorsteps- the natural world calling us home.

Welcome to your everywhere academy for timeless and eco-conscious garden design, the Placemakers Academy.

Let us show you, step by step, how to make your garden dreams a reality. 

Enrollment for the 2024 Immersion Program is Officially Open!


Landscape architect, Mary Palmer Dargan, took her 45 plus years of experience designing and teaching to create a tried and true road map for bringing your garden visions to life. She teamed up with her apprentice, and regenerative garden designer, Arielle McIntyre, to bring you a step by step journey to the home garden of your dreams!

For garden design rookies, master gardeners looking to redesign or for fresh inspiration, for anyone who’s been stuck and wanted some expert guidance, and to all you lone wolf gardeners looking for a community of like minded plant lovers, this course if for you.


Student Testimonials

"This class opened my eyes to real possibility of creating a space with my own two hands."

"It changed the way I see the world."

"I tell people about my experience weekly!"

"Mary Palmer and Arielle transformed the way I think about garden design." 

"It gave me a real focus with the planning and hoping for a new garden, new life, the metaphor and the reality of the garden."

"The class was spot on for what I needed."

"The course covered all the practical details of landscape design in a holistic framework that encourages you to probe what you want from your garden and what your garden wants from you. Bravo!" 

"You will not find more open or experienced teachers than Mary Palmer and Arielle."

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Welcome to the garden party!

Design Your Utopia

Self-guided Garden Design Immersion

Start Today & Enjoy $250 Towards Annual Small Group Immersion Program

This is our evergreen, start anytime course. It’s self guided and instructor supported. All Placemakers Academy members receive full access to the course. If you would like to take part in our Immersion Program after purchasing the evergreen course, you will receive a discount towards your Immersion Program enrollment. So why not start today?

2024 Small Group Immersion Program 

February to September 2024

*25 student cap*

Every year we host an instructor guided garden design immersion program. We will meet every other week on Zoom from February through September with a small group of 25 students to craft our dream gardens. With a small group and real-time support this program is a great option for anyone who wants a higher level of support on their design journey. Then we all gather for a live graduation party in Cashiers NC!

Placemakers Certification & Professional Mentorship Program

ALPD Certified Mentorship Program

If you are considering a career in professional garden design, this is the program for you. After completion of either the evergreen course or the immersion program, we will help you take your design process to the next level. With one-on-one mentorship and design feedback on the project of your choice, we will set you up for a fruitful career in professional landscape design.


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The Placemakers Academy



1. Someone who seeks gardens with a spirit of place, that lift the veil between us and nature, that inspire us and bring joy and vitality into our lives.

2. Someone with the vision and gumption to bring their garden dreams to life.


Our free gifts to you to jump start your garden design journey.

Placemakers Vision Workbook

Soil & Compost Protocol

Join Our Facebook Group

Recent Blog Posts

Acknowledgement of Traditional Lands

We acknowledge with gratitude that we live and work on the territory of the Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East) and S’atsoyaha (Yuchi) people. You can find your local tribes here:

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