Meet Our Team
Jesse Brough – Owner
Over 25 years ago, Jesse Brough started Blessing Landscapes by traveling around his neighborhood with his bicycle and home-made trailer working on neighbors’ yards. After graduating college, it was very clear that landscaping was his future. After seven years working landscape maintenance, his foundation for design and construction matured. Jesse was a construction foreman for several years. Today he devotes his time to sales and design along with managing the business. His passion is very simple: to use his creativity and many years of diverse experience in the landscape industry to help people improve their yards.
Jesse is married and has four children. When he is not catching up with his teenage daughters or spending quality time with his younger boys, he enjoys spending time with his wife, surfing, and most of all – drawing nearer to God.
Elizabeth Hodgson – Design & Sales
Elizabeth is thrilled to be part of the Blessing Landscapes team as designer and sales person where quality service, friendliness, and happy clients are the company’s standard.
Elizabeth’s career in landscape design initially stemmed from her passion for fine arts. She received a B.A. in Art at Portland State University with an emphasis in painting along with a minor in Time Arts (animation and film making). After spending a few years painting in her studio and having several successful exhibits at local galleries, it was apparent there was still something missing in Elizabeth’s life. She took a summer to do some soul searching where she realized her time spent in the studio was less time spent outside, among nature where she truly felt happy.
The next logical step was to go back to school and get an A.A.S. in Landscape Technology and focus on landscape design. It was the perfect blend of art and nature, and the best part is now being able to share her knowledge and expertise with her local community. It’s truly her dream job and she wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Richell Chiu-Yap – Designer
Richell joins the Blessing Land team with much to offer as a landscape artist – an Associate’s Degree in Landscape Design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design-Summa cum Laude. Her previous experience working at architecture & interior design firms in Singapore helps her create holistic outdoor spaces that complement the interior and house architecture. Originally from Cebu, Philippines, she moved to Portland 6 years ago where she expanded her artistic endeavors into landscaping. Her overseas life experiences have brought modern sensibilities to her aesthetics which she combines with local styles to create functional and unique outdoor spaces. She feels that the most important aspect of the design process is listening to the client’s requirements and finding creative solutions that reflect the client’s lifestyle.
In her “free” time, Richell enjoys exploring new places and hiking with her husband, twin daughters and corgi, Dutchess. In the last five years she has been in Oregon, the spring & summer blooms, fall colors and native plants have inspired her landscape design work. As an artist, her other creative pursuits include portraits, botanical photography, fine art illustration as well as ceramic garden art.
Rebecca Smith – Design & Sales
Gardening is Rebecca Smith’s passion and creating a garden where before there was only a neglected patch of lawn or weeds is a thrilling adventure to her.
Even as a young girl she found gardens fascinating. Often, she would appreciate the sound of the wind blowing through the trees or watching a spider building its web. The garden it seemed, was always teaming with life and in a constant state of change. It wasn’t long before her parents gave her a set of pruners and had her tidying up the yard. She loved how empowering it was to be able to direct a plant’s growth, to nurture something that was struggling and the opportunity to plant something new and watch it mature.
It wasn’t always about gardens, though. Admittedly, she had a rather eclectic work history which included everything from designing couture bridal gowns, motorcycle and furniture sales, residential electrical meter installation to an 8-year stint as a Civil Affairs Specialist with the Army Reserves. While there have been enjoyable aspects to each of these experiences, none of them completely fulfilled her love of helping people, design and the outdoors. But, at the landscape design, construction and management program at Portland Community College she found her true calling.
Working at Blessing Landscapes has been a perfect fit. She has the honor of helping create beautiful, functional spaces that reflect the needs and desires of their clients while also respecting the genius loci or “spirit of a place”. In this, she also has the opportunity to go all over the Portland metro area exploring some wonderful neighborhoods while meeting people who also have an appreciation for gardens and the outdoors.
Paul Welty – Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer, Member AOLP
A native of Portland, Oregon, owner Paul Welty, is an accomplished outdoor lighting designer with a passion for using the interplay of light, shadows and darkness to elicit the best presentation possible in whatever he is lighting. Whether it’s a treasured piece of art in your garden, a pond, new deck or highlighting a building’s architecture, Welty brings an artistic and trained eye to every project.
Welty earned his Professional Lighting Design Certification through the Landscape Lighting Institute in Troy, NY and has since returned to serve as a mentor and teacher. Following that, he went through an intensive 4-year training program to earn a COLD (Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer) certification through the Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals (AOLP), along with a CLVLT (Certified Low Voltage Lighting Technician) certificate.
In 2012, Welty received AOLP’S prestigious Award of Merit for Best Commercial Outdoor Lighting for his work on Joe’s Burgers & Bar on Southwest Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway in Portland.
Sarah Lowles – Design & Sales
A life-long love of art and the outdoors has culminated into Sarah’s dream job of landscape design and sales. A native Oregonian, Sarah comes from a family of farmers and grew up roaming filbert orchards and her parents’ Christmas tree farm.
With a goal of encouraging people to spend more time enjoying our beautiful outdoors, Sarah focuses on no-fuss yards that meet people’s active lifestyles and offer peaceful retreat. Sarah’s background in public relations helps provide excellent client relations, while her landscape design degree and numerous art classes influence her creative solutions in developing plans for clients’ dream outdoor spaces.
When she doesn’t have her hands drafting a design or digging in the dirt, Sarah enjoys being active with her husband and two children. Skiing, hiking, biking, camping, and enjoying Portland’s great culinary scene keep Sarah and family busy throughout the year.
Roger Anderson – Designer
After years spent working as a web developer, Roger made a complete career change to landscape design. He quickly discovered this new direction perfectly matched the passion he’s always had for nature and the outdoors. Roger enjoys the challenge of finding a creative, but practical, design solution that will complement and enhance the client’s lifestyle. His goal is to inspire the client by revealing the unseen potential of their own property. In addition to a degree in Landscape Design, Roger is also certified in Permaculture Design. Whenever possible, he seeks ways to encourage sustainability, resilience, and habitat in our landscapes.
At home, Roger is busy creating rain gardens, experimenting with new plants, and incorporating new design ideas into his own back yard. His other interests range from hiking, wine making, listening to obscure ‘80s music, and fostering kittens with his wife, Jen.
Jean Aalseth – Designer
Jean is a native Oregonian, a Master Gardener, and a Landscape Designer with Blessing Landscapes. A complete “hortaholic”, there is nothing she loves more than talking plants with people, except for perhaps exploring the world or skiing.
Growing up in the country, Jean always had a love of nature and a close connection with the land, but didn’t pursue horticulture as a career until after returning from college in Colorado. With a Master’s degree and successful career in the corporate world, she happily left all that behind after falling in love with our climate and gardening here in the Northwest. Jean attended Landscape Design and Horticulture classes at PCC and CCC, served on the board as Vice-President of the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers, and is an active member of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. She loves helping our clients make the most of their outdoor spaces and connect with nature right in their own yards. Landscape Design is both an art and a science, and that is why it is the perfect career for Jean.