Bay Area native and Spirit Space Landscape Design owner Bill Williams is a multi-talented renaissance man. His passions include music, science, social justice projects, and of course nature and landscape design.
Leaving the corporate world behind some 20 years ago, Bill rededicated his life to work that fulfills his personal mission to make a positive difference in the world and in people’s lives - to help them reconnect with the wonder and inspiration of nature.
Bill’s history with plants and landscaping runs deep. At just 8 years of age, his mother would put him on a bus to San Carlos at 5:30 in the morning to go to work for his grandfather’s nursery in South San Francisco every weekend. By the age of 12, he was running the nursery while his grandparents took their first holiday in 4 years, having worked 7 days a week since establishing the business.
“I would help open up, sweep, water the plants, help customers carry out purchases… I’d even bag bulk cow manure!”
As a college freshman at Berkeley, Bill started studying Political Science but quickly became disenchanted with a discipline which rarely produced any real answers. It was also at Berkeley that he took his only ever formal class in landscape design in the Landscape Architecture Department — never dreaming of a career in the field, but just for the love of plants and landscape.
After his Bachelor's degree, he ended up in graduate work in molecular biology, where he invented one of the first systems for the cloning of DNA. His subsequent career included time running a lab and department of plant molecular biology, and then working on business development, raising millions of dollars for research.
In 1997, he abandoned the corporate world in search of the renewal and spiritual reward of garden design. Through the years, Bill has built on his plant expertise to explore the world of stone in the garden, water features, lighting, and hardscape design, learning from and creating with incredibly talented and skilled craftsmen along the way.
Bill prefers to work within 15 minutes of his home, in Alamo, only on residential projects with clients who want to and can be involved in the process. His approach requires the client’s active engagement as Bill teases out their tastes and needs into the composition that will be their garden.
No matter the space or the budget, the result is always spectacular: world class architectural design married with the unique landscape of the space plus the desires, needs and personality of the client.
Life outside of the garden
Bill has been a social justice advocate all his life. For the last two decades he has been working in Central America with Sister Parish, an organization that puts communities of faith together in long term intentional relationships based on principles of partnership, not charity. His church is sistered with a community of Quiche people in the highlands of Guatemala. He is also active supporting communities in Nicaragua through a church program he founded in 1993. He and wife Linda make annual visits to Guatemala in support of these and other programs.
Bill lives with his wife Linda in Alamo, CA. Both sing with the 130-member Blackhawk Chorus. When not working, Bill and Linda enjoy spending time with their their blended family, which includes 7 children and 17 grandkids.
“Since we've worked with you, we see the world differently.”
“Over 20 years we've used 3 different landscape architects. You have finally given us the garden we've always wanted.”