• Bio
  • Interview

    David Kato knew from a young age that he had a passion for design and a connectedness with nature. As the son of Robert M. Kato, a well known Bonsai master, and Rose Kato, proprietor of the renowned Kato Garden Center in San Mateo California from 1970 through 1999, he found that his creative expression could be realized using the land to create art. In the process, connecting with the land began David's subtle transformation via self-examination of who he really was and who he could become.

    By the time he entered the horticultural program at C.S.M., he had a firm understanding of plant material from having worked in all aspects of the family business as well as with various plant growers and nurseries in the area. As he developed his innate design ability at the Kato Garden Center, he felt the need to establish himself independently from his parents, and in 1983 he began to operate as sole proprietor of David Kato Landscapes. At the same time, he entered the Landscape Architecture program at U.C. Berkeley.

    It was after one of his final presentations that his professor took him aside and suggested that he simply focus on his design/build business because he was ready and did not need to continue with a formal education. The next day, David made the decision t quit school and further develop his skills "on the job" and did so successfully, with his wife Vicki joining him in 1990 to form Katoscapes, Inc.

    David has had the opportunity to be landscape designer and builder of over 75 state wide and local award winning custom residential projects. The first of these awards was presented during his first year of business in 1983, and the most recent was for First Place in the Residential Estates category in the 2006 statewide competition. His work has been published in Sunset Magazine, The Western Garden Book, Sunset and Ortho "how to" books, as well as numerous times in the San Mateo Times, The San Jose Mercury News, S.F. Chronicle and Examiner, Gentry Magazine, California Home and Design Magazine, and many more.

    The aforementioned history has fueled David's desire to work with the land in an even closer relationship by enrolling in the certificate program at the Golden Gate School of Feng Shui. After graduation, he traveled with his teacher, Roger Green and other graduates to study with two prominent Chinese Feng Shui masters in Hong Kong and Mainline China. As David continues to attend seminars, workshops, and lectures whenever possible to deepen his knowledge of the ancient art and science of feng shui, his passion for his work only increases.