When J.R. and Holly Kramer look at a landscape, they see more than just the trees and plants that create it


“The outdoor environment is our palette, and we get to paint broad strokes through the designs we create,” says J.R. Kramer, who owns Remark Landscape Architecture with his wife, Holly. In addition to their commercial and residential landscape design projects, the couple has collaborated on mixed-media sculpture and installation art and had the distinction of showing their work at Piccolo Spoleto in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

“We form an elevated aesthetic ecology on a site through the consideration of innovative drainage solutions and responsible uses of native plants, enhancing the form and function of a landscape,” Kramer explains. “Every project is a bespoke design that caters to the client, much like a commissioned painting. No two are identical, just as all our clients are different and each landscape is different.”

Sixteen years ago, when the couple used their combined talents and expertise to launch Remark Landscape Architecture, the world looked different in so many ways—including the level of technology and types of materials available. But theirs was a desire to build something innovative, and that spirit of innovation, along with collaboration and stewardship, has been part of their core values since Remark’s beginning. “We apply those values to the environment and to our relationships with our clients,” says Kramer. “We approach every project with intention and excellence and aim to provide everyone with the highest-quality design services, regardless of budget.”

Holly Kramer, a Georgia native who moved to Charleston in 1999, holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia and began her professional career at a landscape architectural firm in Charleston. It was there that she dug her fingers into master planning and construction observation, as well as site and planting design, and her skills at project management put her on the fast track.

Like his wife, Ohio native J.R. Kramer received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Georgia—a degree he pursued after being stationed in Charleston during his time with the U.S. Air Force. It was the gardens he saw in Charleston that led him to landscape architecture, and after his time at university, he moved back to Charleston, where he worked for various firms that provided him with a great deal of experience in diverse environments and varied focuses. Over the course of his years with these firms, Kramer gained proficiency in site planning, master planning, native planting design, construction documents and construction observation.

Together, the Kramers have a collaborative strength, dedication to sustainability and desire to exceed expectation that gives their company an edge. They also have a distinct perspective that distinguishes them from other firms. “Our unique style and skill for extrapolating the needs of the native landscape and creating cohesive designs while also incorporating the Lowcountry’s rich Charleston Garden heritage sets us apart,” J.R. Kramer says. “We also listen really closely to clients and provide unique designs that bring the client’s wishes to life. We respect and take note of the architecture of the home, the site, and even the home’s interior and merge our designs with those elements. Our clients experience the highest level of customer service, a thoughtful approach to design and our core values in action: innovation, collaboration and stewardship—not only of the land but of their design dollars. We are involved through the whole project, from site analysis to construction, and we’re accessible at every stage for questions and concerns.”

Over the past 16 years, Remark has grown into a regional-based design firm with nine employees and has put its mark on private gardens, commercial projects, public parks and institutional projects throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Arkansas. And while they have a reputation for excellence in their projects, the Remark team is hardly resting on their laurels—figuratively or otherwise. “We continue striving to be the best landscape architecture firm in the region through constant improvement in our design skills and how we operate as a business,” Kramer says. “We look to grow and expand our studio, team, influence and services in the Southeast. Landscape architecture has drastically changed since graduating in 1999, but we stay on top of things by hiring the best talent, with even more knowledge about current technology than Holly and I have, and by continuing our education, honing our skills and always evaluating our work for ways we can improve. We’re always looking for how we can do better, in our processes, our designs and our stewardship.”

Remark’s work can be seen in a number of award-winning residential and commercial projects throughout the region. They recently completed a design for a premier home in Ocean Park on Kiawah Island that they consider to be one of the firm’s top projects to date. They have also completed projects for several uniquely modern homes on Daniel Island that add to the community’s architectural diversity. Current projects include an entire city block in Rock Hill and numerous residential projects in historic Charleston, Old Village in Mount Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, Captain’s Island on Daniel Island, Bray’s Island, Kiawah Island and Palmetto Bluff.

Liesel Schmidt lives in Navarre, Florida, and works as a freelance writer for local and regional magazines. She is also a web content writer and book editor. Follow her on Twitter at @laswrites or download her novels, Coming Home to You, The Secret of Us and Life Without You, at and

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