Michael O'Keefe is co-founder and co-owner of Creative by Nature, Inc. in McKinney, Texas. His passion for water gardening, aquariums and landscapes began as a seven year old child playing
with Tonka trucks in his California backyard. Times have certainly changed in the building of ponds since he was seven years old. Thirty plus years later, Michael finds himself setting the standard
for the industry for his ability to create unique, innovative designs. Michael’s years of experience focus on a common sense approach with a strong emphasis on quality. Mother Nature is his mentor
and inspiration in all his designs. Give him a blank canvas and watch the magic begin! He is now highly recognized for his award-winning, trend setting designs. He is sought out for his expertise and
experience in water feature and landscape design.
Over the years, Michael has become a 20-time award winning landscape and water garden designer. Michael's talents arrive in many forms including consulting, national speaker and author as
well as a television/radio personality. Michael has been featured on the Discovery Channel sharing his creative design concepts and knowledge. He has appeared in a number of local news
programs regarding the endless possibilities of outdoor living. His creations have been featured in magazines and newspapers for years. He believes that a job worth doing is a job worth
doing well. Some of Michael's outstanding accomplishments include:
- Garden Talk Radio Show, 660 AM KSKY
- Set design and implementation for Barney, the Dinosaur "Once a Pond a Time"
- "The Prayer Garden" at Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth
- The Garden of Angels Memorial Park, Euless, Texas
- Make-A-Wish Foundation "Emily's Garden"
- Interactive Community Vegetable Garden - Cub Scouts
- Discovery Channel - Michael Holigan's, "Your New House", Creating a Custom Water Garden
- Discovery Channel - Michael Holigan's, "Your New House", Creating a Garden Railroad
- Past President of the North Texas Water Garden Society
- Awarded the Meritorious Award for Outstanding Conduct Life Saving Efforts, City of Garland Police Department
- Winner of 15 Best of Show awards at Dallas Home and Garden Shows
- Winner of Preeminence in Design Award, Dallas Home and Garden Show
- Showcased displays at Galleria Mall, Dallas, Texas (7 years), "Galleria Premivera Celebration of Spring"
- Winner of two Gold, one Bronze awards "International Spa and Pool Institute" for Commercial-Residential Water Features category
Michael has been recognized and featured on numerous television show interviews demonstrating his expertise. He has been involved in several businesses in the garden
industry. Michael has had ownership in the following businesses:
- The Annual Texas Pond and Garden Festival
- Aquatic Research and Development Center in Athens, Texas
- Two retail aquarium and fish stores
- Regional Aquatics Manager, major national pet chain
- Created the two acre Garden and Design Center in Fairview, Texas
- National Consultant for Retail Garden Centers for display and merchandising of garden related products
Michael has years of experience with Convention Set Designs, implementations for several fortune 500 companies
- Set Design Grounds Decor, Official Landscaper for the Bank One Senior Golf Tournament, Bent Tree Country Club Dallas.
- Set Design for "Indoor Jungle", Marcus Cable, Fairmont Hotel
- Set Design for Smith Kline - Beechum National Pharmaceutical Sales Convention "In the Woods-Campsite Design" at Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas
- Set Design for Raytheon Aircraft, National Businessmen's Aviation Association, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida "Introduction to the Hawker-Horizon Business Jet"
A few commercial projects Michael has implemented include:
- Scottish Rite Children's Hospital, aquarium management
- Nations Bank
- Hitachi Semi-Conductor
- Carter-Crowley Properties, U.S. Data Building, Richardson, Texas
- Jo-Jo's Restaurants
- Southland Corporation (7-11)
- City of Pantego, City Hall, Fire Department, two city parks
When Michael is not designing custom landscapes he keeps himself occupied with a number of hobbies including model railroading, photography, travel and target shooting. Michael always
strives for perfection and is always on the move looking for ways to enhance his creative nature.