Joe Bidermann

CLD, CLT, Landscape Journeyman

Lead Designer at Oculis Design Inc.


Joe Bidermann, Oculis Design Inc

Joe grew up in the Black Forest region of Germany, and spent his youth enjoying the outdoor lifestyle that sparked within him a desire to study Environmental Sciences. During his studies, he was introduced to Ornamental Horticulture. He began his own Landscaping Design business in Germany, in 1994. Establishing a business was imperative to his immigration to Canada, in 1996. After settling in Nova Scotia, he started Joe Bidermann Landscaping Design, in March of 1997.


Joe still feels very tied to the outdoors, and derives design inspiration from the natural settings in which he hikes, and practices drone photography. A firm believer in lifelong learning, Joe’s never stopped improving his skills. Throughout his career, he’s been driven to improve his game, by exploring new techniques, tools, or technologies.  Landscaping is an art form, he believes, that can only be mastered with a deep passion from within. There’s nothing more rewarding than creating a space that is constantly enjoyed by his clients.


Joe’s played an active role in promoting professionalism within landscape trades in the Maritimes. He has been volunteering as a judge with the National Awards of Excellence Program for the past 10 years, and is a member of the National Technical Committee of Skills Canada. In 2006, Joe taught Landscaping at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). He’s continued to provide mentorship to youth entering the trade ever since.


Joe Bidermann Landscaping Design Inc. has won well over 20 Provincial Awards of Excellence for his work, and in 2016 Joe won the Canadian National Landscape Association’s National Award of Landscape Excellence for Best Design, Canada wide. He’s well known, and much liked and respected by members of the landscape industry across North America.


Joe became a proud Canadian Citizen, in 2000, and lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, with his wife, Jen, and his two step kids, Ripley and Jasper. He loves to work out at the gym, hit the trail for some exhilarating runs, soak up the sun, and wrangle the neighbourhood cat, as often as necessary.

Jennifer L. MacDonald

BA, M.Div.

Owner, Oculis Design Inc.


Jen MacDonald, Oculis Design

Jen’s origins are in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. As a young child, her family relocated to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She credits her Maritime roots in developing her outlook and sense of humour. Jennifer has lived in various cities from coast to coast, but ultimately, her heart was in the City of Lakes, which is truly home for her.

In 1998, Jen graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a BA in Philosophy and Sociology. This led her to the Vancouver School of Theology, to attain a Master of Divinity degree. Jen served as a Hospital Chaplain, and as a Congregational Minister, in her twenties and early thirties. Now, instead of having that scope of practice, she enjoys being present to friends and family, in a less visible way.

Due to an interesting array of events over the last several years, Jen found herself working as a First Receiver, and a Pathology Lab Technician, under the umbrella of Forensics, in Halifax Regional Municipality.

When she met Joe, she was grappling with the intensity of her work, and was considering more “normal” options. Joe suggested that she try landscaping, and worked with him during the final summer of Joe Bidermann Landscaping Inc. This evolved into Oculis Design Inc, and after a bit of an adjustment period, she has not looked back.

Jen’s strengths include complex problem solving, finding fair and ethical business solutions, and communication. Jen is Joe’s sounding board, and when asked, is ready to labour on, or critique design projects.

With Joe, Jen enjoys raising her children, Ripley and Jasper. If you can’t find her at her desk, she’s likely at the gym, practicing deadlifts and chin ups for the sake of preserving sanity and bone density. If you ask her what she’s training for, she’ll likely say, “my nineties.”