Common-sense horticultural advice and hands-on techniques adapted to our local gardening climate

I have a bachelor’s degree in plant science and twenty years of experience working with plants professionally and at home. Over the years, I have shared my plant knowledge with a wide range of people: homeowners, garden club members, nursery professionals, my employees, school children, and neighbors and friends. Working with you in your own garden, I will teach you exactly what you want to learn. I can offer basic instruction for the beginning gardener, as well as higher-level skills to help the more experienced person garden like a professional. Having gardened in the Boston Metro West area for many years with the time constraints and tight budget imposed by young children, I can show you how to adapt the advice you find in gardening literature to your own time schedule, financial situation and micro-climate.


Grab your notebook and ask me all the questions you have about your own garden, like the best place to locate new beds, where to move plants that are not working for you, how to care for certain plants, etc.  Minimum of 2 hours.


Arrange a “Gardener’s Boot Camp” session with me for hands-on instruction in your own garden. We can cover skills like shrub pruning, perennial care, or starting a vegetable garden.  Minimum of 2 hours.

Start your own vegetable garden from scratchSweetgum Horticulture | Landscape Consultant | Homegrown Tomatoes

  • Find the best place to site the garden
  • Prepare the soil
  • Perform a soil test for lead, acidity and nutrients
  • Choose organic fertilizers
  • Select the best plants and rotate crops for pest control
  • Locate seeds and starter plants
  • Sow seeds (indoors and out)
  • Set up staking and protection from animals and frost
  • Identify insects and diseases and treat them organically

Develop fine gardening techniques

  • Plant annuals, perennials, bulbs, shrubs and trees
  • Divide perennials
  • Deadhead to promote re-bloom
  • Prune shrubs with hand clippers
  • Identify desired seedlings (versus weeds!)
  • Wake the garden up in spring and put it to bed in the fall
  • Choose and apply compost, mulch and other soil amendments

Create high-impact container gardens

  • Choose the correct pots and planting mix
  • Select plants that grow well together
  • Design for dramatic effect
  • Water, fertilize and groom containers so that they look stunning all season
  • Change the plantings for all four seasons

Sweetgum Horticulture | Wellesley | Houseplant CareTake care of houseplants

  • Re-pot, prune and fertilize in the spring
  • Find a sheltered spot outside for them to spend the summer
  • Prepare the plants before moving them inside for the winter
  • Control insect pests organically

Shop for plants

  • Find the best garden center in the area to buy each type of plant
  • Navigate a garden center and pick the healthiest plants
  • Locate suppliers of mulch, compost, tools and organic fertilizers and chemicals


  • Select the few gardening tools and references that are really essential (I will show you the ones that I use as a professional)
  • Place compost bins and make compost
  • Site clotheslines, swings and hammocks to so as to fit into the landscape aesthetically and not harm trees



Sweetgum Tree Leaf

The American sweetgum, Liquidambar styraciflua, is a graceful native tree with distinctive five-pointed leaves. I chose it to represent my business for several reasons: it provides cooling shade in the summer and striking color in the fall, which are important sustainability and design considerations; its foliage nourishes the caterpillar of the magnificent luna moth, thus helping to restore natural habitat; and it produces lots of prickly seed balls ("loose parts") that are fun for children to collect.



Area of Service

Sweetgum Horticulture is serving clients in the Metro West communities of Boston, MA, including Wellesley, Weston, Newton, Needham, Natick, Wayland, Lincoln, Dover, Sherborn and Sudbury.

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are available for all of Sweetgum Horticulture's services. These make great birthday, thank-you or Mother’s Day gifts.

Gift Certificate