Sustainable design with an artistic flair.
I design gardens to be lived in and walked through, not just admired from a distance. This means creating spaces that draw you into them through all four seasons, while supporting the health of the soil, air and water that surround them.
Together, we can assess any areas of your property that are not meeting these goals. As an independent, fee-based designer, I do not try to sell you the largest landscape installation with the most features. My focus is on listening to what really matters to you, and what will work for your budget. With this in mind, I can design new beds and gardens, re-imagine an uninspired or overgrown landscape, or undertake a comprehensive property design.
New Beds and Gardens
I can organize your outdoor areas into garden rooms, which are intimate areas of the larger landscape in which you can really feel at home. I will do my best to fit your favorite plants into the design. I will pay close attention to the style of your home, since the dimensions and position of the planting beds should relate to the house, and any hardscape components like patios, paths and walls should complement the style of the home. I encourage clients to think outside the limitations of traditional foundation plantings to incorporate that area into garden space that they can actually use.
New Life for an Old Landscape
Perhaps you have inherited a landscape with shrubs that were planted ten or more years ago, and they have become overgrown, or your perennial garden has turned into a chaotic jumble. I can develop a plan of action that will breathe new life into these garden areas. Through selective removal, pruning, dividing and re-organizing we can update your landscape so that it looks balanced and vibrant again.
Comprehensive Property Design
We will take a close look at your entire landscape and figure out what is and isn’t supporting your outdoor living needs. We can identify priorities in accordance with your budget, and work out a time schedule for the installation of the design. After our discussion, I can provide freehand sketches as a starting-off point for your do-it-yourself gardening adventures. Or if you prefer to hire a contractor, I can return to carefully measure your property and develop a detailed design that can be used to install your ideal landscape.
Sustainable Design Considerations
Compost systems and clotheslines—These offer an easy way to help the environment by reducing waste that enters landfills and saving energy, while giving you an excuse to spend a few extra minutes in your garden. I can show you how to set them up so that they work well and do not detract from the landscape.
Tree placement—Carefully sited trees can significantly reduce home heating and cooling costs. They can also contribute to the health of the ecosystem beyond your own yard by capturing carbon, intercepting rainwater, and cooling the local environment.
Drainage—Rain gardens and other plantings can slow the movement of water so that it has time to trickle down through the soil and recharge groundwater supplies, rather than rush off your property and contribute to localized flooding.
Habitat restoration—In addition to serving as critical components of the local ecosystem, the little winged creatures that visit your garden add a dynamic element to the design. I can help you create the following to invite them in:
- Butterfly borders—nectar plants for butterflies and foliage for their caterpillars
- Berry hedges—native fruits for resident and migrating songbirds
- Beneficial insect patches—nesting areas and food sources for out threatened pollinators, as well as the insects that eat the “bad” bugs in your gardens
Urban and Suburban Homesteading
I can help you make the local food movement truly local by identifying the best areas in your yard to raise vegetables, fruit trees and berries. If your local ordinances allow, petite farm animals like chickens, rabbits and small goats can add to the charm, and are a great incentive for children to get outside.
Other Design Interests
- Plantings for year-round interest
- Meadow gardens
- Low-maintenance lawn alternatives
- Fragrance gardening with scented flowers and aromatic foliage
- Personal healing retreats