The gardens that I design are meant to be beautiful, diverse, easy to maintain, and supportive of a healthy and vibrant environment. Native plants are central - I adore them, and they're best for birds and insects - but I also use ornamentals and cultivars to fill out the design, so no guilt about your lilacs or daylilies. Edible plants, like blueberries and perennial herbs, are part of every design. And I will talk with you about trees and soil health! They are critical for clean water, carbon capture, and a thriving food web.
Above all, your garden should be a place of joy and solace. If you want to work and putter in it, that's wonderful. If you just want to enjoy it from a distance, that's fine too.
The process starts with site analysis, informal surveying, and soil testing. Then we invest in lots of back-and-forth about what you want. A wild meadow? Shrub border? Play area for children or pets? Deliverables include design collages, plot plans, and a detailed plant palette. Or any combination that makes sense for you.
As necessary, I bring in other local businesses for services that I don't personally provide. I can connect you to arborists, masons, invasive plant removal experts, and specialists in vegetable gardens. I will project-manage if needed.
Plant purchase and installation
Once you have a design, I can procure your plants - perennials, plugs, shrubs, or small trees - from highly regarded native-plant nurseries and wholesalers in the Northeast.
After removing invasives and preparing the ground (without destructive tilling or herbicides), I plant the new plants according to current horticultural best practices. This can take a while, but it is so important for the long-term health of your new plants to properly care for them from the beginning! I mulch them as needed, give you care instructions, and follow up with you in the weeks after planting.
If you don't yet know what you need, we can spend an hour or so walking your property. I can identify the tree and plant species, look at your soil, point out invasive plants, listen to your hopes and concerns, brainstorm with you, and make suggestions for your next steps. Afterwards, I'll write up a summary for you.
Some clients take this information and do all the subsequent work themselves. Others use it as a starting point for a longer-term engagement. It's up to you!
Right now, I am pricing this at $200 for people in Arlington, Lexington, and nearby towns. If you live further away, or have a significantly larger property than a typical urban lot, contact me and we can discuss possibilities.