All garden design and renovation services start with an initial consultation. Kathy schedules consultations on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Most consultations last 1-2 hours and include a walk-through of the garden, client objectives, brainstorming of potential beds and plants, and steps to complete the project.
As every garden is personal and unique to the gardener and their site, I endeavor to fully understand clients’ plant preferences as well as their gardening style. I can suggest plants for a variety of garden styles, including low maintenance, deer-resistance, English perennial borders, Northwest natives, and woodland gardens. My personal preferences tend towards naturalistic cozy gardens without any formality.
For my do it yourself type clients, I offer suggestions on plant selection, hardscape ideas, pruning advice, or plant identification. I can also provide a list of suitable plants or assist with plant shopping.
Renovating an existing garden is the opportunity to keep the best and favorite plants, rearrange valuable players and edit out plants that no longer serve.
Transplanting small trees and large shrubs allows us to make dramatic changes to the visual composition of the garden while maintaining a link with the maturity of these larger plants.
Adding in a variety of smaller conifers, perennials, grasses and compact shrubs – allows for diversity and year-round visual interest with contrasting shapes, colors, textures, and form.
Any new planting requires a commitment from the gardener to keep the new plantings well-watered for at least two summers so the plants can get established. This is especially true for mature shrubs and small trees that have been transplanted. I recommend deep watering on a regular but infrequent basis. Sandy soils would need water more frequently than clay soils. Even clients with irrigation systems need to be vigilant and apply extra water if needed.
We often utilize “smother mulching techniques” when creating new beds on top of lawn. Thick layers of cardboard smother the grass without chemicals and then a soil mix or compost is added on top of the cardboard.
Special Note: There is currently a waiting list for renovation services. I am available for consultations year round which is the first step to getting on the wait list.
My pruning philosophy and practice enhances the natural beauty of the tree or shrub, so that when finished the plant looks more like itself, we endeavor to approach each plant with respect and kindness.
In general, we prune with a “light hand” unless a shrub requires radical renovation (see below).
By making proper pruning cuts and respecting the natural tendencies of the plant we have a clear understanding of the map we are creating for regrowth.
People often forget that pruning stimulates growth. Improper cuts and over pruning foster disease and encourage reactive water sprouts and suckers.
Cass also explains the unwanted consequences of shearing. In general, we only shear plants that perform better in the garden with a proper shearing especially the heathers and lavenders. We don’t shear to control size or make geometric shapes.
Radical Renovation pruning is reserved for cane growing shrubs that have tangled regrowth from repeated shearing. When we cut these shrubs to the ground, we are giving them a chance to start over, to grow into a natural shape. It can take 2-3 years for a plant to regain a mature size after this last resort technique.
Utilizing the tree’s own capacity to suppress vertical water sprouts, we keep upward facing branches to facilitate this process.
**All of these pruning techniques and terms are included in Cass Turnbull’s book listed above.**
Services Not Provided
- Lawn care
- Large Tree Pruning and removal
- Hedge Pruning or Tree topping
- Application of herbicides and pesticides
**For the health of all concerned, I choose not to work in gardens where pesticides and herbicides are used**
Begin the Process
If you are interested in the services I provide and would like to collaborate, go to our CONTACT page and fill out a form.