Every project is different and therefore it is not possible to predict a project cost without details. However, it is possible to tailor projects to specific budgets. A full garden makeover not in your current years budget? We can redo just the beds in front of the house, or by the driveway, for a reasonable cost. Maybe other areas of the land scape can be staged over a couple of seasons. The cost of a project also depends on the size of the plants we install. We can decide to reduce the budget by installing smaller plants, and being patient while they grow! :)
Do you apply pesticides?
When required, I may apply pesticides approved by OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) for use in certified organic production. I never apply chemical pesticides.
How about fertilizers?
I always recommend a soil test to check the fertility and other conditions of your soil. For any significant plantings, I require it, because it is not possible to pick plants that will thrive in your specific site conditions unless we know what those are. I will apply organic fertilizers if a deficiency is indicated. I usually recommend adding organic amendments like compost to improve the soil in your beds, and that usually provides sufficient nutrition for most plants.
Can you do planting at any time of the year?
In our climate, it is best to tailor planting times to specific seasons. Most planting should be done in the cooler weather of fall or spring. Most woody plants (trees and shrubs) are best planted in the fall, so they can get the earliest start in spring and settle in before they have to deal with the heat of summer. Many spring booming bulbs have to be planted in the fall. That being said, it IS possible to do plantings of container grown plants at time of the year that the ground is not frozen – as long as we are able to provide the water and other care the plants may need. We will tailor your planting to optimize plant growth, but also to fit into your schedule.
Will my lawn still look good if I go organic?
It is possible to have a lush, green and beautiful lawn that is completely organic. If your lawn has been on a chemical treatment plan, it may take up to 3 years for the transition to be complete, because the soil needs to be replenished naturally. See link for detailed information on looking after your lawn organically.
Deer seem to eat everything I plant. Is there any point planting anything?
Deer in a garden present a special challenge; a hungry deer will eat just about anything! The only way to guarantee they will not eat your plants is by installing a deer-proof fence around your garden. However, there are steps we can take when that’s not an option. There are plants they love to eat, and plants they will only eat when desperate. The goal is to make your property less appealing overall to minimize damage. Also, there are repellent sprays that can be applied that do help.
Do I have to have an irrigation system to have a nice garden?
Part of my sustainable philosophy is to minimize the use of water in a garden. In most cases, the plantings I design require watering only during the establishment phase (1 full season) and then during severe heat/drought spells, usually during August/September in our area. If you are able to hand-water a few times a year, you may not need an irrigation system.
I like to do my own gardening, but need some help. Will you work with me?
I have clients with different levels of involvement in their own gardens. I am happy to provide you with consulting services when you can use my expertise to help you plan or install your own garden. I can answer questions, make plant and other design suggestions, and even go shopping with you if you’d like. Please contact me for more information.