We Proudly Offer the Following Services
- Wildlife Habitat Gardens
- Hummingbird, Butterfly, and Songbird Gardens
- Container Gardens
- Vegetable, Herb, and Permaculture Gardens
- Cutting Gardens
- Perennial and Shrub Borders
- Formal Gardens
- Children’s Gardens
- Gardens for the Disabled
- Native Plant Gardens
- Non Native, Invasive Plant Removal
- Beneficial Insect Gardens
- Clean Ups
To our customers:
Thank you so much for your interest in selecting us to meet your gardening needs. Please take a few minutes to read the following pages and familiarize yourselves with the different garden design, installation, and maintenance services we offer:
Design and Installation Services
All design, installation and maintenance services are charged at the rate of $50 per hour. Consultations are available at $100 pr hr.
At our first meeting, we’ll walk your property and talk about your vision. We might look at photographs and/or books to get a sense of the garden you have in mind, and the type of garden you desire. I will probably poke and prod, and even smell the soil. A tour of the inside of your home is very helpful – allowing me to see your unique style and color preferences, and to see the garden from different vantage points inside the home. We will discuss budget considerations, times of year you expect to be using your property, and any other variable that could affect the scope and the timing of your project. I may take photos of the prospective garden sites during this visit, , or I may return at another time for not only photos and measurements, but also to see what types of wildlife visit your property, and to just sit and let ideas and visions unfold.
Each design is a unique creation – specific to your site’s sun exposure, wind exposure, soil drainage, soil analysis, your style and color preferences, the length of your season at the residence, the way you plan to use the garden, and your budget. It takes a tremendous amount of time to search out the best nurseries and research the most interesting, the best suited, and the healthiest plants for your site. (For all of these reasons, most design work is best performed during the winter months.)Next, The photos taken at your property are put on a design board, measurements are entered into the design database; and your information, i.e., name, address, job site, are put into the estimating database. All areas on your property – whether it is a wildlife habitat garden, a native garden, a container garden, a vegetable or herb garden, a perennial border, or an entire property – are custom designed and estimated, and upon your approval, all plant material is pre-ordered, paid for, and reserved.
Wholesale growers of annuals sell out completely very quickly, often by the beginning of March. If these deadlines are missed, we must often buy re-wholesale or even retail, which raises the price of annual plant material substantially. This is another reason why designs are completed during the winter months. This is not to say that it is not possible to design a garden in the spring, summer, or fall. It is possible – just a bit more difficult to find some annual plant material.
Greenhouse Storage and Frost Protection for pre-ordered annuals
Annuals cannot be planted outdoors in our area until May 15 at the earliest. Since most clients want their gardens planted by May 31st, Memorial Day, this leaves a very intense, two week period in which to plant all of our annuals for all of our clients. Because of this, we must have all plant material on hand, healthy, and ready to go when planting time does come. This means we have to shop for plants and start accepting deliveries of pre-ordered material in late April and early May. However, frost still threatens, and it can wipe out our entire operation over-night. For this reason, we have a 22′ X 96′ heated greenhouse in which we keep and care for all plant material between the time it comes from our wholesalers and the time it gets planted.
Winter Greenhouse Storage for Rare Tropicals and Sentimental plants
We provide winter storage and care (including watering, pruning, fertilizing, disease and insect diagnosis and remediation) for those plants that you just can’t bear to send to compost in the fall. Storage prices vary according to size and level of care required.
Tropical plant rental
I am addicted to rare varieties of Hibiscus and other tropicals and recovery is nowhere in sight. Therefore, any of these plants are available to rent for a season, at the end of which they will be re-stored in the greenhouse. Photos are available upon request.
Installation – Flowerpots
Pots are set up and filled prior to planting time to facilitate a quick planting when the time does come. In mid April, we set the pots out; fill them with Pro Mix potting soil, mixing the soil by hand to break up clumps. Then we add compost, top soil, Plant Tone, and Mineral Dust to bring the soil to life. We then level the surface, and wet it down completely to the bottom of the pot. (Pro Mix is very airy and will fly away if not saturatedcompletely.)
Plants are delivered at the appropriate time, growers’ labels and containers are removed, and roots are untangled. The plants are then arranged in the pots, planted carefully making sure that soil levels are equal, and watered in. We clean up and remove all debris including Pro Mix bags, excess Pro Mix and roots, tags, and containers.
Installation – Garden Beds
We use design rope to mark out the areas designated as the garden beds. We then use spray paint to mark alongside the rope. When the rope is removed, the shape of the bed is revealed. Now the bed is ready to be cut and edged – using spades to remove all sod or other vegetation.
- Soil preparation
We use any combination of the following amendments based on laboratory soil testing, manual soil analysis, and the requirements of the designated plant material: Compost, Mycorrhizal Fungi, Flower Saver, Plant Tone, Bulb Tone, Bone Meal, Tree Tone, Healthy Start, and Mineral Dust. We deliver the amendments, spread and mix them on the surface of the garden bed, incorporate them into the soil by double digging and mixing or rototilling. We then rake the surface free of debris, level, and edge the bed. Finally, we clean up and remove all organic and inorganic debris
Perennials, trees, and shrubs can be delivered and planted at any time the ground is not frozen and water is available. We remove all containers, fabrics, baskets, and tags, untangle the root balls of all plants to encourage faster acclimation and growth, give every plant the “hundred dollar hole” by adding compost, mineral dust, and plant tone to the surrounding soil, plant the plants, and create watering wells around each plant (to ensure even and sufficient watering). ( We don’t’ create watering wells around small annuals.) We then “water in”, clean up, and remove all organic and inorganic debris.
Mulch keeps soil moist, prevents soil erosion, keeps weeds at a minimum, adds organic matter to the soil, and gives a unified, finished look to your garden – allowing the forms, colors, and textures to burst forth. We use only the finest triple-shredded mulch which is delivered by truck, and then taken by wheelbarrow to all garden beds where it is dumped and spread very carefully so as not to cover the crowns of plants. (Mulch volcanoes kill plants!)
Maintenance Services($40 pr. man hr. plus material costs)
**** Plants are living things, subject to the same environmental stresses as we. Thus, the
health and maintenance requirements of your garden will be no more predictable than your own health and maintenance requirements for the coming year. Maintenance requirements vary with precipitation, wind, temperature, and drainage conditions; and with the presence of insects, disease, and debris in above surface and subsurface areas. Additionally, all clients vary in the level of manicuring they demand, and even these needs may vary from week to week or month to month.
- Spring Cleanup
Spring cleanup of garden beds includes pruning and shaping perennials that were not cut back in the fall ( we intentionally leave select plant stalks through the winter to allow beneficial insects to overwinter) removing last year’s annuals (we also leave select annuals through the winter to add organic matter and beneficial microbes to the soil); weeding where necessary property wide; raking beds free of leaf; needle, cone, branch, mulch, and garbage debris; edging; and composting the debris on site or removing it from the property.
- Fertilizing and soil amendment
Subject to conditions, we apply, when and where applicable, any one or more of the following: Plant Tone, Rose Tone, Bulb Tone, Bone Meal, Lime, Mineral Dust, Compost, Liquid Compost, Fish Emulsion, Biolink, Mycorhizzal Fungi, Miracle Gro (in containers only), Blossom Booster, Osmocote, Electra.
- Compost Application
Disturbed soils (soils that have been compacted by construction traffic, soils that have been scraped or disturbed in any way) are depleted of the microorganisms that sustain plant life. Compost is the natural way to restore the biological balance necessary for plant health. We deliver, cart, and apply the compost, and clean up after all surface compost applications.
- Deer Deterring Spray Applicaton
We spray to keep the deer away every two weeks using alternately Liquid Fence and Deer Out .
We use only the finest triple shredded mulch. We deliver mulch by the yard, cart by wheelbarrel to the desired beds, apply, level out, and clean up. (This is a very labor intensive process.)
We provide a weekly examination of all plant material for the presence of disease, insect, drought, predator, environmental and/or other damage.
- Watering (Subject to conditions)
Many disease conditions can be avoided by using proper watering techniques and timing. In fact, more plants are killed by over watering than under watering.
Outdoor potted plants vary greatly in their water requirements depending on plant type, culture, humidity, temperature, wind and sun exposures, and many other factors. We can water one, two, or three times per week, as needed or requested. We are also available to train you, a house sitter, or a family member in proper watering methods specific to your garden.
b) Garden Beds
Irrigation is an inexact science. In fact, a world renowned arborist who is also a friend of mine likes to say “Irrigation has killed more plants than landscapers.” Therefore, we check and regulate for over watering and under watering throughout the growing season – manually watering beds during drought, and alerting irrigation caretakers of any problems that arise within the system. Daily
monitoring and attention is given to the water requirements of new plantings.
- Weeding (Subject to conditions)
Weeding in flower gardens, in vegetable and herb beds, in tree and shrub borders, and in pots is a very delicate and selective process whereby desirable, seed-germinated plants are allowed to proliferate, while undesirable plants are eradicated manually. (Some weed seeds can survive in the soil ungerminated for up to fifty years!) Driveways and walkways are usually weeded indiscriminately, unless otherwise specified or unless there is ornamental value to the “weed” such as creeping thyme or moss in a walkway. (We love moss.)
- Deadheading and cleaning (Subject to conditions)
We selectively remove finished and almost finished plant parts, — i.e. seed heads, dead leaves, diseased branches, – to increase air circulation; promote bloom; and maintain health, vigor, and shape on annuals, perennials, herbs, and vegetables. Please note – this does not have to be done in the fall if you wish to feed the birds all winter (before the advent of commercial bird seed, birds ate seeds that formed on plants naturally). In fact, many bird species eat the very seeds that we take away! Therefore, we encourage you to leave seeds whenever possible at the end of the season. Please let us know how you feel about this idea.
- Tree and shrub pruning (Subject to conditions)
We surgically remove disease-infested branches, stems, and twigs; to promote bloom or berry; to provide architectural interest to your landscape; to prevent injury from potentially falling branches; to increase air circulation; or to create a tree or shrub that is better able to withstand damaging winds. We also provide ornamental pruning and shaping of small shrubs and trees. Pruning can be done any time of year, when necessary, but it is best done in winter for most species.
- Composting or debris removal
An on-site compost pile is a great idea for so many reasons. The specific constituents of your compost pile will create the custom made fertilizer your plants require. If space is not available for a compost pile, we cart all debris to the local composting facility.
- Garbage removal
We remove all garbage from garden beds when present. (We are always amazed at what other tradesmen leave behind, and what blows in from other construction sites, and these little pieces of garbage of course diminish the overall beauty and feel of your garden.) We also fully remove all garbage generated by our work including plastic bags from manure, fertilizer, peat moss, and potting soil; all plant containers, fabrics, string, tags, and any other garbage we generate.
- Driveway and walkway weeding and raking
We improve the grade and appearance of these two major components of your landscape, by first weeding and then raking stones free of debris and raking smooth.
- Hose Mending
We repair hoses as needed due to kinking and splitting. Hoses that have become unserviceable will be replaced.
When requested, or as needed, we mechanically support flower heads, vegetables, trees, or vines.
We can place identifying labels on any plant, by their Latin name, common name, or both. (Upon request.)
- Shopping & Delivering
We conduct business with a long list of nurseries and outlets to provide you with the gardening details (plants, pottery, statuary, furniture, water features) that make the garden a spiritually renewing experience.Shopping for spring plants that are included in your estimate is not charged to you. Shopping for extra plants that you request throughout the season, however, is billed to you.
- Storm Monitoring
Prior to all impending major storms, we visit your property to secure lawn furniture, plant material, and other objects. After all episodes of high rain and wind, we monitor all pots and gardens for damage; and we make repairs where necessary.
This includes all conversations by phone or in person with you or other tradesman regarding your property.
- Photo Library
Gardens are documented all season long to aid in the review and design process which is done every year over the winter months. Photos are also available to clients upon request. We are always working to improve the aesthetic appeal and the health of all of our gardens. Many garden aspects are re-worked to some extent year after year, especially the annual components.
- Research, Diagnosis, Treatment
Different pest pathogens and disease processes become visible in many different ways. If we can’t diagnose the problem with a stressed plant on site, we take specimens to our office where we have a vast library of horticultural resources from which to obtain the information important to diagnosis and treatment. When we are unable to diagnose a disease or insect infestation, we submit specimens for diagnoses and/or recommendations to the Cornell Cooperative Extension Research Laboratory.
- “Emergency” Gardening
When extra cleanup or planting is desired for a special situation (i.e. a party or similar event), please inform us several weeks in advance so that we have time to allot the extra labor and resources necessary to meet your needs.
- Fall Clean Up
This includes cutting back perennials, removing annuals, weeding, edging, leaf removal, emptying and storing pots. Please note, again, that both leaf raking and deadheading perennials will remove a valuable winter food source for birds and other wildlife. Please let us know how you feel about these issues. Fall clean up is also the time to bring your tropical or sentimental plants into our heated greenhouse.
- Fall planting
Spring-flowering bulbs including Crocus, Daffodils, Scilla, Hyacinths, Alliums, etc., and even Garlic are planted in the fall using Bulb Tone and Bone meal.
We have a vast network of tradesmen to call upon to build and maintain ponds; install and maintain lawns; spray trees; build rock walls; install large tree plantings; and construct garden projects i.e. gazebos, arbors.
- Bird feeding and watering
Many of our clients enjoy the sounds and sights of songbirds. We shop for and deliver a variety of bird features including houses, feeders, birdbaths, seeds and feed, and we will visit your property on a daily or weekly basis to keep the bird feeders stocked, the bird baths full of water, and the songbirds coming.
- BILLS ARE DUE UPON RECEIPT. UNPAID BALANCE IS BASED UPON 30 DAY NET.
- ALL PAST DUE ACCOUNTS ARE SUBJECT TO A 9% PER MONTH INTEREST CHARGE. COLLECTIONS ACCOUNTS WILL BE SUBJECT TO ATTORNEY’S FEES.