Sometimes I refer to myself as a “Garden Evangelist.” It’s a fetching little nickname and it’s true because I’m on a quest to convert good folk to see the light and come on over to digging, planting and growing.
But there’s more to this.
I believe, to my core, that tuning in to the outdoors is a key ingredient to overall health—mental, physical, and spiritual. I believe that healthy people help to make healthy communities and healthy communities help make a healthier world. I believe people who care about the outdoors of their own back yards tend to care about what is happening outside their garden gates. I believe that people who care about teeny tiny insects and all the rest are pretty darn likely to care about the rest of the world, too. And this might range from the food we eat to the lifestyle choices we make. but also get to see teeny tiny insects. The thing about gardening is that it’s about participation in the growing, nurturing and creating process. Anyone who’s picked a bouquet from the garden or bit into a red-ripe August tomato straight from the vine knows exactly what I mean.
In my work as a garden designer and garden consultant, I hear many of the same questions and concerns from my clients, the biggest one is, “There is so much information out there. I wish there was a class that could teach all of this instead of trying to figure it all out piece at a time.”
About twenty years ago, I heard a voice that called me to action. For a long time I had been a hobby gardener, passionate about what I was doing, but really sort of just winging things, applying what I knew about color and composition from my writing and dance background to make my garden. Somewhere along the way, someone said to me, “Wow. Your garden is so beautiful. You ought to do this for a living.” So the seed was planted.
I left a very nice and comfortable job, sold a house, and embarked on a new journey, a career change to become a garden designer. I was accepted into and graduated from Columnbia University’s Landscape Design Master’s Degree program and have worked as a designer ever since. Along the way, I continued to love the actual garden process itself—I never abandoned my own garden work, the planting, pruning, maintenance—I just go about things a bit differently with a desigher’s POV. It was a mighty proud moment for me to earn a Pennsylvania Horticulture Garden of Distinction Award in 2016, a real capstone to my love of the garden and passion for design.
As I continued to meet clients and gardeners, I began to offer homeowner training and garden consulting. I learned from working with so many gardeners that they really could use a comprehensive class. Many gardeners had the same quesitons and concerns, so I knew they were struggling to find the best help. Many times, I heard, “I wish I’d known about your services sooner.”
“Let’s Grow.” A Home-owner Training Course for DIY Gardeners.
Three years ago, I created this class as on online learning experience. It was fun and thought it would be more fun to have the class live. Here’s what it’s about:
I dream of a big, healthy, green world, filled with lots of trees, blooming flowers, and organically-grown vegetables. Where everyone has at least a small patch of green in which to grow a garden. Where children run in bare feet on lawns with their pets and teddies in tow. Butterflies and birds loft from flower to flower. Where couples sit at the end of the day, enjoying a meal, parts of which may have been grown in their own garden, along with a glass of wine, surrounded by the color and fragrance of a midsummer garden. I dream of a place where people can enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, too, in a space they worked to grow, filled with pride and accomplishment that their garden is healthy as well as beautiful.
Sound like your garden? Or….
Do you wish your garden had more curb appeal? And was more colorful and interesting?
Do you fear garden activities because they seem overwhelming?
Do you wish it were all easier?
Are you confident you know the right way to prune shrubs?
Are you concerned about using chemicals on your lawn and garden?
Would you like a vegetable garden and don’t know how to get started?
Have weeds taken over? Or, are you clueless to which are the weeds?
Would you like to know how best to shop at a garden center? To get the best plants?
Do you know:
— how to arrange and design your garden space?
—how to hire a landscape contractor? And what you ought to hire for instead of doing things yourself?
—how to identify pests from beneficial insects?
—what are the pro’s and con’s of an irrigation system?
—what is the best mulch to use?
—how to build beautiful planted containers?
—what are the best online sources for products and information?
Do you want to avoid plants that are aggressive and invasive?
Have you spent lots of money on your garden and don’t feel like your plants have thrived? And you’re tired of wasting money not making good choices?
Do you know you want something better?
Because I am a gardener turned garden designer, in this “Let’s Grow” class, you will not only get solid, ready-to-practice advice, you will get it with an eye toward the aesthetic. Toward “Growing Beautiful.” You will learn with purpose and with a plan for the bigger picture in mind. You’ll get your questions answered in person and have time to meet other gardeners to talk about their spaces, round table for conversation. A recent poll indicates that 60% of American homeowners do their own garden work. Some choose to do this because of cost, others because they just enjoy the work. Gardening is a great way to spend time outside, getting sunshine and exercise. My course is designed for this group.
“Let’s Grow,” my home-owner gardener training class, is grouped in sections according to the seasons of the year, beginning with Winter, progressing through Spring, Summer and Autumn. Unlike wading through books and tons of online references, I am offering a concise yet content-rich, highly applicable collection of tips, techniques and ideas culled from over 25 years of my own gardening-turned designer experience. Direct and to the point. All of what you need to grow your very best garden. This course is best for new gardeners or for those who have some gardening experience and want to improve and head to the next step. I am convinced that specific practices, spaced efficiently and appropriately throughout the year, will allow garden lovers to “dig in” to their hobby even more—and save time, money and work load as well. The plants and strategies are most suitable for Southern New Jersey and the Delaware Valley gardens.
What else does the course offer?
—A continental breakfast to start;
—A course booklet corresponding to the slide presentation bound with space for note-taking throughout the day;
—Buffet lunch and time for you to get to know some new garden friends;
—Raffles of books, tools and garden products, and table centerpieces to lucky participants. Each conference participant will get one ticket for entry with enrollment and chances to win extra tickets throughout the conference.
I will raffle two FREE garden consultations to two lucky winners—a value of $125.00 each!
And to all conference attendees, I will offer a discounted price of $99.00 for any consultation scheduled within a week of the conference (payment must be made at the time of scheduling.) You can book this appointment for anytime during the 2018 garden season.
One more thing—this might be the best part yet—
Tours! Not one, but two!
Any participants who are interested can join me on a tour of my own garden at the end of the conference day, to see what work I have ahead of me for spring and how I’m going to go about things. You can see what things look like now after spending the day seeing photos of my award-winning garden in the season. Then, all participants will be invited back for a private tour of the garden in May, when the garden is at it’s best. You will be the only group invited to tour my garden this year.
Registration closed for the 2018 Class!
To receive information about future classes, please add your name to our email list.
NOTE: CANCELATIONS ARE REFUNDABLE ONLY IF SENT BY WRITTEN EMAIL REQUEST BY FEBRUARY 10TH.