I love to garden. Landscape design is more to me than just a job; it is a joy. I believe a garden should be more than just a pretty view out the window. It is a living being. It should call to you, to come and explore. It ought to beckon with mysteries, delight with small surprises. It is a place to feel connected to nature, a welcoming place to entertain friends or relax in solitude. Landscape design is more than the common practice of drawing random “wiggles and squiggles”, more than plopping down a selection of miscellaneous plants which the local nursery happens to carry. It is even more than a matter of personal taste. Good design feels “right”, engages the interest without overwhelming the senses. It is neither crowded, nor too empty. It has a theme, integrates with the land, supports your lifestyle. Creating such design is my life’s work.
A garden is a natural, living thing. Like all living things, it lives best when it occupies the correct habitat. I firmly believe in sustainable landscaping, not just because “green” is the latest fad, but because a garden must be happy to make you happy. We live in a specific climate, and your land will contain its own unique blend of microclimates. It’s important to work in harmony with those factors, or your garden will be a constant struggle rather than a delight. When people think of gardening as hard work, it is mainly because all too often they have planted unsuitable exotic species for the conditions at hand, and the plants either run riot or struggle to live.
A sustainable garden works in harmony with nature. Using native plants and trees is an important way to work with nature instead of fighting it. Proper matching of plants to your particular conditions will result in a garden that will be healthier than unsuitable exotic species. It will require less work to maintain. It will help local native species all up and down the food chain, from microorganisms to insects that are the foundation for larger fauna such as birds. The result will be a garden that feels alive, vibrant with living energy. It may seem silly to speak of “happy” plants, but the subconscious effect of a thriving garden versus one which struggles to survive is palpable.