In 2007 I received a Master’s of Science in Landscape Design from Columbia University.
In 2008, I started my first landscape design project in the Catskill Mountains, in Allaben, New York. This design only project evolved into me installing the garden — terraces of lavender, raspberries and summer sweet, sweeps of dayllies and allium and a grove of peach trees — with the help of my best friend. Since then I have designed, and — with the help of a small dedicated team — installed and managed large and small gardens and landscapes in the Catskill Mountains.
Over the years my design priorities have shifted to embrace an ecological approach to garden design, taking into account native plants, pollinators, insects, birds and small mammals. Plants, animals and humans work together to create stability, balance and resilience in an ecological garden, often minimizing the need for costly inputs of materials and labor. Very importantly, gardens with ecology as inspiration and native plants as the foundation are beautiful and biodiverse.
In 2020 I added Garden Coaching to my services while continuing to offer scaled landscape design and project management. As of 2021 I have retired from installation and maintenance.
Since taking a year-long ZOOM course during COVID lockdown with a local RN-herbalist, my respect for plants has deepened and widened to view even ‘weeds’ and invasive plants as plant allies, deserving of our respect. Traditional Ecological Knowledge and centuries old herbalism wisdom has altered my relationship to Nature. When considering new design work, I ask each potential client if they are receptive to viewing all nature as alive and wise. If a design job includes taking down trees, I will guide the client in offering a gift, acknowledgement or prayer to the tree who will be cut down to make room for a house. In an intentional reciprocal process, we realize we are part of all Life and Nature. Nature morphs from resource to generous benefactor of all life, of which humans are a part just as the bird, the tree, the insect, worm, turtle and spider are part of the greater whole.
Currently, some of my Garden Heroes are: Mary Reynolds, Edwina von Gal, Jinny Blom, Larry Weaner, , Doug Tallamy, Diane and Francis from Catskill Native Nursery, Mel Bellar of Zone 4 Landscapes and Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower, RN and Herbalist as well as all of our Indiginous Brothers and Sisters who have been living in harmony on the land for centuries without destroying/polluting the land. If you are curious and wish to learn more please visit: timeofthesixthsun.com
Earth teach me quiet…as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering…as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility…as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring…as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage…as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation…as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom…as the eagle who soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance…as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal…as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself…as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness…as dry fields weep with rain.