Garden Coaching for DIYers
Initial Consult: $380.00 + travel time round-trip to your site. * Remote consults available.
- First two-hour site visit with garden walk-through with you
- Verbal ideas and suggestions during our visit
- Ask me anything about soil, sun, wind, drainage, plants (have a notebook handy for notes)
- I will use existing native vegetation as a guideline for your garden
- Written recap sent via email with photo examples/inspirations tailored to your garden conditions, suggested plant lists pertaining to the areas discussed and resources such as nurseries and other material suppliers
- Have a garden hose on hand to lay out beds to inspire your imagination
- Monthly Garden Tidbits E-Newsletter offering ecological garden news, herbalism nuggets and ways to connect to your inner Earth Wisdom
Extended Coaching: $75.00 per hour (after initial consult) + travel time
- Follow-up site visits to clarify and fine-tune design ideas and answer any additional questions
- Nursery visit with you to select plants
- Installation questions regarding compost, soil, mulch, amendments
- Plant lay-out and other install guidelines on first day of DIY install
- Maintenance guidelines and pruning questions answered/demonstrated on site throughout the garden season and in years to come
*Travel time for Garden Coaching is billed round-trip at the 2023 Federal Mileage rate of $.65.5 per mile from my home office to your site. Due to high demand, a 50% deposit is requested to reserve a space on the Garden Coaching schedule for summer 2023. Please note that the peak garden months of May through September are when garden installations occur and might affect our coaching schedule due to nursery installation timelines. Cash, Check, VISA, MC, AMEX, DISCOVER and VENMO are all happily accepted although credit cards incur a 4.5% surcharge. Sessions more than 40 miles away, the travel charge is $75.00 per hour R/T.
House Plant Care
Going on vacation? Many of my garden coaching clients ask me to stop in weekly to water and otherwise care for their indoor Plant Family. Rate is $75 per hour plus R/T 2023 Federal Mileage Rate.
Landscape Design Consultations for Scaled Landscape Design/Plans/Plant List/Construction Details/CAD Documents
Currently I am not accepting new clients. $380.00 plus R/T travel time* from my office to your site for initial consultation. Due to the busy summer season of outdoor work, site installs, project management and Garden Coaching, we can book our initial landscape design consult this summer, but studio design time will start this fall/winter with a fully realized landscape plan submitted to you spring of 2024. This is because from April through September we are busy with Garden Coaching clients and managing garden installations for design clients. When it is time for your garden installation, you will want the same attention to detail and presence on site.
The initial design consultation is the first visit to your home, garden or landscape to discuss your project goals and for me to see the lay of the land and what plants already populate the area. The meeting is followed up with a Landscape Statement that presents initial design concepts and indicates the Design Package Fee for your project which is based on our first consultation, your needs and project program elements – the number of spaces to be designed/rewilded.
After the initial Landscape Design Consultation, we move on to the actual process of designing your landscape. Landscape Design Package pricing varies depending on site complexity and location of project/round trip travel time and construction documents needed. Design Packages start at $4,500.00 for simpler plans and increase in price with complexity/scope of work. A scaled landscape plan and plant list/planting plan/construction documents serve large projects/gardens, new gardens and landscapes with several program requirements by creating scaled, industry-standardized documents for installation. Scaled landscape plans involve sustained design time and site visits and take six to twelve months to realize, depending on time of year and scope of work. Please inquire at Karin@KULandscapes.com for more information on design packages and travel time to/from my office to your site.
Types of garden projects
Where is the most obvious place for a meadow garden? The area currently planted with lawn, or that hardpan area at a construction site. Perfect green lawns require staggering amounts of fertilizers, weed killers, and insecticides — chemicals that poison environments and harm insect, bird, fish and other wildlife populations. Insecticides – equal opportunity killers – kill the good bugs along with the pests; fertilizers are dissolved salts and fungicides contain heavy metals. Enter the meadow garden, a grassland punctuated with blooming, nectar laden flowering perennials and other broadleaf plants. In Meadows by Design, John Greenlee describes a meadow as “a symphony of color, lights and texture.” A meadow garden is its own living, ecologically balanced environment composed of blooming plants and grasses that suit the site conditions and enhance biodiversity and insect, bird and wildlife habitat.
Gardens for Wildlife and Pollinators
I often receive requests for gardens to attract and sustain birds. Both the diets and nesting sites of birds vary. Some of our bird friends’ nest in canopy trees while others are ground nesters, preferring the shelter of clump forming native grasses and shrubs. Non-migratory birds require the winter shelter of coniferous evergreens. So, creating a habitat for birds is best accomplished with a multi-faceted approach of providing food via insects and berries, and shelter via evergreens, understory trees and meadow areas. Native plants offer the best possible environment for birds, pollinators and other critters in a healthy ecological system.
The landscape after a new home construction or remodeling/addition building is often compacted hardpan in which only hardiest of weeds volunteer. In actuality, a bare site fresh off construction is prime for creating a meadow garden of native, hardy and adaptable wildflowers and grasses. Post construction, immediately covering bare earth with meadow plants forestalls weeds from colonizing the landscape and prevents erosion. Depending on budget, one can employ premium seed mixes from specialty nurseries or plant plugs for a more immediate effect. The benefits of a meadow-style planting are lower long-term maintenance with less fuel inputs and zero toxic poisons typically required for the traditional turf lawn. Meadow gardens provide shelter and food sources for pollinators and birds in the form of native wildflowers, perennials and grasses. Typically, meadow gardens require mowing once per year.
Writing and Speaking Engagements
Karin is a contributing writer to Horticulture Magazine. She has profiled Catskill Native Nursery (November/December 2016) and has written “Shrubs in the Swim” (November/December 2017) about ornamental native shrubs that prefer moist to wet site conditions. Other articles featured a visit to the Bellar Garden, a private garden in Andes, New York (July/August 2018) and a profile of the Mountaintop Arboretum in Tannersville (November/December 2018) as well as A Fly-By-Night Garden (July/August 2019) that details how to support nighttime pollinators like moths.
Karin has given numerous presentations on native plants and water wise gardening at the Phoenicia Library. The five-class landscape design series entitled “Designing Your Landscape: From Vision to Reality” was so popular there was a wait list to attend. The class covered site inventory and analysis, spatial relations and scale and planting design basics including how to attract pollinators, beneficial insects and birds to your garden.
Karin also partnered with the Woodstock Pollinator Pathways Project to present ZOOM webinars on Gardening with Native Plants. All webinars are available on the Woodstock Pollinator Pathway Facebook page.
She is available for speaking engagements on native plants and ecological horticulture. Please email for availability and information on presentation outline and handouts.