New for 2020: Garden Coaching for DIYers
Initial Consult: $320.00 + travel time round-trip to your site
- 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
- 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
Extended Coaching: $65.00 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 is billed at $.58 per mile from my home office. All payments are due at the end of each garden coaching session. Check, VISA, MC, AMEX, DISCOVER and VENMO are all happily accepted.
Due to high demand, first available new consult is September 2020.
Scaled Landscape Design Consultations
Consultations are initial visits to your home, garden or landscape to discuss your project goals. The meeting is followed up with a Landscape Statement. Design Consultations are $200.00 – $300.00 + travel time. Pricing varies depending on site and location of project/round trip travel time.
Scaled Landscape Plans/Plant List/Construction Details/CAD Documents
A scaled landscape plan and plant list/planting plan/construction documents serve large projects/gardens, new gardens or landscapes with several program requirements by creating scaled, industry standard documents for installation. Scaled landscape plans involve sustained design time and site visits and take several months to realize, depending on time of year and scope of work.
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, at base 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 ornamental plants and grasses that suit the site conditions without the chemical inputs of lawns.
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 nest in canopy trees while others are ground nesters, preferring the shelter of clump forming native grasses and shrubs. Non-migratory birds require winter shelter in the form of coniferous evergreens. So, creating a habitat for birds is best accomplished with a multi-faceted approach of providing food in the form of insects and berries and shelter via evergreens, understory trees and meadow areas including clump forming ornamental and native grasses. Native plant materials offer the best possible environment for birds, pollinators and other critters of 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 prevents unwanted weeds and woody volunteers from entering the landscape and prevents erosion. Depending on your budget, we use premium seed mixes from specialty nurseries or plant plugs for a full, more immediate effect. The benefits of a wildflower swath or meadow plantings over formal gardens is lower long term maintenance with less fuel inputs and zero toxic poisons typically required for the traditional turf lawn. Meadow gardens always 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 four presentations on native plants and water wise gardening at the Phoenicia Library:
This spring at the Phoenicia Library she is again teaching the five-class landscape design series entitled “Designing Your Landscape: From Vision to Reality.” The session starts Thursday, March 19th and runs for five weeks each Thursday from 6pm to 8pm. The class covers site inventory and analysis, spatial relations and scale and planting design basics including how to attract pollinators, beneficial insects and birds to your garden. To register, call the Phoenicia Library at 845 688 7811.
She is available for speaking engagements on native plants and ecological horticulture.
Speaking Fee: $80.00 per hour plus mileage if outside a 30 mile radius of West Kill. Please email for availability and more information including presentation outline and handouts.