~A Canvas of Plants
I started my business in 2002. My son was 6 years old and I had been working as an afterschool childcare provider. I had gone to school for art and design, taken courses in everything from photography, sculpture and jewelry design to architecture and interior design. I have always been an artist. The medium could be paper and pencil, beads and wire, clay and apertures, or cloth and thread. I had become obsessed with gardening about 2 years prior and had transformed a jungle in my front yard into a gorgeous meticulously groomed garden by reading, experimenting and playing in the dirt until things "worked". Gardening became a way to slow down and de-stress as a single mom. It became the way I managed through the gloomy days of winter; knowing that the tulips I planted in the fall WOULD bloom and the sun would shine again if I just waited a little while longer.
~An Obsession Turns Into a Career
As my garden became a place my neighbors looked forward to, also, every year, I got requests to help them in their gardens. Without a car, a license or any real tools, I would pull my wheeled trashcan filled with a broom, a rake and a cheap set of pruners and push my lawnmower down the block to my neighbors' yards. My son who was home-schooling at that time would toddle behind me with his books and pencils.
Soon, a freind who did not live nearby asked me to come to her home once a week to design a new garden, install it and maintain it. When she realized I had no way of bringing myself, my tools and my son to her place on the bus, she sent a cab for me.
Soon, I was able to buy a station wagon and some better tools and I was not just a gardener, but also a garden designer. I took more classes @ Barnes Arboretum School and Morris Arboretum in Horticluture and Landscape Design to add to my self-taught knowledge.
Since then, I have designed gardens in almost every section of Philadelphia and a few suburbs including affluent places like Chestnut Hill and Society Hill. I also have won 5 prizes from the PHS City Gardens Contest including FIRST prize in 2008. I absolutely love my life. I get to create on new canvases , make people happy and get paid for it. What could be better?
~ How it all works: My Service
When you call/email me, I will come out to your house, listen carefully to what you would like to see in your space, ask questions about your lifestyle, your activities in your yard and what you'd like to do there. I measure your space and take lots of pictures making sure to see how you decorate yourself and your home. All these things are important for me so I can make your garden YOURS, not mine. I have an uncanny knack of creating something that reflects you.
After I leave, I send you a proposal for a design including the design fee. If you agree to move forward you send me the proposal signed with a 1/2 deposit (1/2 the design fee; not install fees) and I get started designing and drafting a garden design just for you. When it's finished, we have a presentation of the design and make plans to install. It's an exciting process for me and my clients.
I install the design and if you choose, I can also maintain the garden ongoing. You see, I don't just come and plunk down plants and leave. I start a relationship with you and your garden that I plan to continue. So I work with integrity and honesty so I can continue to take care of your space for as long as you want me. I say this because I find alot of "contractors" of all fields take little or no responsibility once the work is done. As far as I'm concerned, a garden is never "finished" and I take ultimate responsibility for your satisfaction.
My initial visit is free. Design fees vary, depending on complication and size, but my labor fees are $30 per hour for installations and maintenance as of Spring 2011.