Garden Design, Consulting & Planting
in the Hudson Valley, New York

 
 

How I Work

Gardens are an extension of the home. Outside spaces should invite, creating a room for people to gather, share a meal, escape. The task of creating an outside space can feel overwhelming but the rewards are many.

As a designer I help people formulate and organize their ideas. Knowing where to start can be daunting. For clients who want to cultivate their own gardens but aren't sure how or where to begin, together we can create a plan for their property. I listen to their ideas, look at their property, consider the existing landscape and architecture, and create a plan that encompasses these factors. Clients can then implement on their own.

Sometimes people know what they want, but aren't sure how to carry out their vision. Everyone looks at things differently, a consultation provides an extra set of eyes and the ability to find a different design perspective. I help clients see the possibilities.

 

How I Work

Proposals offer a detailed list of the materials and costs associated with a project. I am committed to giving clear estimates; no one likes surprises when it comes to project costs. Designs can also be broken up into phases and developed over time. These design phases are prioritized by necessity and economics.

I offer comprehensive designs and installations that include, entrance plantings, annual and perennial gardens, seasonal potted plantings, entrance and garden paths ways, and patios.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Design Process

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In the beginning I meet with clients and we walk their property. We discuss both their vision for the property as well as their lifestyle. Are they gardeners? Is this a second home? What is their vision of maintenance? These questions are essential when designing a garden to fit a client's lifestyle.

After our walk I measure the property giving me a better feel for the land. I also measure the house, taking careful consideration of window and door

placement and the seasonal views offered from inside the house that invite us outdoors. Drainage, grades, soil properties, and sunlight are also considered.

When I sit down to create a plan I think about the architecture of the house, the surrounding environment, the client's lifestyle and their ideas. My job is to interpret all of this information into a plan that meshes the architecture with the natural surroundings.

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If there is to be a patio space or pathway, these need to be considered first. How these connect to the house and become extensions of the architecture need to be considered functionally and aesthetically.

I choose plant materials appropriate to the site. I believe in choosing a site for a tree that will be a permanent one. The ultimate size, sunlight and soil conditions need to be considered. One of my strengths is my plant combinations. I use foliage color and texture, winter interest (branching habit and berries) and bloom period to create visual impact.

The individual plant needs to have interest even if it is not in bloom. Using shrub forms as the backbone of the garden, I weave perennials and grasses throughout.

A person's home is their safe haven from work and the frenetic energy of life. I believe a garden should be an extension of that. I like the challenge of finding a way to express this idea in a garden. I enjoy creating spaces for contemplation, relaxation and celebration with family and friends.

 

About

I knew as a child that I wanted to do something artistic when I grew up. I grew up surrounded by art. My mother, a talented artist and gardener, has been a great inspiration and influence in my life. Growing up in Iowa, my family trips took us hiking and skiing in Colorado and Wyoming. My love for art and the outdoors influenced my decision to settle in the Hudson Valley. I chose New Paltz because of the college, the beauty, access to outdoor activities, proximity to New York City and the diversity of the people. I earned a Bachelor's of Fine Art degree with a concentration in ceramics from SUNY New Paltz. My ceramic work tends to be representational with references to the natural world.

Upon graduating from college I worked for a landscape designer for a few seasons. In 1985, I decided I wanted to create my own gardens and created Gardensmith Design. Since then, I have had the opportunity to design gardens, see them implemented, and watch them grow. I am stimulated by the entire process of landscape design. I love meeting and working with people to create a garden that will enhance their lives. Over the years, I have said that my job is to make the world a more beautiful place to live.

Every year I open my garden up to the public through the Garden Conservancy Open Days Program. " The Garden Conservancy is a national organization with a mission to preserve exceptional American gardens for the education and enjoyment of the public. They seek to develop and deepen public appreciation of gardens as integral elements of our national and artistic cultural heritage." In 2016, it's on June 25th @ 12-4. Learn More at gardenconservancy.org

 
 

Portfolio

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Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper Gardensmith Design Hudson Valley Landscaper