ECO-FRIENDLY GARDEN COACHING

My Connecticut garden coaching practice is devoted to teaching homeowners how to garden in a more environmentally sustainable way. Together we create healthy yards that are resilient, full of life, diversity and delight.

 

CONTACT KAREN

DOWN TO EARTH

Guidance for creating sustainable, attainable landscapes

  • Would you like a garden mentor to teach you basic gardening skills?
  • Someone to help envision what your yard could be?
  • A view without cutting all the trees down?
  • Techniques for gardening with nature?
  • Help with going organic?
  • Less maintenance?
  • Great plants?
  • More fun?
  • Birds?
See Karen’s Work (Slide Show)

EARTH
FRIENDLY

Stamp out boring, unsustainable, high-maintenance landscapes with an eco-friendly makeover.

Garden coaching specialties

  • Low-maintenance plants and practices to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Deer-resistant plants and strategies for discouraging deer
  • Renovating garden beds – plants and design
  • Pruning and deadheading – and teaching you how
  • Planting for wildlife – especially birds and butterflies
  • Attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects
  • Organic solutions
  • Gardening with kids
  • Conserving resources
  • Improving views and access
  • Selecting the right plant for the right place
  • Planting for year-round interest – including winter gardens
  • Native plants
  • Invasive plants – recognizing, removing and controlling them
  • Woodland editing to preserve understory plants for wildlife
  • Edible landscaping
  • Creative garden problem-solving
  • Creating spaces that flow
  • Site-specific plant-centered design (link to gallery of my garden designs)
  • Nurturing gardens and gardeners

Background

As the Eco-Friendly Garden Coach, I draw on

  • Decades of photographing and writing about ecological landscaping, native plants, biodiversity, xeriscaping, organic gardening, planting for wildlife, gardening with nature and related topics
  • A lifetime of hands-on down-in-the-dirt garden making
  • Studies with leading ecological landscapers, ecologists and wildlife biologists
  • Training for and meeting the ongoing requirements to be a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional.
CONTACT KAREN
“Karen co-lead a training day for Audubon Connecticut’s Audubon At Home program on creating bird friendly habitats utilizing native plants and sustainable garden design features for people interested in creating these types of spaces on their properties. Her depth of knowledge and breadth of work … was inspiring and engaged the audience in the story of garden design and the beauty of native plants and their connections to the health of biodiversity.”
Taralynn Reynolds, Audubon At Home Coordinator Connecticut Audubon

A garden coaching session is whatever you want it to be.

Some clients have asked for

  • A walk-through for new homeowners to identify plants – the good, the bad and the ugly – and work out strategies for maintaining, increasing, rearranging or eliminating them
  • Help in defining spaces, screening or opening views, simplifying busy planting schemes, creating a balance and a sense of flow, adding color
  • A written maintenance plan or plant inventory
  • Follow-up research – things like a list of plants for butterfly gardens, a recipe for encouraging moss or plant suggestions for sites that are wet, shady or full of deer
  • Advice on what they can do and what requires a professional. Interviewing and selecting landscape contractors and supervising their work
  • Sourcing and purchasing plants – I can provide plants, take you shopping or just make suggestions
  • Selecting and placing new trees – getting just the right varieties for the location and arranging for planting
  • New gardeners sometimes schedule a weekly private class, others check in with me a couple times a year, when they’re “stuck” or when they’re ready to go on to a new phase. One I’m working with to develop gardens and edit woodland plantings over the next 10 years. Some coaching clients realize they don’t have time and just ask me to make them a garden.
See Karen’s Work (Slide Show)