While I was attending school for landscape design, I joined our local Landscape Contractors Association. I discovered at that time that I didn’t want to hustle rich people for work.
I knew I loved gardens, plants, and design, but I wanted to bring the pleasure of gardens to the average person, and I wasn’t interested in designing parks and urban landscapes.
Back somewhere in those early years, the idea for more financially accessible landscape design was born.
I don’t live on an estate or in a castle, and I’ve never had a grand garden. Sure, they are lots of fun to visit and look at on Houzz and Pinterest, but the cost to build and maintain them are more in line with the incomes of the rich.
I would love to see everyone have their little personal piece of green heaven. From the owners of narrow urban row house lots to large suburban plots, make plans to: eat outside; party outside with your friends; sit and talk around a warm crackling fire drinking a hot beverage; watch your kids, grandchildren, and dogs run around and play on a green lawn in your yard.
Your heart should sing when you come home, and I want it to sing when you walk up the path to your front door.
Your garden doesn’t need to be complicated or labor intensive or cost a fortune to plant and maintain.
I believe we should be mindful of birds, bees, and all the little scurrying, flying and hopping things that we share the earth with.
I try not to plant and grow anything that is certain to require pesticides or too much tender loving care because one is fundamentally against my principles and the other demands time that I just don’t have. I will use pesticides but only very sparingly and only as a last resort
I work to design gardens that require less care.
- the right plants in the right place
- more trees and shrubs
- fewer perennials and annuals
- good garden maintenance
- thoughtful design
If a plant turns out to be plagued by pests or falls prey to disease, I get rid of it and plant something else.
I value plants that have multiple seasons of interest over plants that only shine for a little while, and I use more of them in my designs. However, any plant that makes your heart sing deserves a place in your garden if you can grow it.
I think a garden should provide you with opportunities to enjoy it year round, even if part of the year you are just looking at it through a window.
Pleasing landscape design and good plant selection can be difficult to achieve without skill and a good bit of education.
Let Yard Proud Design help you get outside and enjoy your little patch of green.
One day, about 20 years ago, a woman sat down next to me at a New Year’s Day party and began to complain that she couldn’t find a landscape designer to work on her properties. She was a property manager, and I just happened to have gone to school for landscape design.
I hadn’t looked for a job right after school because I’d had two children and I had been able to stay home with them. But the younger one was about to start kindergarten, so I took this as a clear sign that it was my time to begin my landscape design career.
She supplied the crew from a business that took care of her properties, and I began. I went from her numerous projects to ones of my own. First using her crew then subcontracting out others.
I went back to school and filled in my design education with horticulture and construction courses, and later, computer aided design.
Most of my jobs were the result of recommendations from satisfied customers, some from the phone book. Most of them were fairly small in comparison to those sought out by the large landscaping companies. At the time they were in the $3000 – $30,000 range.
I made my share of mistakes, mostly business ones. I also produced numerous projects that I’m still very proud of. I worked along happily for a number of years.
Then, there was a long forced pause in my landscaping career during the great recession when the jobs just dried up. A long miserable period, best forgotten.
One thing that I realized was that I’d had numerous clients who just wanted design services. These were people who liked to do the work themselves but needed help with design and choosing the right plants. So, the idea for an online landscape design website was born.
I still provide design and landscaping near Laurel, Maryland but if you live in the mid-Atlantic area or a similar plant hardiness zone, I hope that you will try my online site for help in designing your garden. Of course, you will have to provide your D-I-Y talents and sweat equity.
Be proud of your yard!