Old Saybrook, CT Perennial Bed after 3 year Maturity
A coastal perennial bed with spring through fall interest
Firelight Hydrangeas, Adagio Grasses and Carly Rose Grass
Deep River, CT
Maroon Coneflowers and Carly Rose Ornamental Grass
Deep River, CT
I work with an amazing Landscape Architect who has over 30+ years of experience to turn visions into breathtaking realities. Our dedicated crew of master masons prides themselves in creating unique and customized solutions for the discerning homeowners. Our clients value our artistic vision and our welcoming eye to challenges such as undiscovered giant boulders beneath their land, instead of removing it, we utilize it to create a one of a kind outdoor oasis, building pools, patios, and even waterfalls around it! See for yourself!
I started my business by doing containers in New York City, so often when a project calls to change out window boxes, planters and containers around a clients home whether it be inside or outside, shade or sun; I jump to the occasion with joy!
I often focus on what is in season, what colors my clients like to see, and listen to their own style in order to create a beautiful display.
Holiday Decor & Arrangements
Nothing says welcome home for the holidays like a big welcome at your front door, these arrangements help you get in the spirit of the holidays before entering the chandelier lit rooms and sparkling christmas lights.
I work with my clients on color schemes to decorate entire homes with fresh garlands and greens. I put on beautiful, sophisticated displays by using urns, window boxes and containers around your house to make one of kind works of art.
Call me so we can work something out!
Beautiful Magnolia wreath with pods, eucalyptus, silver dollars, rosemary and fresh greens
Susan Powell Fine Art Gallery
Susan has an amazing eye and her art gallery reflects her wonderful taste of fine art.
She also has my favorite! David Dunlop!
Window Boxes at The Griswold Inn
Each year our garden club members decorate merchants window boxes for the holidays using greens that we gather and source.
It makes the town feel so cozy, and ready for the Holidays!
Pop Up Shop @ Maximus Antiques
Thank you to everyone for their support at Maximus Antiques. We met a lot of new clients and made Main Street just a little bit happier with our beautiful plants.
We are in search of a new location this season and will let you know asap where it will be! This time, we will be looking for a permanent spot!
The gardens I created at Pumpkin Patch get more and more beautiful each year!
I love seeing the looks on parents and the children's faces when they see their garden before heading into school for the day.
Sarner Wealth Management
I decorated this planter for my husband's office when he was on Main Street. I received lots of compliments and started receiving request for other work in the area.
Thanks for stopping by! We purchased a summer weekend house in Essex while living full time in the city in early 2007. After starting a family, we decided to move to Essex permanently and make it our full time residence. So when I decided to turn my dreams into reality by starting Plant Design; I essentially became my own Cobbler's son.
My working season keeps me busy spending long 10-12 hour days in my client's gardens; it is only until close to dark that I finally come home with Felcos in hand to start chipping away at my own garden. So needless to say, outdoor lighting became essential.
This is an ongoing 5+ year project since we purchased a foreclosed home at the bottom of the housing market where no one was buying, and everyone was selling. My vision for this Georgian Colonial was to include a small orchard, a small veggie garden and a pool to cool off during hot summer months all under 2 very wooded acres.
Once the housing market stabilized itself again, our quaint 3 house cul-de-sac street became a crowded 9 home street. So busy that every year, we were met with construction, day in and day out. My garden became a place where I could hide and retreat from the noise. Very many changes came into play such as a privacy hedge, and layers upon layers of evergreens, with understory trees, and large flowering shrubs fronted with wide, long, and lush perennial beds.
What it is now is a dear collection of all types of botanical natives and non-natives, nothing invasive, all unified together through sweeping lawns that I continue to care for myself with the help of my dear husband, 2 dogs, and a dozen hens and my hardworking gardener, Raul.
My favorites among my gardens' annual bounties are my cutting flowers from thousands of bulbs planted yearly, roses, peonies and delicious fresh tomatoes and eggs to give to my neighbors and friends.
Come along for the ride as I update my garden weekly. You may save yourself a few headaches and a lot of mistakes by viewing my 'experiments'.
Lavender Patch with Kousa Dogwood
I look forward each year to this beautiful lavender patch, but I think this year will be the last, as lavender tend to not do as well after a few years. They also look very untidy in the early fall and late winter.
I believe I will replace them with boxwoods and roses. My roses tend to really like this area because of the reflected heat the blue stone coping provides. This area also does not have irrigation and offers me an excuse to water my roses at night and deadhead them with care.
What is it about foundation beds?
That makes me extremely anxious about the turning of the seasons. Living on the shoreline makes me truly fickle about ripping out the Endless Summer blue hydrangeas that only gives a display every other year due to our harsh New England winters.
I do take the opportunity to fill in the front border with seasonal annuals such as alyssum last year, and replant the bulbs that the squirrels dig out each year. I plant either white, or crimson mums every year in the fall, and then promptly rip them out when they get brown.
This year I will look for a more permanent solution and add in impatiens which suffered a terrible disease so now I have to plant the new guineas which last a strong long season.
After a fresh mow.
When my lawn guys come (as we do not provide mowing services), if I ever get the rare chance to see them during the season because I am always working; I give them the biggest smile and say thank you!
Because I believe, no garden can look great without a foundation, and lawns are that foundation. A great and clean canvas really does wonder to your beautiful flowering borders.
When we first moved into this house, we started with bare bones, no plants, just weeds, no irrigation, just us dragging the hose everywhere, no lawn maintenance, just my husband using his push power, and no screening evergreens, just a road covered with woods on all 3 sides. A lot has changed, and thankfully irrigation was put in!
Eugenia Topiary underplanted with Begonias
These Begonias were to die for and perfect for this shady spot on my front stoop. Our house is a Georgian Colonial and the columns with the Juliette balcony above and its balustrades really block the sun out. We also have northern exposure in the front door so generally shady plants love this spot.
Darling Lily, seen here at her first Spring.
Nowadays, Lily tags along side of me picking cherry tomatoes, green beans, and peas for dinner. I hope that one day when she's all grown up she will have a garden as well be it small or large. I would be grateful if this gardening gene could pass on although I have heard it skips a generation!
My very first peonies.
Going on 5 years old, these peonies become larger and larger every year. This as you can see is larger than my hand.
Climbing Roses on Picket Fence
My style is constantly evolving.
I am in love with formal gardens, yet I possess only a few boxwoods, I love cottage gardens, yet I can't stand the popping up of random "weedy" looking flowers. My favorite color is green yet, nothing makes me happier than an explosion of color in the garden everywhere I turn.
So when I decided to plant climbing roses like in those beautiful old, English gardens, I was constantly tying and deadheading them. I have to say- roses is like a good marriage. You get back what you put in.
When the pool was put in..
When I first started working with my architect to do this project at my house, we had the pool and patio already placed in, but there was no connection from this exceptionally hilly slope to the pool. Together, we designed a series of stone steps, outdoor lighting, garden beds, rockery to create a sense of connection. In the next picture you will see the same area with only a 2 year growth time. The plants we picked out really loved their new home.
One of the nicer views from our deck.
This is a fantastic view on the mornings when I cannot tend to my garden because of a great new project. The garden is lush, healthy and green, and have yet to reach into its full late Spring mode.
You can see the grasses filling in, and the dogwoods starting to show its white flowers. Since then, I have added more color to the beds, and have gotten over my white garden theme.
My hot colors are now taken over with roses and peonies. My two favorite loves.
The color of this show-stopping iris is something the camera can barely capture. This is just after a short spring rain, and if you look closely, you can almost feel as if you are there to see the water droplets fall off the petal. I love the veination of this bearded iris.
A lot of gardeners stay away from roses because they fear of its fussiness. These days the breeds of Roses are almost invincible. They love rocky, sandy soil, barely any water except for the rain, and their tenacious flowering gives any flowering plant a run for its money. These are double knock out roses in Barbie Pink. I feed them every 2 weeks with a slow release fertilizer and deadhead them with a glass of Rose in hand. It makes the late afternoons after work that much more enjoyable with the smell of something grilling away.
Roses on a Hillside stone wall
This stone wall is about 45 feet wide, and the slope is almost 45*. Putting in Roses with this southern exposure was about the smartest idea EVER. They start to bloom in May and last to December. I get roses that stay almost until Christmas time. I prune them each year in the late winter or early spring about 6 inches down to the ground and every year I get 4 shows of blooms.
Statuaries and Birdbaths
Like your indoor rooms, small trinkets, and beautiful pieces of furniture adorn these rooms telling a story about who you are, where you are from and how you like to live. In the garden, I have personal statuaries that I've collected because they make me happy. This little frog is representative of me in yoga. And this birdbath is a lotus flower, reminding me of my Asian origin.
Collect the things that you love, and you'll always find a spot for them in the garden.
My little frog is on an irrigation box that I always forget the spot for.
This is a new purchase. I bought twins.
The color was too good to give up even though the fruit that it bears is useless, I can't give it to the chickens, and I can't enjoy it myself. I hoped that the birds would like it but they don't like it either.
Oh well, sometimes the uncompromising beauty of something is all it needs to find a nice home.
My attempt several years ago at a raised veggie bed.
I learned very quickly that I was maintaining an organic buffet for not just my family, but for the family of groundhogs, rabbits, chipmunks and other various unwelcomed as well as unfenced creatures. The following year, I put in a fence.
I first saw these when I was working on a property in Madison. Her climbing hydrangeas choked a beautiful, old Cedar tree. But this climbing hydrangea was grown in a pot set next to the tree and must have been over 15 years old. Its beautiful display of white laced cap flowers won me over and I knew I had to get one of my own. Although mine is less than 4 years old, it gives a wonderfully display before its cousins the Endless Blues poke out after it.
Douglas Fir Raised Beds
I chose douglas fir because I didn't know long I would want to commit to having a raised bed, as we had another 3/4 of an acre that I have always wanted to turn into a huge vegetable garden with enough produce to give to the neighborhood soup kitchen.
The beds today are still in place, and in great condition, as well as the tomatoes I grow each year in the same spot with new compost that get as high as 8ft tall.
This fence was only for show.
I came to learn that this didn't deter any of the animals, if anything, it provided a nice backdrop to climbing roses, which I installed the following season.
Shortly after, the property next to me was purchased and wiped out the entire family of groundhogs, so my fence became completely unnecessary but the roses seem to enjoy it, and so do my friends that visit the garden to pick my tomatoes.
My small veggie garden
Those tomatoes are purchased from Essex Garden Club's May Market each year, grown from seedlings by our members in the Winter time in one of member's greenhouses. This past year (2016), I only planted herbs, chard, tomatoes, and a few peppers. Even so, I had to give my food away as our little family of 3 and sometimes overnight guests add up to 8 could not consume all of our produce!
My hens are wonderful gardening companions; they are always so chatty and have their heads in the ground all day long. Very much like me.
A view of the girls' new home.
I designed this coop and commissioned the Amish to build it because of a terrible tragedy that happened and killed two of my beloved girls.
I was a new chicken owner and the loss devastated me to the core. I vowed to never let the chickens get hurt again. This is their fort knox.
The girls do so much for me and give back greatly to my small garden. They eat all the bugs and ticks off the property as well as provided great fertilizer that the irrigation soaks in so nothing is ever a mess. If they could only scratch where I want them to!
I base my garden designs on where I spend the most of my time. This design was created out of necessity because this is the view from Lily's Playroom. We do our bird watching here. I put out lots of seeds and suet for all the woodpeckers to eat and it is amazing to see Lily's eyes light up when she sees a bird she knows.
I open the windows in early spring and purposely planted a hedge of lilacs to take in its aroma when we are trapped in the house. This room has no been transformed to a guest room, but the view is still as spectacular as ever. I have since added iceberg roses, purple hydrangeas, and more privacy trees.
Spring in the Secret Garden
This is another view of the secret garden, where alyssums were just placed in the early spring. The tulips have come out and the Cherry Plum is just starting to blossom. On both sides of the Arbor, I planted a climbing rose. Which I will be pulling out this year because it has become very shady from a birch tree nearby. I plan on putting in a privacy Arbovitae hedge on the left and right sides of the arbor to close this garden in.
These tired hips..
I put these in last year on the deck, one reason was because I was so tired of fighting off the critters no matter how much fencing I was putting up. Two, because my husband loves making pasta and if I had herbs directly outside our kitchen he would have no excuse making me dinner! Lastly, these hips get very tired from squatting, bending and digging all day. These vegtrugs from Williams Sonoma are truly lifesaving. They are incredibly easy to put together, extremely well made, and no bending down! I purchased 3 so they are 18ft long and about 3 feet wide and about deep enough to grow carrots. I fill them up with potting mix and organic compost and replant seasonally depending on the weather. The deck is southern exposed and can feel around 100* when it is only 70* out.
What I have growing in this trug last year were Jamaican greens, peppers, squash and lots of herbs.
I meet my clients..
At the oddest of locations, one day I was picking up some things from Walmart, and I couldn't help but bring home this healthy Meyer Lemon tree with me home. Even though I purchased from nurseries, when a plant is this healthy it is literally screaming my name. A very nice couple were picking up a few plants at the garden center and decided to ask me a few questions and then asked me if I would design their garden. I'm looking forward to working with them in the future!
This is a view off of one of my stone steps to the pool. I have two lemon trees I place in pots in the summer. They get direct morning sun and taper off in the afternoon, just in time for me to give to them a much needed soaking. These lemons become on our favorites dessert drinks, cream of limoncello.
Meyeri Lilac on a Standard.
This is a view of my front lawn from my driveway. I love my meyeri lilac standard even though it blooms for such a short short while. I try to spend as much time with it while it is in bloom as every time i walk by the air around it by more than 5 ft (I swear) is filled with the most amazing fragrance.
I enjoy the frangrances of jasmine, gardenias, lilacs and hyacinths so I try to plant as many of these multi-purpose plants as much as possible- for cutting, fragrance, teas, and jellies.
Here is another view of my Serpentine Garden Bed full of White Incredi-Balls Hyrdrangeas and white Rosa Rugosas. There are spots of purple in the Early spring, and late summer that is not in the picture quite yet. It is quite a view from the upstairs windows.
Those are standard Japanese Cherry Trees in my foundation beds. Everyone who sees them in the Spring swoons over them. I have to prune them every year so they don't grow into the house.
I love having tropicals around the pool seating areas, it makes you feel like you're in a resort!
In all of its Summer Glory
My favorite place to have a quick lunch for 2 is at this cute antique set I found next door to me (valley farm antiques), It was sandblasted and repainted white, and is such a romantic spot to hear the birds chirping and to grab a quick bite before heading out to a clients house or upstairs to finish a design.