My vision is to help introduce people to the joys of low-maintenance native plant gardens, and to help meet your goals for your property while working in harmony with the ecosystem.
My expertise is with plants that are native to the southwest Michigan area. I am a garden coach and native plant landscape designer. When I visit your property for the first time, we will walk together so I can learn what you love--and don’t love--about your property. I will evaluate your site and ask questions about what you want your space to look like.
I earned the Master Gardener certification in 2004, and logged many volunteer and continuing education hours to earn the advanced Master Gardener certification in 2008. The main reason I took the MG class was to understand how to care for the 13 trees we had planted on the property of our new home. It is much easier to care for living things when you have a good sense of what they need! The trees thrived and I’ve continued my education, earning Master Composter, Master Rain Gardener and Smart Gardener certifications through Michigan State University. I completed the Michigan Conservation Steward program, as well as too many classes and webinars to count. I am a member of the Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones.
For over seven years I worked at MSU's Kellogg Bird Sanctuary where, with the help of Kellogg Biological Station staff and dedicated volunteers, I designed many of the Sanctuary's educational gardens. Specific areas were created to demonstrate the following types of gardens, all of which provide habitat for pollinators:
- Prairie garden, where drifts of taller flowers and native grasses dominate
- Xeriscape garden, built to withstand drought conditions
- Rain garden
- Shady garden
- Erosion control gardens on sunny and shady slopes near the shores of Wintergreen Lake
- Hybrid garden, designed with native and traditional annual plants free of neonicotinoids (chemicals which do harm to pollinators). The purpose of this design is to provide immediate color until the slower growing native plants are well established enough to take center stage.
I enjoy composing elements such as planning for the height of the plants and their consecutive bloom times. I consider of the amount of sun, soil, water, and wind on your site, putting all the factors together to create a successful garden for your enjoyment and for the health of your land.