Before design ideas for a client can be sketched out on paper, a visit to the property is vital to ascertain potential problems and envision possibilities.
Yes, photographs, interviews, and Google Earth give insight and facts, but observing the variables, pinpointing the variations of sunlight, and sensing the optimum "place" based on what plants and wildlife exist - allows for a full property analysis.
Even if "just" to site a vegetable garden or choose the best place and containers for herbs, knowing the expectations as well as the time & effort client's plan to devote is key.
As an urban gardening specialist, this attention to detail within a growing area of a few square feet translates to those measured in acres. Natural and human history, geology, soil, microclimates, native plants and wildlife are all taken into consideration before a design is formulated.
Calling this approach WHOLE SPACE GARDEN DESIGN, Hudson Highlands Garden Design, a division of Tarn Farm LLC, focuses on organic methods, practical solutions, feng shui, gardening with and for wildlife, sustainable practices, low maintenance, and the optimum use of residential and commercial property.
CASE STUDY: TARN, Garrison, New York
A residential, forested property on over two acres in the Hudson
Highlands in Putnam County.
2008 Putnam County Secret Garden Tour
Excerpts edited from the handout:
Welcome to our third-year growing season. "We can't control Nature, so I try my best to work with her. I have gardened organically for 20 years after tasting my first grown-from-seed tomato that thrived out the window on a Manhattan fire escape."
Mini “tours” are offered: "Take one, all, or head down the driveway and up through the arbor to see the perennial, wildlife, corn, herb, and vegetable gardens. Refreshments are on the deck where you can view the fish pond - koi, Comets, and frogs. Since we’re in the woods, before taking a trail tour, we suggest that you use the all natural insect spray that was donated for this event.
Mail Rock Trail
Trail and seasonal wetland stream design factors, historical art, creating trails with wildlife.
Wind Garden Meadow Trail
Capture the wind with ornamental grasses and chimes; enjoy “unseen” vistas; native plants, rock art; cedar, hemlock and oak tree care, blocking undesirable views, and Bird Rise.
High Point Trail
Reduce soil compaction with simple trails; adding ornamentals to native areas; and using Google Earth to enjoy your property.
On the Rocks
Walk through the perennial garden. The pond has koi, Comets, and frogs; how to keep predators out. Toad houses and shelter. Creating shade to grow hostas, ferns, toad lilies, etc.
Vegetable and Herb Gardens
What, how to, ease of growing and fertilizer and pest control.
If I am mot sure of the name of a particular plant, please sign the guest book on the deck and I'll look it up in planting records and get back to you with the common and botanical name.
"I know what I grow" so do ask about: growing vegetables and herbs; feeding birds/not squirrels; composting with ease; harvesting rain; deer fencing; reducing your lawn; sharing berries and peaches with wildlife; attracting and keeping bluebirds; creating woodland trails; forestscaping; adding native plants; using feng shui in the garden; container gardening, solar thermal energy; and reducing light pollution for star gazing.
Other features: Three Circuit Labyrinth, road beautification with milkweed planting for butterflies, stone fences ("walls") and glacial erratics.
Will be glad to demonstrate: h
Keep Putnam Beautiful – adopt a road or an intersection www.putnamcountyny.com/kpb
Seeds – www.reneesgarden.com
Any questions? www.hudsonhighlandsgardendesign.com