Garden Services

Garden Design, Installation, Maintenance, and Rescue


Our Principles

1. We create garden designs that are beautiful and eco-friendly. We embrace biodiversity, native plants, attractive ornamentals and edibles, and flowers that restore pollinator habitats. We encourage ecosystem-strengthening practices like composting, woodland restoration, and lawn-to-garden transformations.

2. We do careful work, employing best practices in sustainable gardening. We place new plants at the correct soil depth and spacing to ensure lush growth and long-term health. We preference hand tools like hand pruners and loppers rather than gas-powered hedge clippers. These practices are not only kinder to plants and limit pollution, but also prevent overpruning and yield more attractive shapes. We specialize in rejuvenation pruning that restores shrubs and small trees to their former glory. We spread mulch by hand so that plant crowns can breathe and gardens receive all the benefits mulch provides.

3. We use Integrated Pest Management. IPM includes multiple methods to address garden problems, with non-organic chemical solutions and non-selective pesticides only as a last resort. We can rescue our plants without damaging the surrounding habitat.

4. We are committed to helping our clients learn more about using plants to strengthen our local ecosystem, beautify living spaces, and provide healthy food.

Garden Design and Consulting

We design gardens to be beautiful and successful. In order to strengthen our local ecosystem, our designs contain elements that mimic native habitats. We incorporate native plants, including those that attract pollinators. We prize biodiversity, while preserving the client's aesthetic preferences. We offer alternatives to ornamentals that are common but nonetheless invasive.

One of our specialties is blending ornamental and attractive edible plants for a uniquely beautiful and productive garden. We also design grass-to-garden transformations and woodland restorations.

We begin our design process by gathering information from prospective clients. We learn about your microclimate, your garden goals, and any challenges you have faced. We ask about color preferences and the sort of mood the garden should evoke. We ask how and when you plan to spend time in your garden.

We have no one-size-fits-all design plan. Our designs address your needs and preferences first and foremost. We really like some plants like milkweed and sweet peppers, but they are not the best choices for every client. Our designs could include plants that are not seen in every other garden in your neighborhood. For instance, we like ground cherries, wild ginger, lungwort, and Jack in the pulpit.

We are also committed to affordability. If you would like, we will survey your property and provide design suggestions that incorporate plants already growing well. For instance, many perennials can be divided and transplanted to cover more space, while reducing the size of the budget devoted to new plants.

Our primary objective is to encourage you to spend more time outside with your plants. The fee for our design services depends upon the size and complexity of the job. If you are interested in learning more about garden design from Eating for the Ecosystem, please contact us.

Garden Installation, Maintenance, and Rescue

At Eating for the Ecosystem, we focus on each plant's health with every service we provide. Placement, planting depth, root care, and mulch application are all carefully done to ensure the plant's long term vigor.

We weed meticulously and comprehensively; we know that proper weed removal requires root extraction. In some cases, this is easier said than done, particularly with garden bullies like goutweed, thistles, and English ivy. We have a tool-kit full of organic options to address any weed infestation. It is not necessary to use chemicals that damage our environment.

One of our specialties at EFTE is rejuvenation pruning. Perhaps you have a flowering shrub that barely flowers any more. Shrubs like hydrangea, rhododendron, red-twig dogwood, and flowering quince benefit tremendously from careful pruning. We can bring most struggling shrubs and small trees back to their former glory.

Our landscaping services also reflect our concern for the ecosystem by employing mostly hand-held people-powered tools. For instance, we use rakes and brooms rather than gasoline-powered blowers. Since we do not generally use gas-powered equipment, we do not use the gasoline to power the tools or to transport the (often large and heavy) equipment.

We employ Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM "is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices." (EPA) IPM incorporates monitoring, identification, prevention, and control. If any of your plants are suffering, we can help. We can offer you a variety of effective interventions, resorting to synthetic chemicals only when absolutely necessary.

It is our mission to improve people-plant relations, so we also offer educational services. If you would like to learn how best to care for your garden, our CEO Sherrilyn will teach you. She'll cover any topic you would like to learn, from weed identification to tool selection to shrub pruning to planting, and much more.

Sherrilyn's teaching experience includes horticulture topics for all ages, undergraduate and graduate economics courses, dance, and yoga. She knows that active hands-on learning is most effective, and will provide answers to any of your horticulture questions. Though her PhD is in economics, her extensive self-study in horticulture continues with the same level of intensity. She follows the latest research in the field in order to implement best practices for all EFTE products and services.

If you would like to set up an initial consultation, please contact us.