top left: a former rose bed is converted to trial deer resistant plants, after amending the clay soil with compost and lava rock to improve drainage, Burlingame. right: early stages of a new installation that repurposed a hill of gravel, Napa.

above :  partial view of a wrap around border after the first planting day, the grounds freshly ammended and mulched, Portola Heights 

home      design      consulting      journal      projects         

getting started
'on paper' to 'in ground' A designer like myself who has literal hands-on experience in breaking ground, hauling amendments, placing rock, laying out irrigation, siting plants, etc., will use that knowledge to efficiently and sensibly execute your project. Too often there are gaps, in knowledge and experience, between designs on paper and the where, which and how plants are put in the earth.

I install my own designs to make sure everything's done correctly. I also offer second opinions and evaluations on other's designs, you can find out more on my consulting page.

site prep
well grounded While each site is different, sometimes the soil on-site needs some improvement for existing or intended plantings. Depending on the condition of the soil, I may suggest adding something to break up clay or adding organic material for poor soils.
Since nature does not like bare earth, I may also suggest a mulch to keep out weeds, regulate soil temperature, and conserve water.

irrigation
water wisely... I have been installing and repairing simple irrigations problems for fifteen years
. I can also evaluate an exisitng system to see where improvements can be made. As we are in a drought, and even if we weren't, conserving water is a priority and a mark of good stewardship.

 Dean Ouellette   415-820-1623   garden_together@hotmail.com