Success: the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.

Bird-friendly garden

I call my approach to design and teaching Successful Landscaping.

Obviously, good design, great plant selection, and proper culture and maintenance of one’s landscape are necessary for success. But there are a couple other important ingredients; they are:

  • the gardener’s realistic attitude about what is possible and reasonable in his/her garden according to things like time, space, skills, and budget; and
  • his/her willingness to cooperate with Mother Nature.

I design, consult, coach and occasionally teach classes with a focus on the combination of elements that ensure a successful landscape and also minimal damage to the environment.

Successful Landscaping is more than design.

Commitment to the Environment

Living roof covered with sedumSuccess in the garden means not only having a pretty, productive garden or landscape, but also making sure the garden and gardening processes don’t damage the environment. A successful landscape is a win/win proposition. And we certainly need some winning for our environment. For the past 50 years or more we’ve loaded it up with chemicals and questionable culture and maintenance practices. And yet we are surprised at the amount of pollution in our air, soil and water.

Humans are completely dependent on the environment for our very lives. In the ecosystem, everything relates to and touches everything else in some manner. When we affect one thing, it affects something else. Maybe something we didn’t intend or expect it to affect. Maybe something that will damage us in some way. We need to be very mindful of how our actions affect the environment. Practicing successful landscaping can really help keep the environment healthy.

If we want our grand children’s grand children to be able to eat, drink and breathe, then we should care about the environment and do what it takes to protect it. The best way I know to do this is to practice successful landscaping.

Focus on Education
My business model is a bit different from most landscape designers. I focus on education as much as design. Maybe more. Most of my clients are Do-It-Yourselfers — at least in part. Many of them will have a contractor install the hardscape portion of their plan, but choose to select and install the plant material on their own — with my guidance (usually via coaching).

Garry Oak Savannah HabitatI create Complete Design plans for many clients where I make all the decisions about plant selection and placement, but in most cases, this teaches them nothing. The client can install the landscape according to the plan, but have they learned to cooperate with Mother Nature? Would they know what plant would make a suitable substitute if the supplier told them one on their list was not available? Would they know how to prune their young trees and shrubs?

To help with all the questions, no matter which service a client chooses, I encourage my clients to learn about Successful Landscaping by utilizing information in the Successful Landscaping section of this website; or by attending classes I teach periodically throughout the year.

The Successful Landscaping Knowledge Base

Because I’m so committed to education and learning, every design package and consulting / coaching visit includes access to my Knowledge Base. It contains categorized information covering a range of subjects like: plant lists, pruning instructions, lawn care, mulch & compost, culture & maintenance, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), etc.

At this time my KB is a work in process. It is what it is at any point in time. At the end of a project, clients receive links (usually via email) introducing them to my KB. I update, add, delete files and/or photos as I learn new science that causes me to re-evaluate older maintenance or culture practices, see new design trends, discover new plants or see that an old favorite is no longer suitable for our changing climate.

Visit Successful Landscaping.

Why Do I Need a Knowledge Base?

Field of red poppiesDo you think you won’t have any questions?

Of course you will.

My KB comes from years of answering client questions. Each time I was posed a question, I researched online to make sure I had the most current information about that topic. Then I saved the information that best supported my mission (to teach gardeners to be better stewards of the land) either as a document or as a link. Those of you who know my NEED for organization will know that, as I saved everything (of course I did), I just I HAD to categorize it to the max. Since the beginning of my practice my KB has been my personal resource library. Now I’m sharing it with my clients in an online environment.

Clients, who want or need to install and/or maintain most of their landscape themselves find my KB resource very helpful. They generally install over a number of years and often request Consulting / Coaching for further assistance with honing their plant lists or doing plant placement when the plants start arriving on site. My KB plant lists help them create their own plant lists. And the other information helps them learn a lot about plant culture, maintenance and getting their project started.

Clients who choose Complete Design (where I make most of the design and plant selection decisions), may not have as much use for my KB (particularly if they don’t do their own maintenance) because they are hiring others to do everything for them. But I encourage these clients to utilize my resources if only to become smart enough about their situation to understand when the wool is being pulled over their eyes or to see other types of trouble brewing.

My KB is meant for everyone. It’s a clearing house of information. But it seems most useful to DIYers or people who want or need to do some selecting, planting, maintaining on their own.

Again, I ask: Are you never going to have any questions about your landscape?

If you can answer, “Nope, I’ll NEVER have questions,” then you won’t need my KB. Otherwise… let the learning never end!

If you learn better by demonstration or verbally,
you can always schedule a Consulting / Coaching visit.

Teaching Pruning

Beth Goodnight teaching blueberry pruning at WSU Clark County Extension.

Occasionally, I teach classes for a variety of entities including garden centers and clubs. Each class is announced in my blog, by the entity sponsoring the class, and below.

— No Classes Scheduled for future dates at this time. —

Want to book a class?

I have a few existing presentations, could create some thing new just for your group, or do a group coaching or other activity such as a pruning lesson.

Please contact me to discuss the possibilities.

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