Our Specialized Services
Jennifer Yates is an experienced and passionate garden and landscape designer. Here is what sets her work apart from other designers:
The balance of beauty, harmony and ecology is an answer to climate change, embracing and healing current environmental issues. It is this synergy that is manifest in all her gardens and landscapes.
Cultivating the natural beauty of your property and taking it to the highest level, while focusing on its sense of place, perpetuates the enduring quality of my work.
Utilizing color, form, texture, proportion, space and a “less is more” philosophy will transform your property into a work of art.
Working with diverse conditions, including wetlands, verges, woodlands, arid and transition environments on commercial and residential properties are challenges I overcome head-on.
“In many ways, the garden at Highgrove represents one very small attempt to heal the appallingly short-sighted damage done to our soil, the landscape and to our own souls.” Prince Charles
Yates Garden Design is Certified Organic by the New England Organic Farmers Association (NOFA). We obtain optimal compost and compost teas.
“Gardens affirm that it is possible to cultivate a place of discovery where we may invent something new for ourselves — and therefore the world.” Sophie Walker
Our designs for gardens and landscapes are influenced by habitat, sunlight, rain, and microclimates, as well as the style of your home or office. We preserve existing flora and fauna where possible and think restoration. We assess the site via a soil test and careful analysis and repeat the process as needed, adding organic material when the tests show that nutrition is needed.
We establish a foundation for handling the extremes of nature – fluctuations in temperature, rain, and sun – while making provisions for erosion control. For example, we might plant a certain species of hydrangea or even cacti for dry conditions. If you ever wondered why landscape architects like Piet Oudolf achieve extraordinary success, it is due to their deliberate choices of both character and power in the plants that make up their design.
Turning The Elements to Our Advantage
We begin by assessing your location and choosing the right combination of plants for your location and micro-climate balance. There are many possibilities, including succulents, annuals and perennials. Perennials can be exotic wild, border, native wild and specimen. Since perennials have varying degrees of competitiveness and life span, we typically avoid the short-lived varieties. Tick-proof edging can also be desirable.
LANDSCAPES & GARDENS
Rain Gardens are of great environmental value as they capture and release water in a more purified form into the garden or landscape. A rain garden strives to manage the expected rainfall by collecting it via landscaping, filtering it through gravel and then providing sufficient drainage to prevent stagnation. Stormwater management resolution is of particular importance.
We specify plants which look natural, but always with visual interest features of foliage and texture. We primarily suggest native plants, but non-natives plants can be considered to add variety to the landscape.
Some perennials should be located right at the water’s edge for their ecological cleansing properties, while others with varying degrees of water tolerance can be further away. In certain situations we can design for wildlife attraction.
Some towns, such as Greenwich, CT require a rain garden on every new property development.
“A rain garden actively manages water sustainably in the garden and designed landscape. We reduce our need for treated water – capture, store and release it.” – Nigel Dunnett
Shade and Woodland Gardens
A welcoming, shady garden located on a woodland property or at woodlands edge can be either a respite from the busy world or an ideal outdoor space for entertaining. Here we focus on lush architectural beds with wondrous foliage that love shady conditions. Mosses, ferns, tubers, corms, and bulbs are ideal.
Ecologically, shade is a multi-faceted phenomenon that creates new and complex settings for woodland ecosystems.Woody plants can serve as the backdrop to support flowering plants. Alternatively, a Japanese bonsai landscape can thrive in these conditions. Any form of a shade garden is vital to woodland ecological conservation.
” The garden path is designed to provide for ever-changing views, so no scene is duplicated, and the visitor experiences a wide variety of spaces.”–Shunmyo Masuno
Wild Gardens and Wildflower Meadows
Wildflower Meadows are rich with diversity and brimming with grasses, and are ideal for the preservation of native plants. They create beautiful views from a building or home’s interior. Meadows can preserve the original landscape with the addition of dramatic flora.
The former director of Wave Hill, Kate French, said, “Gardens and landscapes are canvases on which we explore our evolving relationships to nature.”
Wave Hill Garden features a wild garden which was in existence long before ecological planting design gained momentum. The effect is meant to be as if “planted by nature.” The maintenance required for a wild garden is less rigorous than a more formal design with high maintenance plants such as topiary. The best wildflower meadows are found on dry, thin soils overlaying limestone, but such landscape can also be created.
Often, both wild gardens and wildflower meadows have open borders to enhance spaciousness and compliment surrounding views.
“Getting to know wildflowers adds a new layer to the way you experience the world.” – Sarah Raven
Sarah also shares that you can blend in a wide variety of herbs into wildflower environments.
Formal, Walled or Secret Gardens
Traditional gardens require more care than wild gardens. Formal Gardens flourished in the Renaissance period of France and Italy and originated in the deserts of Western Asia. They are typically elegant and formal and surrounded by walls. Such gardens are methodically planned to emphasize strong axial lines, structure, and geometric shapes with pleasurable repetition to create a well-balanced landscape. Sumptuous perennial borders are layered with texture, color and soft forms, and might include Japanese Irises, peonies and masses of lavender and roses. Focal points are made with vertical elements are accentuated with climbers, sculpture, fountains or other focal points.
Secret gardens are a quiet place for retreat or contemplation. Their focus is on mystery and intimacy, and include water features, seating and benches, and planting schemes brimming with colors and textures.
Herbal and Potager Gardens
We can create either rich, formal herb gardens or informal herbaceous and perennial border gardens .A potager is an ornamental kitchen garden, with ground level patterns within a geometric framework.
In either herb garden we can include spices for cooking or health, annual or perennial herbs for teas, or culinary herbs, or purely decorative species like ornamental cabbages. Fruit trees, soft fruits such as grapes, raspberries, black- and blueberries, currants, rhubarb, gooseberries, tomatoes and cucumbers can be planted. Beans and peas are valuable for their beneficial nitrogen-fixing abilities. Edible flowers such as violas, stevia, pansies, chives, and nasturtiums are vitamin-rich and tasty.
Summer Annual Cutting Garden
Cutting gardens may contain both annual and perennial plants. which bloom during the summer and are known for their vibrant color and fragrances. We can design these gardens for maximum and extended cutting potential. Some favorites are dahlias, sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, nasturtiums, and rudbeckias. For cutting shrubs, we favor viburnum, dogwood, witch hazel, shadbush, lilacs and Chinese lantern. Bulbs to consider are allium, fritillaria, iris and tulips.
” There are four types of cutting gardens – the easy garden for beginners, the small garden, the shady garden and a fall cutting garden.” The American Cutting Garden
Warm & Dry Mediterranean Paradise Garden
To create the quintessential dry garden, use cypress trees or structural trees with rich and strong colors, planted herbaceous beds, grasses, tiles, curves and gravel paths. Courtyard gardens are either open or cloistered, creating entertaining space. For the ultimate escape, we can add architectural outdoor lighting or candles, Greek or Italian terra-cotta pots, scented hedges, silver-leaf plants, subtropical specimens, rough-hewn textures, and the gentle sounds of cascading water.
“Succulents, one of the most fascinating tribes of plants for the indoor culture, have become immensely popular in recent years. They appeal particularly to persons who appreciate the whimsicalities and curiosities of plant life.” Dry garden expert, Ruth Bancroft — The Bold Dry Garden
Indoor and Outdoor Rooms–Connecting Spaces and Creating Unity
Bernard Trainor has said that the house and the garden are essential to each other. A garden is a sanctuary at the heart of the home. It is important to establish connection with the house and the outdoor space. Greenhouses, covered walkways, pergolas – complete with a windrow – and stone terraces evolve into two spaces, becoming a transition space as well as an outdoor room. Adding seasonal plantings creates an ambiance of beauty and serenity.
One of the most important design elements is the procession through space – especially when you want to link different spaces. We can create a borrowed view, move from formality to informality or transform what is existing to a new paradigm. Outdoor living spaces may have permanent seating, lighting, and be enclosed by a walls, creating an area of relaxation and retreat. Sun porches with a covered roof are a vital design component for providing cooling shade. This is a room located in nature, conveying all its beauty.
Sundial and Moon Gardens
Sundial Gardens naturally feature a sundial, which is typically placed in the most formal garden room so that it becomes a focal point.
Moon or Evening Gardens include flowering plants that open or release their aromas after the sun has gone down, and can include hardier northern plants. This garden style is always romantic, light and flowing.
“The glowing silver moon is a symbol of clarity in the black night,” goes a Buddhist saying.
The moon may be at its most beautiful when it is reflected in a source of water. In Japan, both the sun and the moon are considered “borrowed elements.” Rich scents are important in the Western version of this garden, which we provide with lilies, honeysuckle, lady’s trumpets, jasmine, gardenia, and roses.
Rock and Gravel Garden Design
“One doesn’t pass time in a rock garden – in a rock garden, time stops altogether.” Panayoti Kelaidis
In a rock garden, we focus on seasonal color and use a range of alpine plants and other harmonious species. The miniature rhododendron is much like a bonsai – delicate and glorious. Whether you commission a rockery or a rock garden, we design to the fullest potential of the site. We use differing perennials for shade, part-sun and full sun environments. Rounded rocks of different sizes and shapes add support and are moved to be properly situated or outsourced. The culmination is synergy of ecological diversity, and a feast for the eyes.
Container Gardens Designs
Using one-of-a-kind vessels or colors which bring harmony and are brimming with innovative plant combinations are the hallmarks of a container garden. These are customized for your needs, adding weight, color and seasonal interest. Used within an architectural design, container gardens can be focal points and provide balance for a larger garden. Mosquito repellant plantings can be moved on and off the patio. Herbal and edible plantings are located outside the kitchen door.
Weathered troughs make great container gardens when filled with alpines, dwarf plants, cyclamens, bulbs, corms, and bonsai, seasonally rich and flowering plants.
We can help sell your home with our container home staging for both the interior and exterior.
Wetlands, & Preservation Habitats
“Wetlands need to be promoted as integral components of the larger waterscape landscape.” – Robert France
Wetlands are critical because of their ability to renew the environment. As conservation sites, they may need restoration or removal of invasive species. Staggering the waterfront edge to a higher capacity can help increase the amount of exposed area.
These areas can provide a wide diversity of flora and fauna. Typically five types of plant growth is ideal for a created wetland. Whether planning a pond, improving wetlands, building a rain garden or adding stones for salamanders, we can help you. If possible, always retain a bog or wetland – we can turn it into a paradise of wide and exciting range of water-loving plants.
Coastal & Exposed Gardens
“Many plants that grow well in coastal areas are species that also thrive in mountain areas, or dry inland areas.” – Noel Kingsbury
Plants, trees and shrubs provide structure and endurance for a garden, avoiding erosion and plant desiccation, and offer protection from high winds, sun, and salt water. Dunes and exposure belts accomplish the same goal. Plants situated on bluffs always help reinforce the terrain.
If your property bakes in the sun, we can provide plants that are extremely hardy or xeriscape (drought-resistant). With ocean views, we can provide a more dramatic design to frame their beauty with wind-, and salt-tolerant plants.
Jennifer Yates won the Golden Trowel Award for the best urban landscape design in Greenwich, CT.
Diverse & Climate Change Resistant Landscapes – “The more you increase the diversity of what you grow the more resilient the land becomes.” – Mark Diacono
In Sarah Stein’s garden, there is a natural succession from shade garden to formal garden to wildflower woods to meadow to very little cultivated lawn. Plants are placed in groups or drifts as they would be found in nature.
Restorative and Contemplation Gardens
Here, it is important on the focus of on serenity and re-alignment.
Healing and Zen Landscapes are for body, mind and spirit alignment. These highly personal gardens are usually soulful, with simplicity of arrangement and yin and yang balance. Taken into consideration are selected plants, herbs and water features that work with nature’s harmonic resonance to create energetic alignment. The workings of the cosmos itself may be a part of a Japanese garden design. The idea to stroll through nature and become immersed in the elements of nature therefore nature restores you with her sublime beauty and essence.