Our Specialized Services

Yates Garden Design creates artistic, environmentally balanced landscapes which adhere to the ecological systems. All natural resources are taken into account to retain our heritage. Our goal is to cultivate the inherent beauty of your property- of the natural world and then develop the richness and sense of place. We focus on form, texture, and a “less is more” approach. We are experienced in working with a wide variety of conditions, including woodland, wetlands, meadow, verge, arid, edge-environments and container gardens. We utilize theme plants for color, structure and repetition. Enhancing vistas or the creation of new ones is a key part of design.

We strive to balance creativity and practicality, meeting both the requirements of the site and needs of individual plants. We design for all planes, both horizontally and vertically.

“Develop a design statement, and maximize planted layers.” Claudia West

We are Certified Organic by the New England Organic Farmers Association (NOFA). We obtain optimal compost and compost teas.

We do both Residential and Commercial landscapes. We can also create interior plantscapes.

“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


Preliminary Groundwork

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 amendments when the tests show that nutrition is needed. Also, 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 suggest to plant a particular species of hydrangeas and cacti to accomplish this end. If you ever wondered why plants-people such as Piet Oudolf achieve extraordinary success, it is due to embedding his designs with deliberate choices of plants of both character and power to the structural component.

Turning The Elements to Our Advantage

Assess your location and choose the right plant for your location to create climate balance. There are many choices including: succulents, annuals and perennials. Perennials choices are the following: exotic wild, wild, border, native wild and specimen. Plants have varying degrees of competitiveness and life span; omitting the short-lived perennials is usually preferred. Tickproof edging can be added upon request.

Creating Scenes of the Natural World… 

Rain 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 great importance. We specify plants which look natural, but always with visual interest such as foliage and texture. The use of native plants is always a prime motivator, but non-natives plants will be considered to add variety to the landscape. Some perennials need to be located at the water’s edge while others located in various degrees of water tolerance, and are great for their ecological cleansing properties. In certain situations wildlife attraction is aimed for.

“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

Some towns, such as Greenwich, CT require a rain garden on every new property development.

Shade and Woodland Gardens

A welcoming, shady garden located in a property or a woodland or woodlands edge can be either a respite from the busy world or an ideal outdoor space for entertaining. We focus on lush architectural beds with wondrous foliage that loves shady conditions. Mosses, ferns, tubers, corms, tubers and bulbs are ideal for a shade garden. Woody plants serve as the backdrop to support the flowering plants. Alternatively, a Japanese bonsai landscape can be designed for these conditions. Any form of a shade garden is vital to woodland ecological conservation. Shade in an ecological sense is a multi-faceted phenomenon that creates new and complex settings for community and ecosystem dynamics.

” 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

The former director of Wave Hill, Kate French said, “Gardens and landscapes are canvases on which we explore our evolving relationships to nature.”

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. Wave Hill Garden located in the Bronx, NY, features a wild garden which has been in existence long before ecological planting design gained momentum. The inventor of the concept of the Wild Garden is William Robinson. The effect is meant to be a “planted by nature” effect. The maintenance required for a wild garden is less rigorous than a very precise design with high maintenance plants such as topiary. Noel Kingsbury says the best wildflower meadows are found on dry thin soils overlaying limestone.

Often, both wild gardens and wildflower meadows have open borders to enhance spaciousness and compliment surrounding views.

According to Sarah Raven, “Getting to know wildflowers adds a new layer to the way you experience the world.” Sarah also shares that you can forage a lot of herbs in natural environments. Karl Foerster says about grasses: “How can these jewels of the garden have been virtually ignored for so long ?”

Formal, Walled or Secret Gardens 

Traditional gardens require more care than wild gardens. Formal Gardens hail from the Renaissance period of France and Italy and before that deserts in Western Asia. They are typically elegant and formal and surrounded by walls. Gardens are methodically planned to emphasize strong axial lines, structure, and geometric shapes with pleasurable repetition to create a breathtaking landscape. Sumptuous perennial borders are layered with texture, color and soft forms, for example: 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. The focus here is on mystery and intimacy which includes-water features, seating and benches, and planting schemes are brimming with colors and textures.

Herbal and Potager Gardens

We create rich, formal herb gardens or informal herbaceous and perennial border gardens. The freshness of the herbs is important for potency. Often, we include growing 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 or tomatoes and cucumbers can be harvested. Growing 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. A potager is an ornamental kitchen garden, that has ground level patterns within a geometric framework.

One of the most famous kitchen gardens in the world is at Great Dixter, UK and run by Fergus Garett. In the book, The Great Dixter Cookbook, Fergus offers wisdom on how to maximize the concept of the English Kitchen Garden. Also of interest is the author’s garden to table recipes.



Summer Annual Cutting Garden

Vibrant with warm color, which primarily bloom during the summer & are known for color and fragrance. We can help you grow delightful flowers for maximum cutting potential. Carolyne Roheme’s favorites are dahlias, sunflowers, zinnias,cosmos, nasturtiums, & rudbeckia’s. Others to consider are: salvias, scabious, euphorbia oblongata, and marigolds. Shrubs for cutting are, to name a few: viburnum, dogwood, witch hazel, shadbush, and Chinese lantern. Bulbs to consider are allium, fritillaria, iris and tulips.

The book The American Cutting Garden says: ” There are four types of cutting gardens– The easy garden for beginners, the small garden, the shady garden and a fall cutting garden.”

Warm & Dry Mediterranean Paradise Garden or Dry Habitat


To create the quintessential dry garden–use cypress trees or structural trees, rich and strong color use, planted herbaceous beds, grasses, tiles, curves and gravel paths. Courtyard gardens are either open or cloistered, creating entertaining space. Specify the following list for the ultimate escape–architectural outdoor lighting or candles, Greek or Italian terra-cotta pots, scented hedges, silver-leaf plants, subtropical specimens, rough-hewn textures, and gentle sounds of cascading water.

Dry garden expert, Ruth Bancroft, says in her book– The Bold Dry Garden, “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.”



Indoor and Outdoor Rooms–Connecting Spaces and Creating Unity


Bernard Trainor, of Bernard Trainor and Associates, Palo Alto, California, 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 experience as well as an outdoor room. The addition of seasonal plantings creates an ambiance of beauty and serenity.

Inviting Outdoor Rooms

One of the most important elements to focus on is the procession through space. Especially when you want to create linking of different spaces. Create a borrowed view, move from formality to informality and transform what is existing. Outdoor living spaces may have permanent seating, lighting, enclosed by a walls, creating an area of relaxation and retreat. Sun porches with a covered roof are an vital design for getting cool in the shade. This room is located in nature conveying all its beauty.

Sundial and Moon Gardens 

Sundial Gardens include a sundial which tells time. Usually placed in the most formal garden room so that it becomes a focal point.

Sophie Walker in her book, The Japanese Garden, says that “the moon has shamanistic powers.” 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. The Japanese culture has a lot of experience with reverence for this practice. In Japan, both the sun and the moon are considered borrowed elements. Rich scents are important in the Western version of this garden, and are accomplished 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,” said Panayoti Kelaidis

We focus on seasonal color and use a range of alpine plants and other harmonious species. The miniature rhododendron looks like a bonsai – delicate and glorious. Whether you commission a rockery or a rock garden, we design to fullest potential of the site. Differing perennials are selected for shade, part-sun and full sun. 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. We do take into account the plants needs and for ex lavender does not container with differing species. These are customized for your needs, adding weight, color and  seasonal interest. Used within an architectural design, container gardens can be used as  focal points and for balance. Mosquito repellant plantings that can be moved on and off the patio. Herbal and edible plantings are located outside the kitchen door. We can help sell your home with our container home staging- interior and exterior. Also, interior plant designs for the indoors.

Weathered troughs make great container gardens filled with alpines, dwarf plants, cyclamens, bulbs, corms, and bonsai, seasonally rich and flowering plants.

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. The making of more of them has significance and sometimes staggering the waterfront edge to a higher capacity helps increase the amount of exposed area. They may need restoration, removing invasives and such. Important conservation sites, they are filled with a diversity of flora and fauna. Typically five times of plant growth is specified in 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.

“Even the tiniest pond will support wildlife if it has boggy margins.” — Noel Kingsbury


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 providing protection from high winds, sun, and salt water. Dunes and exposure belts are always protected. Plants situated on bluffs always help reinforce the terrain.

We can help with plant selection which are extremely hardy or xeriscape (drought-resistant) if your property bakes in the sun. If the program warrants provide a more dramatic design to frame the beauty of ocean views with wind, maritime, 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.