We provide you with advice on plant choices, planting techniques, budgeting, water management, and composting systems for your landscape or vegetable garden. Lori will walk the site with you and sketch a rough design plan and plant list, as well as teach you any necessary techniques to install and maintain your landscape. You can then use this information to install the landscape yourself.
Full Landscape Design
We provide you with a personalized landscape design. The design will be specific to your vision of the space, incorporating native and edible plant species for year-round interest and nutrient-rich foods. By using the permaculture design method, the placement of particular plant species will allow the plants to complement one another, provide you with food, enrich the soil, and create habitat to attract pollinators and other beneficial animals, while naturally protecting your gardens from pests. We design landscapes that are specific to your soil type, sun availability, rainfall, and wind patterns, allowing your landscape to sustain itself with minimal maintenance. It will become a lush, productive, and ecologically-sound space.
The installation is contracted to an organic landscaper whom we work closely with throughout the installation process.
Organic Vegetable Garden Planning & Installation
We will help you determine the best location in your yard to create a vegetable garden, and/or determine the best vegetables to grow in your chosen space. We consider soil texture and nutrient quality, amount of sunlight, and potential garden pests. We will then design a vegetable garden that will produce plentiful food for that specific area, while also being aesthetically pleasing and relatively easy to maintain. This design will include a list of specific plant varieties, along with the vendors that supply them.
In the pre-consultation, you will learn about the design process and Lori will learn about your ideal vegetable garden. Lori will then provide you with a proposal describing the project and fee for a Full Design and Installation.
Landscape & Garden Installation
Yards of Plenty provides the flexibility for you to choose to either install your plants yourself or contract to a qualified organic landscaper.
Yards of Plenty will provide you with the guidance, plans and education on how to give your plants the best treatment for survival and growth.
Lori will select a landscaper who shows respect and passion for plants, soil and people. During the installation we will be on-site with the landscaper.
Vegetable Garden Check-Up
Is your vegetable garden, despite your hard work, not as productive as it could be? Yards of Plenty can help! We will review your garden, determine the plant pests and pathogens that are present, and perform soil tests to diagnose the problems. We will then provide you with a report with specific solutions of how to improve your garden and will teach you the techniques to do so.
We can also carry out the remediation to improve your garden. The fee for the remediation will depend on the size of the vegetable garden and necessary techniques.
Wildlife Habitat Certification
With the increase in human population and expansion of our living spaces encroaching upon the habitat of the wildlife, it is important to create and maintain areas for the wildlife to live and flourish. Without insects, birds, bees, butterflies, chipmunks, fox, etc., we disrupt the natural balance of life. The food chain manages itself when these species are provided the ability to live in harmony with humans.
If your yard qualifies as a certified wildlife habitat, we will provide you with an official Wildlife Habitat certification sign from the National Wildlife Federation. You will receive additional benefits from the National Wildlife Federation, as well as the ability to share your certification with local and social media.
If your yard does not qualify and you wish to create a habitat that meets the criteria to be a certified Wildlife Habitat, we will provide you with the necessary components to become certified.
Educational Workshops & Presentations
Lori provides educational workshops and presentations for audiences of all ages. Topics include, but are not limited to:
Introduction to Permaculture
Edible and Native Gardens: feasible and fruitful!
Healing Your Soil
Preserving Your Harvest: Canning and Drying
Perennial Gardening: Year-Round Beauty
Herb and Tea Gardens
Organic Vegetable Gardening
Water Management & Rain Gardens
All workshops can include a hands-on component (if desired) that is made appropriate for audiences of any age. For example, at Muhlenberg College in Allentown PA, Lori held workshops engaging undergraduate students and faculty in creating an herb spiral to produce abundant herbs in a small urban plot, as well as created a swale to retain water on a steep slope at the Muhlenberg College Edible Forest Garden. For hands-on workshops, Lori coordinates and supplies all necessary materials.
Contact us to discuss your ideas for a workshop or presentation and to schedule an event.
Soil Quality Analysis and Amendment
One of the most often overlooked, but key features to a productive landscape and vegetable garden is healthy soil.
It is essential that your soil contains the correct amounts of organic matter, macro- and micronutrients, and moisture. By reinvigorating the health of your soil, you will also increase the nutritive quality of your vegetables and other edible plants.
We will conduct a comprehensive soil test to determine soil texture, moisture, pH, micro- and macronutrients. We will then provide you with a detailed plan of how to amend your soil. You can choose to amend the soil yourself, or we can amend your soil using the appropriate techniques. If we amend your soil, we will test your soil again after 6 months, during which time the amendments have settled into the soil. We will then make any necessary adjustments.
The cost for the soil testing and report, and the amendments, will be determined by the size of the space, as multiple soil tests will be necessary in larger landscapes. This cost will be determined and agreed upon with the client prior to performing the soil tests and amendments.
Do you have standing water in your yard after it rains? Or is your soil often too dry? Using a variety of modern, sustainable methods, we will design a water management plan for your landscape. This plan can include rain barrels, downspout planters, sump pump diversion, grey water diversion, and altering the topography of your property, such as through the creation of swales. Water management methods can be implemented by Yards of Plenty, and the cost will vary depending on the particular methods used and size of the landscape.
If you have a site where water never drains and plants/lawns do not thrive, establishing a rain garden can solve the problem. Rain gardens take up this standing water, while providing you with a flourishing garden. We choose and arrange plant species to lead rain gardens to require minimal maintenance, while also revitalizing the natural environment of your landscape. We will walk with you through your site and create a detailed plan for your rain garden.
Lori performs maintenance for small projects herself, but works with local landscapers to maintain larger projects. The cost of maintenance services depends on the frequency and intensity of the maintenance, as well as the size of the landscape being managed.