My garden design/plant/build business is called

Cottage Garden Landscaping.

I've been working in what I call the Bungalow Neighborhoods near downtown Durham, NC since 1992.  In addition to gardens, garden structures and sculptures for homeowners, I've created restaurant gardens, edible schoolyards and co-founded 2 community gardens. Check the bottom for my professional history.

A client's garden in Watts Hospital-Hillandale neighborhood.

I create more than just cottage gardens--



Fragrant.....Potager.....Moss.....Zen Gardens.....and more.

Our garden in Duke Park neighborhood.

and I create innovative and traditional garden structures--

Decks.....Patios.....Stone walls.....Treehouses,

Potting Sheds.....Stone Cairns.....Copper Trellises,

Sculptural Clothesline Posts.....Green Roofs.....and more.

A circular water garden and an arbor over a jacuzzi.

A Charleston garden between two homes in Trinity Park neighborhood.

You can drive by some of my

public gardens at:

* Mad Hatter restaurant, an award-winning Mediterranean garden.

* The Trinity Park park, corner of W. Trinity and Watts St., a Meadow garden, a Woodland garden and a Mediterranean garden and a tree sculpture with a copper roof in the shape of an open book.

* The Senior Center garden in Central Park, enclosed by a faux wrought iron fence you'll see an array of ornamental grasses, fragrant shrubs, ferns and what some would call a "Grandma's Garden" of wonderful shrubs that have fallen out of favor in the trade, like mock orange, wiegelia and
first breath of spring . Impetus for this garden came from the Legacy Leadership group. All materials and labor were donated.

* Also in front of the Senior Center there is a new garden of hardy palms, bananas and other tropical plants in what I call the Florida Garden. The idea being that since people often joke about seniors heading off to Florida, I thought in Durham, we could bring Florida TO the seniors. Bulk of the labor for this garden provided by SWOOP (Strong Women Organizing Outrageous Projects) with donations from the SE Palm Society, Keep Durham Beautiful, Daylily Garden Club, Downtown Durham Inc., Talberts Building Supply, Sands & Soils, the Rock Shop, B & B Topsoil, Durham Garden Center, Keifer Nursery, Stone Bros. & Byrd Garden Center, Redmill Landscaping, Best Rental and initial maintenance donated by Mark Ellis Landscaping.

* The planting of Mediterranean culinary herbs and other edible plants (lavendar, sage, thyme, horehound, oregano, salad burnet, chives, bay, rosemary and dwarf pomegranate) at the Garden of Eatin' (sponsored by SEEDs) next to the Farmers' Market in Central Park. (look for my signature permanent mulch of purple gravel that's favored by plants from dry climates). I've also recently added a sine wave of rye, bordered by free burlap coffee bean bags from Counter Culture Coffee as  mulch. Nearby is a cover crop of Austrian winter peas (you can eat the tips in salads) that is mulched with tea plant clippings from the Charleston Tea Plantation.

Contact me via you want some approved addresses of residential sites that you can drive by. Of course you can always swing by our garden at 1412 N. Mangum (our block is also known as "little Mangum") near Duke Park to see what's happening in the front yard vegetable garden (a potager), the carnivorous plant garden, the Mediterranean garden, the cottage gardens, (soon a Zen garden) and the lawnlet.

My training as a horticulturist/designer/builder/gardener:

* Earned a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Horticulture from NC State (which means I studied hort. at one of the top horticulture schools on the planet and that I essentially have a double major in hort and design). Was very fortunate to be there at a time when JC Raulston, Will Hooker, Tracy Traer, Curtis Brooks, Denis Woods and Fernando Magallenes were all teaching there.

* Learned my stonemasonry skills from the late Arch Hathcock of Blue Ridge Stone and various European stone mason members of the Stone Foundation.

* Worked for the first organic lawn care provider in the Triangle, Bob Mulder of Raleigh.

* Learned most of my carpentry skills from Green builder, Mark Marcoplos of Orange County.

* Helped the Wallace brothers of New Light Farm raising black angus cattle near Wake Forest with harvesting hay, plowing fields, clearing woodland and carpentry.

* Led a co-operative organic farm in Granville County for two years in the mid 80's. Our tomatoes sold for twice the going rate of commercial ones an half-again as much as other organic tomato growers.

* Worked as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) scout for tomato farmers in my hometown of Beaufort, SC. Walked rows of tomatoes identifying and insects or diseases in an effort to reduce pesticide spraying. Drove the dirt roads of the alligator-infested coastal islands and in fact,  almost ran over an alligator sunning itself in the road, but looked like a shredded truck tire--it's back looked just like treads--until it leapt into a nearby drainage ditch.

* Started my first organic vegetable garden when I was 22, after coming home from six months of Jack-Kerouacking around Europe. I had been struck by how bereft of plant life the Mediterranean looked to me after growing up in the Lowcountry. I came home hungry to learn about all the plants that had been invisible to me up till then.

* Harvested Clementine tangerines in Nules, Pais Valencia, Spain in the late fall of 1980. If you see a box of Clementines labelled "Nulexport", that's where I was working with a bunch of other "solo" travelers while we camped in an orchard.

Meanwhile here's a link to my stonemason's guild--the Stone Foundation:

Building a drystone retaining wall.

A bluestone patio, steps and drystone seating wall.