About Me

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A garden/floral designer who has had a trowel in hand and dirty finger nails since I was four years old, I have over 30 years of hands-on experience. I am a writer, consultant, teacher, lecturer, beekeeper, and garden designer. I love to write about all my successes and failures (many of these!) of gardening. My designs have been featured in Wall Street Journal, Chesapeake Home, Style Magazine, and Garden Design. I love to blog and also run a landscape/design build service, and enjoy cooking, volunteering, and playing with my animals. Yes, I like to keep busy!

My Designs

I was very proud to receive Best of Houzz, 2015 for my design of a waterfall and pond and worked with the best client ever on this project. Read about the installation at Transforming a Hillside Into a Backyard Oasis. More recently, I have received Best of Houzz for 2016 and 2017 for my labyrinth design.

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Before and after of a waterfall and pond installation

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Read about the process at Healing Labyrinth.

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More Awards

I received a Merit Award for Design from the Perennial Plant Association in 2015.

Maryland Federated Garden Club and Central Atlantic Region awarded me the Robert Lewis Baker Memorial Award for an outstanding Educational Exhibit at a Flower Show in 2015.

Maryland Federated Garden Club awarded me an Award of Achievement for promoting Bee Friendly practices and developing Social Media to further their goals, also in 2015.

And in 2017, Maryland Federated Garden Club awarded me a Presidential Award .

My Presentations

Presenting at Naples Florida Garden Club in 2017

 

Speaking on over a dozen gardening topics, I will custom design a presentation especially for your group or organization. Including beautiful PowerPoint images and helpful handouts, I speak to groups of 15 to over 500. Encouraging active audience participation, I give out door prizes, like a miniature garden when I present on fairy/miniature gardening or bee friendly seeds when I present on pollinators. Presentations vary from 45 minutes to a full day of activities or symposium. I present to Horticulture Societies, Garden Clubs, Lunch & Learns, Garden Shows & Symposiums, Garden Centers, Senior Centers, Rotary Clubs,and Master Gardeners.

Check out my calendar to see where I am speaking this year.

Here are some of my topics:

  • Beekeeping and Pollination- I call this one ‘Sex in the Garden’!

  • Landscape Design Tips-Before and After Solutions
  • Made in the Shade-Shady Characters that will Transform your Garden
  •  Decorating at the White House-one of my most popular!
  • Trade Secrets- Floral Arranging and Design of Fresh Flowers

  • Creating Miniature Gardens-Demo and Workshop

  • Jump Into Beekeeping
  • Creating Containers with Pizzazz-Seasonal and All-Year-Round containers
  • Sustainable Gardening-Best Practices for Creating a Wildlife Friendly and Low Maintenance Garden
  • Houseplant Pizzazz-New houseplant Varieties, How to Grow and Display
  • Garden Therapy: Secrets to Reduce Stress and Improve Your Health With Your Garden
  • Editing Your Garden to Have Exceptional But Tough Plants for a Time-Pressed Life Style
  • Exceptional Small Trees and Shrubs for a Low Maintenance All Season Garden
  • New! Wearable Flowers-Creating a Creative Floral Headpiece or Wristlet

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Fees

My fees vary depending on how far I have to travel, the size of the group, and the length of the presentation. I also do workshops where I bring all the materials and you go home with a finished fairy gardens/arrangement/mason bee house.

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Where Do I Live?

I live in Baltimore County, Maryland, which is a zone 6, getting to be a 6b with climate change. I am surrounded by farms and horse country and garden on 2 acres. Maintaining bees, dogs, a large vegetable garden, a meadow, and fruit bushes, keeps me plenty busy and I am rooting for a nice little greenhouse also. That will come-I am taking it nice and slow.

I gardened organically and naturally long before it became popular and continue to garden with the health of the planet in mind.

Garden Coaching/Consulting

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I work hard! I design gardens and become a general contractor when I manage a job, and I love what I do. There is another essential part of my job-Garden Coaching. I work with clients at all levels on the spectrum of gardening – newbies to pros.  From an initial consultation offering design suggestions, to a full design with installation and everything in between, I can help you have the garden that you have always wanted. Here are some great reasons to get a gardening coach:

  • Understanding the garden that came with your new home
  • Creating curb appeal for resale
  • Adding color to a blah landscape with seasonal interest
  • Adding a patio, water feature, paths, gates, arbors, pergolas
  • To draw a full plan to scale or a concept plan
  • Learning to maintain your garden by yourself
  • Picking out the right plants for the right spot in your garden
  • Editing your garden for maintenance and enjoyment

I also do a few things that I really enjoy in the off-season, when I am not running around like crazy with landscape business, like decorating for the holidays.

In 2011 and 2015, after being selected as a lucky volunteer to decorate the White House for Christmas, I spent a week working at the White House.  It was time spent with my hands full of cedar and beautiful ornaments decking the halls there. You can read about it here at Decorating the White House, 2011 and Decorating the White House, 2015.

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Blogging Questions

I get a lot of questions on my blog and website. I do everything on my blog myself and use WordPress and Twenty 10 theme. I do some customizations, but I am really computer challenged, so I had to learn how to do everything the slow and easy way. It took me a long time to get comfortable with a blogging platform and I use another WordPress platform for my business web site, Claire Jones Landscapes, though I paid someone to do that. I do not contribute guest posts or accept advertising. I do test products and I will write about it if I like it. I receive no money from my blog.

If you would like to use my pictures, ask first! I usually allow it if you credit and link back to my blog.

My scarecrow surrounded by Nictotiana which reseeded

 

Where else can we visit you?

Go to https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheGardenDiaries
Go to https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheGardenDiaries

Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or contact me below.

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26 Replies to “About Me”

  1. Hello and thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment. It gave me the chance to explore your site. I especially enjoyed your take on Garden Bling, especially the topiary. Looking forward to more of your posts. Cheers!

  2. Found your blog through Michelle at The Salem Garden. Have been enjoying reading your posts but the bee swarm picture makes me nervous! I’ve never seen one and can’t imagine the sound that must make.
    Anyway, I was wondering if you could give me any advice for a potting soil blend for my living roof on my chicken coop.
    http://theblondegardener.com/2013/01/20/chicken-coop-garden-shed-update/
    I have sempervivens and sedums to go on top and it is 4 inches deep. thanks for any advice!
    Brenda

    1. Yes, I have been doing green roofs on birdhouses. Make a mix of 1/3 topsoil, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 perlite. This is light enough for a roof but heavy enough to grow plants in. You use fern pins(u-shaped) to pin the plants into place until they root in.

  3. Wow, Claire this is a very impressive About Page. I feel like a bit of a slouch. How wonderful to be invited to decorate the Whitehouse. Interesting, we have a similar slope in our back yard, which is about as big as a postage stamp, LOL. Oh the possibilities 😀 We just moved in at the end of June 2014 and just enjoyed the yard as the previous owners left it this summer. But I’m sure I will put a personal twist on it next summer. I just popped in to say thank you for coming by and joining Boomdeeadda. I’m excited to follow you as well. Cheers!

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