The Willamette Valley is too beautiful to do all my work from behind a desk so I found an excuse to escape from time to time. Since 20017, I have been involved in the care and management of the gardens and ornamental trees at Bush's Pasture Park. As a result of that experience, I now devote some of my time to helping organizations and individuals meet their fine gardening needs. I focus on the selection, maintenance, and design of ornamental plants, primarily shrubs and trees. I am committed to using evidence-based techniques in my practice.
I hand-prune shrubs and small trees (under 20') . My work includes annual maintenance pruning, renewal pruning of overgrown plants, and structural pruning of young trees. I will also notify you if I see any health concerns such as disease or pest infestation. My pruning work complies with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 - Pruning. Whether you have a treasured Japanese maple that you don't want to risk or a garden of overgrown shrubs, I can help.
There seems to be an infinite number of options when it comes to selecting plants for your garden, and a few parameters you need to get right: Sunlight, water, temperature and soil conditions among other. If you feel overwhelmed or don't have the time and inclination to research all the choices yourself, I will take that on for you. My work includes understanding your garden's conditions, your interest, and your aesthetic tastes, and then selecting the best plants and most pleasing combination to meet your expectations.
Ornamental plants behave differently in the home garden than they do in nature or the nursery. If you find that your plants are dying or simply not meeting your expectations, I can help identify the problem and recommend a solution. My recommendations draw on evidence-based best practice, not folklore or garden whoo. It also means that if I don't have an immediate answer, I will research the question and consults experts to get you best resolution.
If you need help turning your garden ideas into a plan that you or a landscape contractor can follow, I would be happy to work with you. I can help you whether it's refreshing an aging garden bed, spicing up a border, or designing a brand new garden. Depending on your interests, my work product may include a 2-dimensional design with existing structures and garden elements located on the plan, planting lists for each distinct garden areas, and instructions for contractors to facilitate bidding and installation. [Please note: I cannot provide engineering, construction, or detailed irrigation drawings. Scale will be approximate.]
I’ve known Michael Slater for the past three years, working along-side him in Bush’s Pasture Park. Michael is a highly skilled pruner and has clearly demonstrated his expertise on numerous projects, from restorative pruning of an older boxwood hedge to the esthetic pruning of a prized Japanese maple. He manages his time effectively and has a very professional approach to his work. I have no hesitation in recommending Michael for your pruning needs.
I worked with Michael when he volunteered with the Lord & Schryver Conservancy (2016-2018).
Michael pruned the historic espalier camellias. With little direction from me, he began the process of restoring the natural shape of the shrubs. Michael worked quickly, but consistently and methodically. He paused periodically to step back and ask questions. It was refreshing to work with someone who asked for and followed direction, but who also felt confident working independently.
Knowing Michael, he has spent the ensuing years educating himself, improving his technique, and embracing the art and science of horticulture.
As a public garden professional, I would feel completely confident inviting Michael to prune and care for plants in a personal or public garden. I know him to be a skilled gardener who goes above and beyond. I would recommend him to anyone.
Lindsey K. Kerr, MS, MHP.