Chris Carrington City Garden Guru

Meet Chris Carrington, City Garden Guru

Chris is passionate about gardening


I have a deep passion for the gifts that gardens and gardening provide and want to share this joy with others. I also care deeply about sustainable agriculture, food justice and community outreach.

Four years ago, I was lucky enough to be able to redirect my life and career, via transitioning from my long-term career in marketing to my love- which is horticulture. After many years of edible, native and ornamental gardening for myself and others, becoming a Master Gardener and a Graduate of the three year Barnes Foundation Horticultural Program, I was lucky enough to be asked to join Awbury Arboretum Landscapes as their Executive Director. 

This gave me the opportunity to work, over a period of three years, with many residential and commercial clients designing and installing native, edible and ornamental four-season gardens for them. With this experience, knowledge and increased confidence it was time to launch City Garden Guru, so that I could do the same for other Center City residents and gardeners. 

City Garden Guru is actively involved with the South Street Community Garden, PHS City Harvest Project, Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP), Sustainability Business Network, Penn State Master Gardeners and the PHS Tree Tenders.  We donate volunteer time to South Street Whole Foods, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, The Barnes Foundation and Awbury Arboretum.

Please call or email to set up a site visit to discuss how to make your garden even more special.

Chris' philosophy: gardening with a purpose

Gardens were created to provide gifts to the many diverse needs of people and wildlife, including beauty, pleasure, healing, community, peace, order, sustainability, fun, balance, fragrance, motion, sustenance and outdoor living spaces. Through the many diverse and unique garden approaches and plant palettes, I want to help people enjoy the beauty and pleasures of gardens in their lives.

My passions and interests center around sustaining humans and wildlife through edible and native gardens and around supplying beauty and pleasure throughout the year via ornamental four-season gardens.  And, what is so rewarding is that all of these gardens can be combined and enjoyed in various ways in many different garden spaces. 

The City Garden Guru process

1. Learning about you.

First, it is critical that we meet with you at your garden, so that we can begin to understand your goals and objectives and can assess your individual site. With this information, I will develop a proposed scope of work and estimate.

City Garden Guru offers a free initial consultation and site visit, which you can set up in the “Contact” section of the website. The garden design and additional consultations are available at an affordable hourly rate.

2. Creating a custom design.

Once we agree on your goals for your garden, we can design a customized garden and plant palette that will fulfill your needs and desires within your required budget parameters. Whether you just want a raised bed for edibles, a four season ornamental garden, beautiful window boxes, roof deck containers, a sustainable Native garden or a hybrid, we will bring you unique and customized solutions.

3. Bringing the design to life.

As soon as the garden design and estimate have been accepted, we will acquire and deliver all necessary materials for the preparation of the site, will personally select the plant materials at our partner nurseries and will layout the garden. Once you approve the layout, we will finish the installation of your garden.

4. Keeping your garden healthy and happy.

Regular garden maintenance is critical to sustaining a healthy garden. City Garden Guru can do this for you on a regular schedule or can give you guidance so that you can maintain your garden yourself.