When I moved here from South Florida and couldn’t tell the difference between a black walnut and a sugar maple, Chris Carrington, who at the time was the Executive Director of Awbury Arboretum Landscapes, came to my rescue. My new property was a weed patch on the top of a ridge with a view of the Wissahickon in the background. I knew that a native garden would pull that vista into my daily sight, but I didn’t know how to design it. Chris listened as I described what I thought I wanted, and then she got busy. What resulted was a spectacular four-season garden that is bursting with color throughout the year. . .My property has been beautifully transformed, and I could not be happier with the results.
Chris was great to work with. I really appreciated the time and thought she put into the planning process. Plus, she just “got it” — what we were looking for, what worked with our style, with our home. She has also been very responsive to my questions about care and maintenance. The result is fantastic —- her installations are layered and textured, and truly unique and beautiful. They complement our home and bring another dimension to it.
Chris Carrington is passionate about plants — and gardens and flowers and shrubs and everything that could possibly grow in your garden, pots, and planters. We have been working with her for several years and she has performed magic with both the back and front of our center city townhouse. She helped us plant a large stainless steel trough on the back patio and assisted us in ordering large planters for that space consistent with our modern tastes, then planted them with the ferns, hydrangea, and a Japanese maple that would do well in a fairly shaded spot. Chris presented us with a huge array of plants from which to select. She is diligent and thorough when researching what would work best for your particular space, taking into consideration your preferences and the environmental demands. Chris is dependable and helpful, available for questions. She has wonderful ideas and her wealth of knowledge feeds them. I can not recommend Chris highly enough — she loves what she does to the benefit of all of her clients.
Chris Carrington was a real find…and I am so grateful that I happened upon her when I looked up city garden designers. She came to the first meeting prepared with books, interest and patience. She listened to what I wanted to accomplish in the space and understood my desire to do some of my own gardening. Chris is not about ripping out what is already working to create her vision, but brings in materials that enhance and highlight the good things already there. Most memorable was the icy day in Mid-March, just a day before our daughter’s wedding when Chris and her helper, in heavy boots and gloves, enduring the cold and freezing rain, showed up with loads of greens and blossoms to make spring time out of the frozen garden and window boxes. I am looking forward to working with her again to keep the garden my favorite spot!
I am writing of my positive and collaborative experience in working with Chris... My daunting project was a new garden for a new construction single family beachfront home on a large property on the Jersey Shore. Chris was visionary in her approach to the project and was extremely helpful in helping me to develop my own vision - with a powerful visual presentation of possibilities - that was almost exactly what I saw in my head and wanted the garden to be. Chris sought out international experts to develop a low maintenance, natural and native garden specific to the salty, sandy, and harsh conditions of the soil and environment. Her physical design was perfectly in keeping with the modern architecture of our home and the natural beauty of the property, reflecting the rhythms of the nearby ocean, the soaring sky and the mature dunes in between the house/garden, and the beach. The design reflected my desire for privacy from the street traffic, with a beautiful swath of plantings between the street and the house, with a meandering path and a place for sitting in the middle of the garden within the higher ‘walls” of the plantings near the street and continuing to a fence dividing the garden from the pool and house. All features of the house and the property were factored in - including using the fence as a trellis and native materials for the path. The plant choices were native and also somewhat exotic to me. They included amazing variety, attention to long season interest and both whimsy and elegance. The plans were in a word - spectacular in how well they matched my intent for this space and at the same time, practical in the care and ongoing maintenance of the garden. If you are looking for help creating a garden that suits your aesthetic needs and is off the grid from the “same old, same old” - then I whole heartedly recommend, Chris and City Garden Guru.
Fall is often the very best time to plant your garden. Here are some tips for successful Fall planting.
I attended the 2016 City Harvest annual kickoff meeting. I have been privileged to have been part of this organization for over 10 years.