Garden + Citrus Consults

Labrador tea, rhododendron, basil, tea plant and bay on our current terrace


If you would like to learn what plants will thrive in your outdoor space, and how to combine them, my garden consults range from a single site visit to in-depth horticultural design and support. Once I understand the conditions and what you would like, I create a detailed plant list for you and accompany it with a schematic design, if needed. My botanical inclinations and expertise tend towards native plants, but I have an an intense interest, generally, in what grows where, successfully. Plants that work hard (edible and ornamental is a compelling combination) are appealing. Native gardens, edible kitchen gardens, fruit gardens, pollinator gardens. The possibilities are endless. 

A good garden requires the presence of the gardener. In the past I have created gardens for people who needed a beautiful - or simply an anonymous green - backdrop for their lives. Now, I prefer to work with folks who want to be present in the garden as participants and caretakers. Think of gardening as therapy and exercise in one, living package. It is good for you. To that end I can coach you in good gardening practises and seasonal care.

Fingerlime on our windowsill

Citrus and Indoor Plant Therapy

If you grow or would like to grow citrus trees or other subtropical edible plants in pots in our climate, you may need some support. I offer garden and citrus-growing consults and coaching. Plants that migrate indoors for winter are high maintenance, sometimes vexing, but exciting. My own trees include makrut (Thai) limes, fingerlime, yuzu and bergamot orange, and I grow galangal, sand ginger, and myoga ginger.
My Own Gardens

While I have designed dozens of city gardens for clients (in my previous life as fulltime garden designer), my own four New York City gardens have been created from bare bones on modest budgets, in four very different spaces. 

Cobble Hill (the original 66 square feet)

Our Cobble Hill Terrace was tiny, east-facing and open to the sky. The floor was shaded, the edges baked in the sun. We grew strawberries and blueberries, and a fig. Every imaginable herb and many roses. On the roof itself there was a container-only farm where I grew tomatoes and peppers, eggplant and peas, fava beans and black raspberries.


In Harlem our 400 square foot terrace was south-facing but hemmed in by tall buildings. Shade, then hot sun in the middle of the day, then shade again. Challenging. We grew trellises of lablab, purple pole beans, gloriosa lilies and scarlet runners (for privacy and humming birds), scented tobacco plants, malabar spinach, blueberries, lilies and very, very many other things, too. See the Harlem Terrace tag and #ourharlemterrace on Instagram for more.

Carroll Gardens

In Carroll Gardens we faced north, but the 1,000 square feet of ground-floor garden enjoyed full day sun in summer, before disappearing into deep shade from fall through spring. Also, there was lead in the soil. I learned how to ameliorate the lead to grow vegetables safely. It can be done. 

   Carroll Gardens with just-cut garden flowers

We had many shrubs, lots of native plants, and grew hedges of garlic. Also saffron! And there were hordes of ground floor mosquitoes. See Instagram #1stPlaceBK and the 1st Place tag here, for more.

The Windsor Terrace

Our current garden is a terrace again, about 110 square feet large. It has all-morning sun from mid spring to early fall, and gets hit by high winds at a western corner. I grow prickly ash, Labrador tea, rhododendron, roses, black raspberry, alliums, lilies, and lots of hyssop (bees love it). Plus a revolving cast of herbs and flowers, always leaving space for the citrus pots to migrate outdoors, again. On Instagram search for #thewindsorterrace and here use the Windsor Terrace tag.

Rates upon inquiry.

Please get in touch via at myviljoen (at) gmail (dot) com