"Charlotte, all the backyard plants survived being out of their beds, settled into the new back garden(s) and had time to root. We 
loved our collaboration and will look forward to  continuing next year. Thank you." 
 Joan and Dennis Kakoske 

From Lindsay P. following a DIY project I  helped her with (L and below). 
"Hey Char. I really love it!  I think once it fills out, it's going to look really sharp. I love being out there every day and watering; seeing what's growing. Thanks again, pop by any time. I could 
still use your trusty skills to prune the cedars in front and ,for some more inspirational ideas!" 

 Charlotte's Place
Landscape & Interior Decor Consultant
"a work in progress" 
making home your favorite place to be 
Phone: 204-227-4324
What clients and students have to say.
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2011 Annual WAG Home Tour   
8951 Roblin Blvd., Headingly
You can accomplish a great deal in the matter of a weeks, with or without help. It's not easy to see an 'after' when you're fixated on the 'what do I do with it', before ... focus on, and work in, one part of the yard at a time, and outwards towards your goal. Where to start? Pick the part of the yard/garden you dislike most. Once that has changed, you will be able to visualize what is next. Like most gardeners I know, including me, you will never achieve perfection - that only exists in our imaginations - but you will be really happy with what you have, even while trying to get there. And if there were such a thing as a perfect garden, it could perhaps appear so, for a single day. The joy 
 of a garden, as I see it, is watching all the changes, witnessing the OMG moments, and having the freedom to  refresh, replant, and reinvent the space as you and your needs, or desires, change. 

Yes, there IS a difference between a 'bush' and a 'shrub'. The shrubs shown, L, R and above are artfully pruned to resemble 'small' trees. You have considerable control over how large your woody plants become; if interested, I can show you how. Shrubs, pruned in this manner, grow typically taller, with woodier stems and are, in general, healthier specimens. The process may allow a 'larger' shrub to grow in a space considered too small and they become the 4-season, architectural bones of the garden. Cotoneaster (L), Golden Elder (R), and Mockorange (above). Older shrubs can be revived, given new life; flowering shrub,s that have stopped, will begin again..

May 1, 2014. 

"Charlotte. We are headed to the lake for the weekend, so will be in touch, re pictures, of our yard that needs TLC, next week. You, with your gifts and advice, worked magic at our cottage. We are picking up brand new fridge and stove to take there tomorrow, all of this based on your guidance to create lake home. Thanks again."
Colleen C.​
In today's real estate market, tiny shoots of green are not only pushing up through the ground; they are also pushing property values up. Curb appeal, the catnip of home buyers everywhere, can be defined as the physical, and visual context, turning a house into a possible “home”, for interested buyers. A large part of the elusive picture-perfect charm of a dream home consists mainly of the plants, shrubs, and the trees surrounding it. The specific increase in higher prices in home sales stems from home gardens, and landscaped yards. Amazingly, the positive impact of plants, and gardens, on wealth extends far beyond the vegetable patch, and few people have heard of the effect gardens, shrubs and trees have on house values, ranging from a 5% to 20% increase in total property price.  Furthermore, gardens and trees not only possess a generic, universal appeal, but also pull at hard-wired, evolutionary, heartstrings. Recent research confirms that we evolved with plants at our side; they both sheltered and nurtured us. Spend a bit of time and money on a garden design(er) to help plug into your green DNA; you cannot go wrong. Perhaps after making your yard feel like a small piece of paradise, you may decide not to sell.
 One point you must understand is, like all things, less is more.  If you have a fully gardened yard, as Will and I do, your home is going to have huge appeal to a considerably smaller niche of home buyers - they will be have to be gardeners themselves so, as in all things, do it well and don't do too much of it. WE don't intend on leaving here, ever.

 Below, before (L) and after (R) in this Wildwood Park yard: "I have been sending everyone the photos - WE LOVE IT!" said the homeowners. The garden brought 
considerable change to their front yard. A 'rejected' tree, was made to feel it was part of the yard, the garden and the home, and a disconnected space was brought together. In the back, pruning of a nasty bunch of cedars turned into something quite sculptural ,while maintaining their privacy. From her; I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and his words were: "You're a Michelangelo with wood chips and shrubs!"  It's great to love what you do, derive such pleasure from it, and know you have passed that on to someone's newly re-invented yard, or garden.

"Hi Charlotte! I have dug the new flower beds but it is certainly a work in  progress. When I look at  pictures in the beautiful garden you have created, I realize just how much of a process it will be. Although we still have a great deal of grass in the yard (which I can't quite imagine eliminating altogether - at least not for awhile) - the new flower beds have added more tranquility already. I have certainly learned (from you) to look at everything differently . The old ,crackled glass walkway lights, that no longer work ,will be transformed into a sculpture for the garden, and I plan to use a piece from our old sunshade/canopy as its base. Some of the end pieces have made a great trellis for some of the vines which are helping to diminish the "white and ugly" in our yard. A big thank you to you for helping me to see things in a much different light. I will send some pictures as things progress a little more. Somehow it doesn't seem quite as splendid as I thought , before I took a look at your stunning garden in this picture, which accompanied this article."
Wendy W. (Louis Riel landscaping class 2012)

Before and after (left/below). 
Unused patio stones were repurposed in a checker board pattern, and broken pieces were used to create a partial walk through garden, to a sidewalk alongside the garage. If you walk THROUGH your garden, you see more of it, and you will if easier to tend, allowing for more pleasure time.
COMPOST (bagged or delivered by the yard) used instead of soil ,to amend your garden, is nothing short of amazing. Left - we dug up and divided it in summer of 2012 as it was in it's 3rd year, and many plants were begging for more space, sorely needed, between growing shrubs, and perennials. The Freeds left town for a bit, while the division was in progress; the last job was a top up of 3" of compost. When finished, the garden looked spacious and roomy. Several weeks later I got a phone call; "We just got back Charlotte: WHAT happened to the garden?" Suffice it to say, I'd been there several times; and it was fine. Following the last visit, it had rained for a good 24 hours, then the glorious, hot sun shone for a good 10 days.  "You need to come, now!!!"
On the drive to Headingly, I couldn't imagine what could possibly be wrong; what could have happened that would generate a request for an immediate visit? Karen met me on my arrival and exclaimed, "See!!!" My retort was "Holy CROW"!!!  Now laughing, Karen said she and 
Marshall had been saying "Holy CROW" since they'd arrived home. It wasn't a problem, per say, but it was very unexpected: the combination of heat, rain and all that wonderful compost had started a growth burst, such as I'd not seen before. I was stuck for words, and it takes something BIG for that to happen.  We discussed the 'BIG CHANGE' , and the down side, which meant it all would have to be divided again - an expense no one could have anticipated.  The best made plans ... always require a back-up; Plan B, Plan C.   It's a garden; it just does what it wants, and you have to work around that.
If you're still sceptical about using just compost, buy it by the bag, add 2-4"  to a specific area of an existing garden, anytime during growing season (fall, and spring, are easiest). It will not burn, or smell, but it will perform magic. When you see THAT garden produce larger, healthier plants, and with weather cooperating, faster than you've ever experienced, you will understand why I get so excited.  SAMBORSKI GARDEN SUPPLIES - Phone: 204-895-9291​, located at 132 Samborski Drive, W on McGillivray Blvd/Rte 155W, left on Brady Rd and right toward Samborski Dr., taking the first left (it's right behind Jensen's Nursery). 
What happened the Saturday Louis didn't go golfing!!!