‚ÄčBarbara Hobens

Holistic Garden Design


Gardening with organic methods and an understanding of what nature intended by researching what once grew on your land is the basis of wise stewardship. I call this understanding naturescaping since you have taken the time and effort to undertsnad where the sun is shining, where the rain falls, what condition your soil is in, and what birds and other wildlife already live on and need from you to continue to thrive.  Forestscaping looks to the maintenance and management of existing trees and care of and adding natives to the understory. Pathways and seating that is functional is encouraged.

Before design ideas for a client can be sketched out on paper, extensive photographs or an onsite visit to the property is vital to ascertain potential problems and envision possibilities.

Yes, photographs, interviews, and Google Earth give insight and facts, but observing all variables, pinpointing the variations of  sunlight, and sensing the optimum "place" for growing vegetables and for plantings to thrive is part of a full property analysis.

Even if "just" to site a containers of herbs, knowing the expectations as well as the time & effort client's plan to devote to  maintenance is key. 

As an urban gardening specialist, this attention to detail within a growing area of a few square feet translates to those measured in acres. Natural and human history, geology, soil, microclimates, native plants and wildlife are all taken into consideration before a design is formulated.

Calling this approach WHOLE SPACE GARDEN DESIGN, Barbara created Hudson Highlands Garden Design, a division of Tarn Farm LLC (designed and installed garden from 2008; closed the business in 2014), that focused on organic methods, practical solutions, feng shui, gardening with and for wildlife, sustainable practices, low maintenance, and to strive for the optimum use of the outdoors of homes, offices, streetscapes, and parks.

                     "You just transformed our place. The design and ideas you came up with, well - you were like a garden fairy."