Welcome to J.M.B. Greengardens, L.L.C. Return to Table of Contents Return to Overview
J.M.B. Greengardens is a small, one person L.L.C. specializing in the design and construction of gardens in the Richmond, Virginia area. Keeping the business small allows me to take a craftsman's approach – to have direct control over each stage of the design, installation and maintenance process and to pay careful, thoughtful, individual attention to each client and each garden, so that your garden is the best fit for both the site and for your needs, tastes, and lifestyle.
Because it fits best with the craftsman's approach, I prefer to take on mainly small to medium sized projects. Patio gardens, courtyards, gardens in the strip between the alley and your house, business, or back fence, and even container gardens are examples at he small end of the scale. Exquisite things can be done with small spaces, and even a small space can offer something to delight in all seasons. In our region, even in January there are many such things – both ornamental and edible. The possibilities expand in other, warmer seasons. At the larger end of the scale are full makeovers of the average sized city yard. Vegetable gardens and home orchards of various sizes are in the middle. Small, medium, and large are subjective terms, though, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have the slightest question as to whether I can assist you with your project, for either your home or your business.
I design and install many types of gardens: edible, ornamental, and mixed, in a range of styles depending upon the site and your tastes. Although I have no absolute favorites, I find shade gardens a pleasant challenge, and currently I am very interested in expanding my gardening horizons to include small water gardens and water features - they can add much interest to a garden, especially a small one. I will gladly include paving, retaining walls, and other hardscaping in your garden if you wish, as well as arbors, pergolas, trellises and other small structures. Return to Overview
One of my specialties is edible landscaping. This can be as complex as an extensive vegetable patch or kitchen garden with fruit trees, or as simple as a fig or blueberry bush on the patio, a dwarf peach tree in a pot, a small herb garden, a trellis of cucumbers or cherry tomatoes, a row of kale or chard, or a small cold frame to hold specialty greens over the winter. Edible plants can be readily incorporated into a landscape in an aesthetically pleasing fashion - ornamental and edible are not mutually exclusive - a great many edible plants are quite ornamental in their own right, and many generally considered ornamental are also edible. Some garden sites have more limitations as to what will grow well in them than others - vegetables, for instance, require a minimum of six to eight hours of direct sunlight, but with most sites a space can be found for at least some edibles. Return to Overview
Most of the vegetables and many of the fruits I favor are traditional or heirloom varieties. My primary reason for cultivating the older varieties is that they offer not only superior flavors, but also a greater variety of tastes and textures compared to many of their modern counterparts, whose breeding is mainly concerned with uniform ripening time, high production, the ability to tolerate mechanical harvesting and rough treatment, and the ability to survive long distance shipping. Flavor and texture are relatively minor concerns in the breeding of these varieties.
Helping to preserve genetic diversity in our food crops, contributing to the maintenance of regionally adapted varieties, and participating in cultural history are other reasons to cultivate traditional and heirloom fruits and vegetables. Return to Overview
Should you decide to include edibles in your garden, there are many types of vegetables and fruits other than the usual supermarket varieties which thrive here in central Virginia. Some are available, though not always easy to find, and then sometimes at high cost and/or of lesser quality. Some are seasonal delights rarely found outside a garden. (Or a gardener's kitchen.) Some are available but unfamiliar. Some are ethnic specialties. Still others are traditional crops no longer commonly grown. For all the edibles I plant for you I provide harvest tips. For those with which you may be unfamiliar (and those with which you are familiar, if you wish) I am delighted to offer preparation tips as well. Simple is best in that regard - well-grown produce, when picked at perfection and eaten truly fresh, needs little embellishment, and makes even good store-bought produce seem a little lacking.
It is not necessary to devote large amounts of space to trying something new. A small patch can be planted, and if it turns out you like it, more can be planted next year, if not, not much has been lost.