Emerson Gardening Services
Plant Amnesty: "Our mission is to end the senseless torture and mutilation of trees and shrubs due to mal-pruning."
- Vashon-Maury Island Chamber of Commerce
- Vashon-Maury Island Garden Club
- Vashon-Maury Island Fruit Club
- Vashon Island Growers Association
- International Society of Arboriculture
- Aesthetic Pruners Association
City of Seattle 2020/2021 IPM Continuing Education Series, Growing On: Managing Healthy Urban Landscapes March 3, 2021
Building Resilience Through Innovation and Community Engagement - (how to deal with eroding coastlines and sea level rise). Feb 4, 2021
IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Online Seminar, City of Seattle, Oct 28 and Nov 18, 2020
IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Seminar, City of Seattle, Oct 29 and 30, 2019
Japanese Garden Pruning Workshop at The Brig, Seattle in May, 2019.
Master Pruner Certificate awarded from the University of Washington and Plant Amnesty, 2018.
- Past president, Minnesota State Horticultural Society
- Permaculture Design Certificate holder, from Starhawk in 2012: Earth Activist Training
- Designed and maintained my own organic garden in St Paul, Minnesota which was featured on many garden tours. It was also included in an issue of Better Homes and Gardens, and appeared on the covers of the book Landscape Gardening, and Northern Gardener magazine.
- Spent the summer of 2011 gardening in France, traveling by bicycle and weeding public gardens I saw along the way that needed some care. Here is a link to photos from that summer:
- Vashon's Heart Garden: Once I moved to Vashon, one of the first major gardening projects I undertook was the creation and sheet mulching of a 5000 square foot food garden, enclosed by a brush deer fence I designed and built (with some help) in the shape of a massive heart. It is so large, you can't tell it is a heart from the ground. It took several years before Google caught it in a photo:
Teaching others how to prune their shrubs and trees for the beauty and health of the plants.
Pruning laceleaf Japanese maples
- Landscape guidance for people who aren't sure what they want. I find I can help people see their properties in a new light, and quickly come up with ideas to help them solve design problems - either with my help, or on their own, as they wish.
- Setting up an organic garden for low maintenance.
- Garden renovation: Shrubs especially seem to grow much larger than intended. What to do now? Depending on the plant, I will either turn it into a beautiful small tree, or reduce its size while keeping its natural look.
- Small tree (including fruit tree) and shrub trimming/training. Holder of Master Pruner certificate through the University of Washington and Plant Amnesty.
- Perennial and shrub transplanting, division, propagation
- Sheet mulching to reduce weeds in existing gardens, or to create new garden spaces from lawns.
- Creation of new garden beds
- Worm composting guidance
- Nontoxic pest guidance: weeds, insects, slugs, disease, deer, and moss.
- Yes, I have helpers to dig out blackberries, holly, ivy, other noxious weeds. I have a special shovel to dig out blackberries by the root, so they don't come back, and with it we can get into tough places like the center of a large juniper or shrub border.
- When I work in your garden, I will save any flowers that might be nice in a vase for your home.
My husband Michael Laurie and I also work to reduce the use of toxic pesticides on Vashon Island and Western Washington. This effort is named Garden Green. We share information on the problems caused by toxic products, and safe alternatives to them. We work with retailers, give talks to community groups, table at the Farmer's Market and other events, write articles, and publish guides for the public, many of which are handed out by the Vashon Master Gardeners at their plant clinics outside Ace Hardware. If you would like to learn more, please see our website: www.GardenGreen.org or our Facebook page: Garden Green
References and Rates
I have lots of references. My rate is $70/hour beginning January 2022 for training, landscape consultations, garden design, tree and shrub pruning, research, weeding, and general maintenance. I bring in helpers at $30+/ hour, and in summer, high schoolers at $15-20/hour, to make my services as cost effective for you as possible, and make the best use of my energy and skills.
"Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life."
I love my work. I began selling plants in paper Dixie cups to the neighbors when I was 4 years old. I had to stop because I had chosen the beautiful purple violets for my fledgling nursery, and I was told you couldn't sell the state flower. I think someone just wanted me to quit. It was embarrassing to my family, I think. I subscribed to Organic Gardening magazine when I was 15, and was making terrariums in wine bottles and selling plants when I was 17. My grandmother became very worried about me because when I visited her and saw all her plant catalogs, I would read them in bed far into the night. I was smitten. So, when it was time to decide what degree I would pursue, I really wanted to get a degree in horticulture. But in Minnesota, where I grew up, the place was frozen for 6 months a year. Not a great place for a horticulture career. So I decided to keep gardening as my love, and make a living doing something else. Now, finally, here on Vashon, I am making a living doing what I love: gardening and growing plants for others.
"Oh I can vouch for this woman's gardening skills. Amazing! The Heart Garden at Heartstad farm was the closest real life Secret Garden I have ever seen. Beautiful, thoughtful, bountiful sustainable, magical work."
Jude Spaith, June 2015
Thank you so much for the wonderful job you did on my Cottage Garden project, which was begun 17 years ago. In all that time, the plants were watered, but never pruned. You took that overgrown patch
and turned it into a really beautiful area. Your efforts have allowed me to have an easier time of future maintenance rather than looking at it, thinking, how on Earth should I bring all that growth under control. I am appreciative of both the pruning decisions you made and the fact that a messy job is done. Thank you again.
In 2021, I gave a presentation on the Beauty and Benefits of Native Plants in conjunction with Little Bird Gardens nursery at the Country Store. I plan on giving a presentation on Plants to Hold Slopes in fall 2022, also with Little Bird.
2020, I gave in-person workshops to small numbers of people on sheet mulching, which were outside, with social distancing. In addition, I was the key presenter or participated in several videos.
Here are the Sheet mulching Videos:
Sheet Mulching Videos in 3 parts
Part 1: https://youtu.be/ZrLNhsc2wAg
Part 2: https://youtu.be/1hULNPg23fY
Part 3: https://youtu.be/6h2g3GPa2qY
Organic Gardening Tips and Tricks, through the Vashon-Maury Island Garden Club:
This video was funded by the King County Wastewater Treatment Division in partnership with the Vashon Nature Center.
I presented to over 200 landscape professionals on effective alternatives to RoundUp herbicides, Oct 29, 2019. Here is a link to the talk, which I shared with my husband Michael Laurie. http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/SPU/Documents/Certification/IPMOct2019/9-Emerson-Laurie-Life_After_Roundup-Altenatives.pdf
This two day seminar was offered by the City of Seattle and Seattle Parks and Recreation, and open to all landscape professionals. Attendees could go to one or both days for cutting-edge sessions on Integrated Pest Management, while getting recertification credits and other CEU’s.
In September, 2019, I gave a workshop on tree pruning at the 2019 Northwest Permaculture Convergence near Eugene, Oregon
I demonstrated tree pruning techniques and tools. Attendees learned how to prune efficiently for the plant’s health and productivity. They also received resources to help with their own tree pruning.
Why Choose Me?
My garden in St Paul, Minnesota. No pesticides, herbicides, sprays of any sort. Safe for my cat and visiting children. All hand weeded by me, while working full time and volunteering. Low maintenance design of mostly perennials with only a few annuals.
"I've been very happy with her approach and her ability to help me appreciate what is possible here."
Reducing the size of an overgrown rhododendron
Diane can transform an overgrown property, like she did with mine. Pat Parks, 206-713-3914