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Growing a Habitat/Pollinator Garden

  • Albany Community Center 1249 Marin Avenue Albany, CA, 94706 United States (map)
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Kate Frey, Award Winning Garden Designer, Author and Teacher will present some of her gardens. Kate Frey is a world class garden designer and consultant, specializing in sustainable, bio-diverse, ecological gardens and landscaping. Kate won the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London, receiving gold medals in 2005, 2007 and receiving a Silver Gilt in 2003. Kate met Queen Elizabeth in ’03 and ’07 at the Chelsea Flower Show.  In 2009 she was invited to participate in the World Garden Competition in Hamamatsu, Japan, and in 2011 she and Ben went to Malaysia to participate in Floria, a flower show in Putrajaya.  Kate directed and taught at Sonoma State University’s Sustainable Landscape Program with Extended Education for six-years, as well as consulting for highly recognized wineries and residences around California, such as The Melissa Garden in Healdsburg and Lyn Mar Winery in Sebastopol.  For two years she and her husband Ben worked for a Prince in Saudi Arabia on his small organic farm near Riyadh. Kate currently works as a consultant, designer, educator and writer.  She writes two columns for the Press Democrat Newspaper, and her book, The Bee-friendly Garden, co-written with professor Gretchen LeBuhn, was published February 2016.

Kate strives to create gardens that are adapted to and express the locality; the climate, soils and the biodiversity that lives in and migrates through each area.  She believes that each garden should have a goal of giving to the environment through compositions of flower filled spaces, shrubs, trees for shade and development of healthy soils- that together provide habitat for insects and birds and are vital, vibrant spaces that express joy to the viewer.

Her gardens aim to be experiential and participatory; to leave a lasting impression about the specifics of place through smell of flowers and resinous foliage, taste of herbs or fruits, the interaction of foliage with sky, and a profusion of flowers filled with the busy forms of insects and birds. Habitat gardens are one of her specialties.

In addition to naturalistic, ecological garden design, Kate also consults and works with businesses and estates to develop or renovate existing landscapes to sustainable practices and greater efficiency- besides enhanced appeal to visitors.  Management is a focus: Kate has helped businessesand gardens on large and small properties greatly reduce their budgets and staffing needs by introducing many aspects of efficiency and horticultural practices designed to increase soil and plant health and reduce maintenance time. She enjoys educating employees on all aspects of horticulture.

Some of the aspects of horticulture Kate has extensive experience in are: soil development and health, plant health and productivity, propagation, pruning, irrigation and plant selection and maintenance. Specific types of gardens/landscapes Kate has worked with are: creek and woodland restoration, native gardens, bedding plants, perennial/annual borders, drought resistant gardens, woodland gardens, cottage gardens, low maintenance gardens, vegetable gardens, ornamental edibles, production agriculture and lots more….