Garden Cycles

I want to tell you about a unique indivual with a singular enterprising business unlike any I have ever known.

Steve Richmond, the owner of Garden Cycles, is a man who stands on principal for many things. But he is one of the few people I know who truly walk the walk – or should I say, pedal.

Steve Richmond is an environmentalist, a man who cares a lot about the world we live in. My husband met him during a class at SSCC six years ago, and we have been friends ever since. We both completed the Native Plant Stewardship program with the Washington Native Plant Society, but Steve actually knows the Latin names of all the plants we learned so much about. Steve doesn’t own a car – but doesn’t let that stop him from running a successful landscaping business in a very earth-friendly way.

Steve’s very experienced when it comes to landscaping, native plant location (and relocation), and how to properly salvage and keep survived natives from a future development site. And he is a man who not only is not afraid of hard work – he relishes it. Rain, sleet, snow – much like the mailman, just in a yellow slicker (coat and pants) and maybe some knee pads, you can find him working with the plants he loves in various parks or at private residences. Don’t get me wrong – he also seriously enjoys his days off. He knows how to take care of his body and respects it and gives it a break when it needs it. Or he unwinds playing beach vollyeball down on Alki (not exactly a rest, but different muscles to be sure). But as 10 years his junior, I have great admiration for someone who enjoys such a physically demanding career. I couldn’t do it.

About a month ago Steve (and my husband, also named Steve) helped me relocate the beloved plants I wanted to keep from my quarter acre lot near Puget Ridge into massive containers on my 200 sq ft deck at my new townhouse in High Point. I have hired Steve Richmond off and on over the years to help me with the big projects and heavy garden work around my old farmhouse. Rheumatoid arthritis (at a rather young age…) was a large reason for my move, since the place became too difficult for me to keep up. The salvage of my own plants, many of them natives rescued from development sites in east King county, was critical to my move, and they were dug up once again and moved to a shady, north-facing deck, perfect for natives. I also brought hostas, sorrels, and pots of Black jewel bamboo among a few other things. Among the natives we rescued ferns of many kinds, Oregon grape, salal, yummy decidious red huckleberry, and my beloved Pacific bleeding heart. I am happy to report, a month later, everything is alive and even thriving under my great “plant mommy” care.

I am working on a post discussing the anatomy of a massive plant relocation such as this, called “From Plots to Pots – How to downsize your garden and survive”. Or something along those lines. It took an entire day to dig up, move, and replant my plants and it is worthy of some discussion since I had three months to plan the move and was very detailed with how I went about it. I am eager to share what I learned.

So – I am moved, settling in, have my office running (altho not completely unpacked), and you can expect to see regular posts again from Green Spaces Real Estate – now in it’s new Built Green digs in High Point.

And I have Steve Richmond and Garden Cycles to thank for it. Thanks Steve!

A note about this photo: This is my now former residence on 18th Avenue SW. When I moved here, this entire hillside behind Steve was covered in ivy several feet tall. Steve (and my husband Steve) spent several days removing the ivy by hand – and then we relocated lilac and other plants from other parts of the property – all planted in the wrong place – to this hillside, where they have flourished. Native plants here also include salal, native blackberry, Oceanspray, etc. Of course, these are the common names and you will have to call Steve to get the Latin names!

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