I am David mcMullin and I named my company New Moon Gardens back when I was in my 20’s and was a long haired hippy dude with a Toyota pickup and a shovel, a tiller, 3 rakes and a very strong back.
The name is honestly a little too “new-agey” for me now but it meant to refer to my early life in Tennessee where my grandfather planted by the signs. The new moon is the time to plant root crops and symbolically I liked the idea that we plant our dreams and ideas in the mind’s dark ground and watch them grow into the light. I also have a philosophy that we can see gardening – an ancient art form – in a new way. We can work with the systems of nature and the rhythms of life and soil and rain to create gardens that are dynamic and seasonal and resonant. So New Moon Gardens it is.
Even as a child I always loved and studied plants and should have probably majored in Landscape Architecture or Horticulture, but as life will have it sometimes, I made a different choice and majored in art. And again, as life will have it, that seemingly erroneous decision ended up being a great gift to my later career because I see the garden as the most profound art form and my early education informs everything about the way I design.
I have been designing and installing small and large gardens for residential and commercial clients in the Atlanta area now for most of 25 years. My accomplishments include several "Best of Show' awards at the Southeastern Flower Show, Garden Design magazine's Golden Trowel Award, appearances on HGTV's "A Gardener's Diary" and Public Television's "Victory Garden", featured articles and photographs in Garden Design, Atlanta magazine, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, Fine Gardening and Elle Decor, which named me a "rising star" in American garden design (back when I was young enough to be considered "rising"!)
Its important to note that I put my money where my mouth is both in my intown garden, with its English-influenced paths and arbors and topiaries and billowing romantic plantings, and my 10 acre historic farm at Arabia mountain, with its naturalized meadows and enormous gravel garden and almost modern sensibility. I have gone deep into these two gardens and have unlocked the skills needed to work on both a small, urban scale and a large rural one and have experimented with (and killed) more plants than one can imagine.
All that is to say that I am accomplished, deeply dedicated to my work, willing to roll up my sleeves and, humbly, respected for what I do by peers and clients. Am I an “expert”? Probably, by some definitions. But we as humans don’t have the lifespan that would be required for me to explore every plant, every style of gardening, every nuance of the natural world. I am a perpetual student and I’m grateful for the things I don’t yet know.
WHAT WE DO
We work in every style and, in fact, love the diverse opportunities afforded by clients with diverse needs and interests. Largely our designs are lush and plant-driven while still being ordered and structured and contextualized within a framework of human habitat and understanding. I am well informed about garden construction and development, including extensive hardscapes, garden structure construction, grading and site preparation, water features, habitat restoration, all types of planting and ongoing garden development and fine garden maintenance, including decorative gardening like containers and styling.
I have always been fortunate to work alongside talented and experienced gardeners and expert contractors when needed and they make my work shine.
Our clients are generally meaning seekers, intellectual, mindful of aesthetics and inclined toward living well. They are often frustrated gardeners, with little time, but with a real desire to have a lovely garden and they understand what a garden offers to a person’s life – abundance, beauty and grounding.
Simply put, we make gardens.
THE NUTS AND BOLTS
The fees are simple — I charge $100.00 an hour for design and consultation time. Since my goal is NOT to sell plans, but rather create gardens, this fee will be waived upon the acceptance of installation proposals. We occasionally encounter unscrupulous people who solicit free design ideas with no intention of paying for these services. This fee structure is intended for them.
I don’t work like an architect and I have concluded that that system isn’t usually the best for clients wanting to work with an artistic professional. I only do detailed plans and planting plans when it’s absolutely necessary. Clients who don’t have a deep knowledge of plants shouldn’t be required to pay for such plans, and drawn plans can be very restrictive, ultimately, to the creative process. My plans are usually more general and conceptual and are focused primarily on communicating the design to the client. Trust is the most essential element in this phase of the work and my biggest criticisms have come from clients who expect a great deal of reassurance early in the process. I can only say that I have never had a client who reported being unhappy with their garden!
Its important to say that, unlike the planning, the bid is never general and conceptual. I give precise bids with details about the scope of work. I have also been the client of home renovators and the such and I hate hidden costs and sudden changes in budget. I don’t do that to my clients. Our bidding process is based largely on the price of materials, using standard industry mark-ups and fair labor estimates. Our pricing is generally in the center of the range of pricing in our industry. Our quality, however is among the best.
Our labor fee for gardening services is $40.00 per hour, per person. We usually run a 1 or 2 person crew and we focus on fine gardening skills and garden development and not lawn maintenance or projects that would be best done by unskilled labor.
If you’ve made it this far and you would like to reach out for a meeting or to talk over some ideas, call or text 404 271 1787 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always more responsive to email and text.