Catherine Wachs, Landscape Designer & Owner
After a decades long career in advertising design, Catherine became interested in organic gardening after moving to Larchmont in 1993.
She joined the Sheldrake Environmental Center and worked in the Mamaroneck School District as a naturalist educator, teaching children and adults about the natural world and our obligations towards the environment. After three years, Catherine took the helm of the Sheldrake naturalist educator program, recruiting and training new naturalists.
Catherine capitalized on her growing expertise in 2005 with the founding of The Lazy Gardener. Originally a cable tv program, The Lazy Gardener showcased seasonal tips and organic methods for Westchester home gardeners. In 2007, the company transitioned to designing beautiful gardens, patios and water features for private and municipal properties. With a background in advertising and graphic design, Catherine found that landscape design drew on her creative skills in similar ways. Catherine explains, "The same design principles used to craft images for corporate advertising apply to landscape design. There's a story to every property- the image we want to project to the world. Now, instead of print and television images, my medium is plants."
Ms. Wachs (rhymes with phlox) studied landscape design in the New York Botanical Gardens' Gardening Certificate Program. The NYBG's program is equivalent to a Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener certification.
Renee Richmond, Landscape Designer
Renee Richmond moved to New York City from southern California after receiving her BFA from Art Center College of Design. She landed her dream job at Ogilvy & Mather and enjoyed a successful career as an advertising creative director. But what she really loved about the east coast was the four seasons.
Renee and her partner bought a carriage house in lower Westchester, with a small garden. That garden changed her life. Nothing, except her dogs, makes her happier than playing with plants. Every season brings a joyous surprise. And her garden is no longer small– there are just so many plants to try!
Like Catherine, Renee saw a natural synergy between advertising design and garden design. So, she made the leap and became a professional garden designer, apprenticing with a landscaper while honing her skills by redesigning friends and neighbors’ gardens. She studies Landscape Design at The New York Botanical Gardens, where she learns about even more plants to play with. She may have to move to a house with more property.
Renee’s passion is “designing gardens that foster a relationship between a client and Mother Nature. Each has diverse wants, needs and desires. My job is to play match-maker.”
Jeremiah Dickens, Landscape Designer
Florida native Jeremiah Dickens brings more than 15 years of landscape and nursery experience to the company. Coming from a family of plantsmen, he was early to develop a deep appreciation and knowledge of the natural world. Since then he has done restoration work in the Pacific temperate rainforests, studied agriculture on organic farms in Wisconsin, and preserved sensitive natural areas in Florida.
Jeremiah holds degrees in both graphic design and digital media, which led him to art director and production director positions in some of upstate New York’s top design studios. It was here that he learned how to translate ideas into visible language. These experiences exemplified his philosophy that good design doesn’t just communicate, it also transforms.
Similar to Catherine and Renee, Jeremiah has found a genuine calling in the landscape field. Here, he can make manifest his belief that “landscape designers are unique among the artists, in that we have the power to create natural beauty, and at the same time, the responsibility to protect it.”
Christy Story Conley, Landscape Designer
Christy developed a love for gardening at an early age, helping her mother with their garden in Rye since she was a child. She also developed an early respect for nature by exploring the shores of the Long Island Sound, visiting Rye’s Marshland Conservancy and sketching just about anything in nature.
After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Biology from Denison University, Christy worked as a naturalist at the Rye Nature Center. Here, she taught natural science and vegetable gardening to the community. She also became involved in organic gardening while working at Nature’s Cradle Nursery and Landscape Design.
Christy completed her Masters in Landscape Architecture at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. It was during this time that she first worked with The Lazy Gardener as an intern. After graduation, she spent three plus years with Environmental Design & Research. Here, she collaborated on designs for parks, college campuses, airports, local schools and streetscapes. However, Christy found that her true passion was in residential and small scale garden design. In returning to The Lazy Gardener, she was able to reconnect with this passion. Christy loves the creative challenge of figuring out each client’s unique aesthetic. Every homeowner is looking for something a little different and every site offers unique challenges; the result is always a uniquely beautiful garden.
Victoria Burke, Client Liaison
Victoria gardens with her husband at a cottage on Long Island’s East End. She is passionate about all things natural; and has created her gardens as nurturing sanctuaries for bees, birds and butterflies. She brings years of sales and marketing experience, as well as a lifelong interest in writing about nature to her work with The Lazy Gardener. Victoria looks forward to working even more closely with our clients; assisting them in the creation of their dream properties.
Sam Katz, Office Manager & Business Development
Sam started with The Lazy Gardener in September 2016 and manages most back office functions. She has experience in sales, marketing, management and computer skills. A native Floridian and former U.K. resident, Sam is passionate about gardens and the outdoors and enjoys applying her organizational skills towards growing the business.