The Garden Natives have landscape in their blood
Native Southern Californians Sydney Harrington and Amanda Claverie are passionate about plants and nature.
Harrington grew up gardening, while Claverie was raised by a horticulturist mom and farmer father. The two ladies came together through a love of flowers and six years ago formed Garden Natives, a landscape design and maintenance business that specializes in California native plants.
“It’s very important to us to create ecosystems for the native birds and bees of the San Gabriel Valley,” Claverie says. “We’re trying to help sustain native flora and fauna of the area.”
Claverie and Harrington began this career performing landscape maintenance, which gives them a different outlook on design. They frequently arrive at yards to fix things that other landscapers have done incorrectly—maybe there’s a plant in the wrong spot, or a shrub that is too big for the space.
“A lot of landscapers are not really used to working with the plants,” Claverie says. “We had the experience.”
The transition from maintenance to design was a subtle one. It mainly came from their clients’ needs.
“The more we worked with clients doing maintenance, the more they asked for help with designing and planting,” Harrington says. “That turned into what we’re doing now. It was a snowball effect.”
Garden Natives provides drafting and design, California native and drought-tolerant landscaping, hardscaping and installation.
“Installation is just as important to us as the design,” adds Claverie, whose team is exceptionally trained in irrigation, lighting and design implementation.
The women serve Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Azusa, Bradbury, Covina, Duarte, East Pasadena, Glendora, La Canada Flintridge, Los Angeles, Monrovia, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Madre and South Pasadena.
The two adore perennials and “things that bloom throughout the seasons.” Claverie and Harrington want to create a garden that has longevity and blooms throughout the year to attract hummingbirds, for instance. They take inspiration from the local foothills to create gardens that are welcoming.
“We bring a lot of sages and poppies,” Claverie says. “Just fun things like that. We’re also really into water features. We’re big on taking out grass and installing blooming gardens. Local butterflies, bees and birds not only need food, they need water. We try and incorporate the water features for the birds and bees so they can cool down. Plus, it’s fun to see the visitors.”
Harrington fell in love with yardwork as a child, when she would help her parents garden. She worked at floral shops in college and ended up employed by the Fullerton Arboretum for five years.
“I got a lot of my training on California native plants,” Harrington says. “I worked with a lot of plants I had never experienced before. From there, Amanda and I met doing flowers and we took off from there.”
Claverie has a background in floral design, having owned a floral business, Rosebud Floral Design, for 15 years.
“That’s where we get our floral inspiration and colors,” Claverie adds. “My mom was a horticulturist and my dad’s a farmer. He’s always in the dirt.”
Harrington says the design work inspires her, especially because she’s an artist on the side.
“I really enjoy watching something go from an idea or concept to the installation,” she says. “I love the plants and thinking about how things are going to look over time. I think that’s my favorite thing we do.”