About Our Story
Lauren’s Garden Service is dedicated to creating beautiful outdoor spaces for people to enjoy. We take the hard work out of gardening by doing it for you! In fact, the company was created to offer an environmentally friendly option for garden lovers who just didn’t have time to maintain their own gardens.
Lauren’s Garden Service embraces permaculture practices in all aspects of our gardening and landscaping. These practices include plant selection, fertilizing and soil enhancement, planting and weeding techniques, and other installation and maintenance practices.
About Our Owner
Lauren Turner, Owner and Operator
With over 20 years of gardening experience, Lauren is the founder and owner of Lauren’s Garden Services. She has the experience to ensure that your project is installed according to specifications. You can be certain that your project will be completed in a timely manner, and with care and respect for your property. Lauren has a BS in Horticulture from Pennsylvania State University and an MS in Herbal Medicine from Tai Sophia Institute for the Healing Arts. She has studied landscape architecture, sustainability, native plants, medicinal plants and permaculture practices. She has experience working on high-end landscapes, installing and maintaining beautiful gardens, hardscapes and ponds.
“I love learning about plants…I just feel blessed that I can nurture my love and knowledge of plants everyday in many ways to create peaceful spaces, to attract wildlife and beneficial insects as well as to grow edible plants or plants that can be used for medicinal purposes.” –Lauren
One of the things Lauren loves about her work is the satisfaction of putting hard work into improving someone’s garden. She has continued her education to ensure that she is knowledgeable and up to date on all aspects of her field. One of the areas that she is passionate about is environmental sustainability so it’s not only a part of her gardening practices, it’s a part of her life.
“We grow organic fruits and vegetables, raise organic, free range chickens for eggs and meat, buy locally, compost, recycle, use cloth diapers with our babies, save electricity and water and use them consciously. We also buy from thrift stores, consignment stores, or Craigslist instead of new.” –Lauren
About Our Team
Our office is comprised of a team of diligent professionals who are passionate about our values and the services we provide. From initial contact to project follow up, our ladies strive to offer excellent client satisfaction and an experience that stands out from the rest.
Amy Poff, Designer/ Visionary Director of Cultivate
Amy brings an eclectic set of skills and experiences to her work at LGS, along with a deep love of plants and people. She spent over a decade working in cultural history, the arts, and nonprofit organizations, and currently teaches art and design at the college level. In 2017, Amy decided to transition her longtime love of horticulture into a career change. She’s not new to the LGS team though! From 2009-2011, while completing her M.A. from the Smithsonian-Corcoran Decorative Arts and Design History program, Amy worked on our crew. You may have seen her at our plant sales too—she helped coordinate the first one back in 2014 and has remained involved since then. Amy is finishing up her degree in Sustainable Horticulture from CCBC and earned her Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional level one certification in 2018. She enjoys designing spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and ecologically beneficial, and will happily chat about plants to anyone within earshot.
Jessica Cohan, Nursery Manager/ Designer
Jessica’s passion for native plants began in 2016, after attending a garden design workshop led by Blue Water Baltimore. An experienced home gardener and Howard County native, Jessica has degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and previously worked as a teacher and a Registered Nurse. While taking time away from her career to care for her young daughter, she continued her study of natives and design, using her own property as a canvas for her ideas. In 2020, she decided to take a chance on making her love of plants a full-time job so she joined Lauren’s Garden Service as the Native Plant Nursery Manager. She is a great resource for our customers and clients who need help selecting plants for their DIY projects, and is also available for consultations and designs.
Chrissie McLaughlin, Administrative Manager/ Project Manager
Chrissie has always had a love for nature. Because of this, in 2017, she decided to pursue that passion by changing careers from early childhood education to horticulture. She graduated in the top of her class in 2019, earning an Associate in Applied Science in Sustainable Horticulture. After graduating, she briefly traveled abroad, studying plants and ecological initiatives in Iceland. She is currently working towards obtaining her CPH. Chrissie has three years of experience working in and managing greenhouses, as well as several years of experience in customer service. She is a member of the American Society for Horticultural Science, Ladies in the Landscape, and the Maryland Native Plant Society. Chrissie is the first point of contact for many of our clients, and an integral part of ensuring that their LGS experience runs smoothly.
Alex Wiitala, Maintenance Manager/ Project Manager
Alex graduated from CCBC with a Certificate in Sustainable Horticulture through the American Landscape Institute. She has a level one certification from the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professionals. Alex also earned an AA in History from Harford Community College. She loves being out in nature and it was that love that got her to completely change her career field and go back to school. Her happiness in this decision shows in her work. She joined our team in spring 2020. Her dedication to client satisfaction and knowledge of plants make her a great addition to the LGS team
Jessie King, Administrative Assistant
Jessie has always loved nature and the outdoors. She followed her passion and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland- College Park in 2019. She comes to us from Robinson Nature Center in Columbia, MD where she worked as lead environmental educator. She taught people of all ages about the wonders of the natural world. While at Robinson, she gained an appreciation for native plants and what they can do for our environment, which is why she was drawn to LGS. Her attentiveness to detail and can-do attitude makes her an excellent addition to our team!
Install and Maintenance Crew
Our crew approaches each job with dedication, care, and consistency. We ensure that each crew member is well trained on all the critical aspects of garden and landscape maintenance and installation. They are hard-working and share the owner’s love of plants and gardening.
Kirsten Schroeder, Install Crew Lead
Kirsten comes to us with a long time desire to work outside and have a positive impact on the ecosystem. In the past, she has volunteered on various farms while traveling and also on a community farm in Baltimore City, once she settled into Maryland. Once in Baltimore, she joined the Americorps Community Lot Team. In her work with Americorps she used hardscaping and landscaping to transform vacant lots into community spaces. After Americorps, She spent some time working with a more traditional landscaping company as well as with Ladew Gardens. She is interested in making spaces that are beautiful, as well as functional for humans and pollinators alike. She is currently pursuing a degree in the Sustainable Horticulture program at The Community College of Baltimore County and aspires to design landscapes in her future! We love Kirsten’s initiative as well as her ability to work seamlessly as a team. Her positive attitude is always refreshing and makes her a great addition to our team!
George Dissenger, Install Crew Lead
George inherited a love for gardening from his mother. He assisted her in maintaining her garden that featured over 100 antique rose varieties. More recently, he developed an interest in trees, topiary, and native plants. Since joining the LGS team in Spring 2020, George has been able to indulge his love of working outside and enjoys seeing garden projects progress from beginning to end. We love his calm nature, flexibility, and commitment to providing customers with landscapes they can enjoy for years to come.
Kevin Casey, Maintenance Crew Lead
Kevin moved to Maryland in 2008 from Portland, Oregon. He has always enjoyed working outside. He has been managing his own landscape since he was 12. Kevin appreciates learning all he can about landscape design and maintenance techniques, and applies that knowledge in his own landscaping endeavors. He came to us in the spring of 2020 with a plethora of experience from landscaping companies to nurseries. Kevin’s strong work ethic and quiet, thoughtful approach are assets to the LGS team.
Michael Lemmon, Install Crew
Before joining the LGS team in fall of 2019, Michael shared his passion for gardening at the Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, MD, where he maintained the topiary gardens. He also designed and planted the annual gardens and containers. He also worked at the Rawlings Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Baltimore City. At LGS, he is passionate and dedicated to making projects come to fruition. We appreciate his design eye and commitment to client happiness, and we are all in awe of his pruning skills!
Madelyn Kirsch, Install Crew
Madelyn has a love for contributing to and creating sustainable landscapes that can be enjoyed both by people and local pollinators. She currently holds her level 1 Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Certification. She is also enrolled in the Sustainable Horticulture program at The Community College of Baltimore County working towards an Associates in Applies Science. We love Madelyn’s flexibility and willingness to work on any projects put in front of her. Her love of nature makes her a great fit for LGS.
Irene Cassarez, Install Crew
After moving to Baltimore City from Delaware, Irene decided to turn her love for sustainability and conservation into a career. She enrolled in the Community College of Baltimore County’s Sustainable Horticulture program. She is currently half way through her coursework and, after CCBC, intends to pursue a bachelor’s in horticulture and conservation. She currently holds her CBLP level 1 certification and looks forward to gaining her level 2. Irene grew up in the horticulture business. Her father has a small traditional landscaping company in Delaware, which she aspires to help transition into sustainable practices that utilize native plants and support pollinators. She hopes to never stop learning and wants to share this love and passion with others, especially those in her community. Irene is a wonderful addition to our maintenance team and her commitment to sustainability and passion for horticulture shows in her work.
Laith Strack, Maintenance Crew
Laith comes to us with several years of horticultural experience. Before joining the LGS team in the summer of 2021, they were working for Gotham Greens where they managed the nursery and oversaw all aspects of young plant production. Prior to that, they were busy honing their gardening skills maintaining estate landscapes while pursuing their associate degree in Sustainable Horticulture at the Community College of Baltimore County. Laith’s desire to share their passion for growing led them to becoming a certified Master Gardener through which they fostered an interest in agricultural education, and they furthered their skills volunteering with multiple urban farms working to alleviate food apartheid and provide horticultural therapy and job training within Baltimore City. Their flexibility and go-getter attitude are excellent assets to our team.