Sarah FitzGerald designs for Mandeville Garden Company. With her architectural training, she is extremely strong in the structural elements of the gardens. She cares deeply that the gardens should be usable in the way that they are needed. Children, dogs, soirées, barbeques; all should be thought about if they are priorities for you. Her native style is the English garden in the school of Gertrude Jekyll and Penelope Hobhouse, but she can turn her eye to other styles. This means that the strong bones of the garden are clothed in a happy robe of flowers and foliage. She has gardened in the Bay Area since 1983, and is very familiar with what grows here and what doesn't.

An important part of Mandeville Garden company's strength is that we take the garden from inception through to maturity. Sarah is involved in all stages and continues to supervise through maintenance. Not only does this give continuity for your garden, but you can be sure that all those years of knowledge will be used for you.

Design labor rate is $120 per hour. A refundable deposit of $600 is payable when you decide to have us start the design process.


We are a small construction company handling jobs under $100,000. We work with a team of respected specialists to give a complete construction service. . We believe that gardens, to be successful, have to have great foundations and so we are extremely careful about soil preparation. We want the plants to go into soft fluffy aerated fertile soil with ideal water, then they grow just like they should. We are particularly proud of our 'sand laid' stone and flag work.

We pride ourselves on detail and making the gardens feel very personal to you. In addition we would like you to enjoy the process of having the garden built. Our workers are pleasant and clean and understand English.

Construction Foreman $70 per hour
Construction Artisan $60 per hour


Lead by Michael Behen, we employ interesting and artistic gardeners, who all have a deep love of plants. They are trustworthy honest people, intelligent, interesting and personable. We put a lot of effort into training good gardening techniques.

For the most part we use all organic and poison free methods. The mulch that we use is nutritious and improves the soil as well as looking good. We have a beneficial bug program to deal with most of the critter pests and use soap, BT, and tree oil extract for other disasters. We use a snail bait based on Ferrous Phosphate, which is non poisonous to animals, and in fact is beneficial to the plants. We use complete organic fish emulsion with kelp as our main fertilizer (..... sorry about the smell!) on all roses and pots and on other plants as needed. We also carry other soil building and specialist fertilizers.

We have an extremely personalized service. The labor rate is $60 per person hour. We will establish an agreed time per month to maintain your garden.However we apply a 2 hour minimum to all jobs. Service will be weekly, biweekly or monthly. There will be a normal time of the month and a regular gardener allocated to your garden. However stuff frequently happens, and changes have to be made. Michael will have on file how much it matters to you that we are there at the same time for each service.


At the start of every week we brainstorm the gardens that are on the schedule. This is when telephone messages will get passed on, the design concepts discussed and the gardener's worries talked about with Michael and Sarah. At each visit the gardeners will record notes on how the garden is doing and what went on.

We will mail an itemized invoice every month, which will detail the standard extras, such as fertilizers and trash removal. We are happy to use your green trash bins if they are available. If we have major extras, like camellia pruning or bulb planting, we will contact you for permission.

Please feel free to contact Sarah or Michael at any time. We want the garden to be just as you want it, but we aren't psychic and need feedback in order to get it right. Please report any irrigation worries as soon as possible and we will be out there lickity split.

top border
Sarah Working Away
Building a garden in Hillsborough
Garden in Burlingame
The Gothic Gardeners
bottom border
yellow bar
Copyright 2002-5 Mandeville Garden Company
716 Hacienda Way, Millbrae, CA 94030
(415) 626-6243,
Website Design: Built By Robots Design