Info, Rates

Garden Cycles proprietor Steve Richmond

Steve Richmond discovered his love of nature twenty-five years ago while studying in Moscow, Russia, during a long winter (spring didn’t arrive ‘til May!).  Upon his return in 1995, he started working for nurseries and landscapers, and freelance gardening for neighbors – always commuting by bicycle. In 2003, he joined the Washington Native Plant Society and completed their Native Plant Stewardship Training. Shortly after, he was hired by the sole private restoration company in Seattle, and in 2005, Steve began full-time restoration as “Garden Cycles,” using a bicycle and trailer as his primary transportation. After 20 years of hard, satisfying work, Steve accepted a sponsorship gift of an electric bicycle conversion so he could sustain his work at age 56. Thank you Alki Bike and Board!

Garden Cycles is a licensed, insured, and bonded specialty contractor (GARDEC*932JF).  Along with the spread of invasive species, Garden Cycles’ crew has grown – we had over twenty employees in 2017. Many of our dedicated practitioners have degrees in Restoration Ecology or are trained Forest Stewards, leading volunteer restoration efforts around the city.

Garden Cycles' 2015 crew of "Forest Stewards"

Garden Cycles' 2017 Planting Crew

What we do

  • Plant native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers
  • Remove/control invasive plants
  • Brushcut blackberry thickets
  • Apply herbicide (invasive tree injections, cut & treat applications, spray invasive monocultures)
  • Inject or spray knotweed
  • Suggest native plants for wildlife, drought tolerance, and erosion control
  • Spread wood chips
  • Sheet mulch and hand weed
  • Transform lawns to native plant habitat
  • Install surface drip irrigation
  • Work on steep slopes; install erosion prevention fabrics, restore native vegetation
  • Work with homeowners, municipalities, and non-profits.

Most of our crew time is working for city and county municipalities battling invasive species by the acre. Work for private homeowners is usually “vegetative management” on steep slopes where our risk assumption and skills are worth it to you, and the job is large enough to be worth doing, because we don’t survive as a business doing repeat mow-blow maintenance. Our sustainable landscapes are an investment in lower maintenance and a healthier environment.


Garden Cycles works only on a Time & Materials & Mileage basis, with a 8-hour, 2-person safety minimum. We charge for site visits with consultation/discussions, and can ballpark a rough verbal estimate. It’s best if you set a budget in which we will get as much done as possible, where you can evaluate our effectiveness day by day. We may delay consultation invoicing until a deposit is required or work is performed to minimize administrative time. Out-of-Seattle work may require commitment to a full crew day (of four) to minimize carbon footprints, so we suggest that you organize adjacent property owners to address common infestations, advisable in any case to minimize re-infestations.

Rates are variable, depending on the acreage of the job (bulk rates for municipalities, large acreage). Currently, we charge $50/labor hour per crew member and mileage at $1/mile, a portion of which goes to carbon offset purchases. We charge $75/hour for Project Management site visits/written estimates (site plan, species list, labor detail), for communications and consultations, or for labor on slopes requiring ropes/rappelling/risk situations, or for rush work.

Thank you for your interest and efforts in native plant restoration.

Steve Richmond
(206) 650-9807;  fax (206) 763-0144





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