History and Education
After ten years of teaching at the Waldorf School of Bend, I returned to Oregon State University to get a Masters of Art in Teaching. Fortunately that degree led me into the classroom, out to the farm at DD Ranch and back to the garden program–back to the roots of my work ethic and connection to the land as a farm girl in Illinois. Enrolling in the volunteer Master Gardening program here reignited my love of gardening and outdoor work, which led to the start of this business in 2013.
My received a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Park Administration at Illinois State University and as an exchange student in Reno, Nevada where I traveled the west, climbed and backpacked in the Tetons, learned to ski and explore the ecology of the desert.
Neither degree really connected me to the land like my years as a counselor in outdoor school for Multnomah County. It was here that I learned stories about nature, made up crazy songs and just had fun teaching and connecting with kids in the great wet outdoors of Portland. There, I had mentors in wildlife, soils, water and forest ecology. This immersion in nature fueled my curiosity and I made a career change from recreation to science and natural history, and later to teaching.
Nature Experiences included:
I worked in eastern Oregon for OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, followed by a move to Ramsey Canyon Preserve, a sanctuary for hummingbirds owned by The Nature Conservancy, and then to Central Florida, where I conducted education programs for The National Audubon Society, and Bok Tower Gardens, which preserved sections of the unique sandhill forests.
At Your Garden Companion, I incorporate all of my education and experience to constantly evaluate our properties, learn from the land and then work with you to manage it. We bring joy to our work and have fun doing it as we share our knowledge and effort with yours. There is nothing more therapeutic than working outside on the land with others who enjoy it as well. When the hawk or owl show up to prey on all your wildlife it is a nod from Mother Nature that we are on the right track.
Education, Training, Experience Credentials & Licensure
- Volunteer Master Gardener for almost 5 years (Since 2012)
- Master Food Preserver coursework and mentoring 2014
- Sustainability Instructor, COCC, Food Harvesting and Preservation, Intro to Sustainability, Animals and Plants,
- Current Rogue Farm Corp Instructor, since 2016, taught Agroecology and Food Harvesting and Handling,
- Gardening experience in the Midwest, Southwest, Southeast and PNW
- Masters of Art in Teaching, OSU, 2011; B.S. Degree Illinois State University, 1981, Exchange program Univ. NV-Reno 30 years teaching experience with 50 credits in science, natural history, geology, botany, physics, biology, biogeography, chemistry, mammology and fisheries
- Landscape Contractor Board 9450 – All Phase: Planting, Irrigation, Backflow, Hardscaping
- City of Bend Business License, Your Garden Companion, L.L.C. #13-00010654
- N.A.I.C.S. Codes: 611710 Educational Consultant and Landscape Services: 561730
Christine Bond, Operations Lead
Christine grew up on a small lake in southwest Michigan. Her love of water sports continues to this day. Her journey to Bend has taken her to South Bend, Indiana, Geneva, Switzerland, Washington DC and the Bay Area of California. She is thrilled to apply her love of the outdoors and extensive administrative experience to the success of Your Garden Companion.
Christine joined YGC in 2017 and completed the Master Gardening Program in 2018. She now thoroughly enjoys wearing overalls to work every day.
How We Work Together with You
It’s not just about “me”, at Your Garden Companion, it is all about “WE”. We value all the interrelationships within the central Oregon ecosystems and want to help guide your decisions toward a more sustainable future. Sustainability is not a buzz word here! Sustainability is a practice, an ongoing process of evaluating and experimenting with what we do know and improving it as more information becomes available.
Through my training and experience, I can help you design a plan that integrates both native plants and/or vegetables into your site, thereby encouraging wildlife to serve as pollinators, pest control agents, predators and workers in the soil, creating a healthy place for life. Gardening this way on a regular basis is not only a beneficial physical activity, it is a journey of cooperation and learning about what plants and gardening strategies will sustain us into the future.
Despite your past experiences with what may seem like challenging growing conditions, by building relationships with each other and the land, we can make gardening a joyful, positive experience year in and year out.
“Yvonne has been helping me for the past 3 years in gradually building up my steep and nutrient deficient property. We have amended the soils, planted and set irrigation. She incorporates high standards of ecological, environmental, sustainable ideas, goals and methods and utilizes local materials and products.
TOGETHER, Yvonne, myself and her awesome team are making my yard a landscape that blends in with our Oregon High Desert beauty! I am so proud of what we have done.”
Gayle Norie, Bend
P.S. If you want to have fun as well, then Yvonne is definitely your full service ‘scaper.