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I’m Melissa Keyser, one-woman show behind Sweet Bee Garden. When I grew up, I wanted to be a mermaid. Obviously, that didn’t pan out. Instead, I’m a naturalist turned landscape designer, urban homesteader, and freelance writer.

I champion DIY skills, encourage simple and sustainable living, and provide landscape designs and consultations for Sacramento residents

More and more of us are starting to understand the importance of reducing our environmental impact and want to increase self-sufficiency and create resilient communities. We hunger for authentic connections with the land, with nature, and for meaningful experiences.

If you’re one of these people, you’re in the right place!

melissa keyser, sacramento garden design
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Imagine having a backyard garden that sings with the sound of with bees and birds. Cooking up freshly picked home-grown veggies for a meal shared with friends. The joy of opening a jar of summer during cold winter days in the form of a home-preserved jar of jam. Sharing the simple pleasures with your children of collecting warm eggs from backyard hens. Experiencing the pride that your garden is resilient to drought from your collected rainwater. 

I can help you achieve this! Here's how:

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More About Melissa

I grew up on the central coast of California, in the mountains of Santa Cruz. I created a love for the natural world at an early age. My family lived without electricity, and I surrounded by redwoods and only minutes from the beach. My mom is an avid horticulturist, my dad an arborist. Despite my upbringing, it wasn’t until after college and having my own home did I discover my passion for gardening and self-sufficiency.

Growing my own food, cooking from scratch, and undertaking projects myself gave me confidence and I felt like I was actively in charge of my own life. As I became more in tune with the seasons, I strived to also be a good steward of the land- growing organically and gardening not just for me but also for birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife. This lead me to study landscape design and becoming an ecological garden designer.

I share my home with my husband, Matt and our three rescued animals: mutt Stella, tri-pawed cat Gaia, and perpetually annoying black cat Bacon. After a decade of living in Sonoma County, we recently relocated to the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento. I am in the process of designing my own urban farm and wildlife garden and turning my 1900 Victorian house into a home. If I’m not working in my own space or helping a client, you’ll find me hiking, reading or cuddling on the couch with one of the cats (but not at the same time, they hate each other). I love cocktails with clear liquor, cheese, and the color purple.

I hold a degree in Environmental Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz and studied horticulture and landscape design at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Have a question, or just want to say hello? Contact me here.