How Do You Connect With Nature
How do you connect with nature? For many of us, our lives are lived inside buildings for the most part, punctuated with short walks to and from our cars, and the time we spend driving between home and work. Often, unless we occupy an executive office, we work under artificial lighting with no view of the world outside. For some, work is at least partially outdoors, but perhaps it involves delivery or service, mostly driving from location to location to drop off office supplies, groceries, or medical equipment. Ironically, some of us are paid to travel from location to location to spray lawns with weed killer, to create monocultures of beautiful, uniform fescue or bluegrass. Our long haul truck drivers see a lot of the outdoors, but have little time to actually set foot on unpaved ground. Even our farmers spend long hours in giant tractors, usually enclosed in climate-controlled cabs, following the crop row and carefully scouting the land ahead.
The reality is few of us spend much time outside in a natural environment. Most of us have to create a space on our own property or travel to a park, trail, or public lands to actually experience nature. If you work long hours, if you work a different shift than your favorite fellow wilderness enthusiast, or if you want to experience plants, trees, water and flowers without sharing the space with a crowd of folks you do not know, creating a personal oasis of nature may be the answer for you.
What really qualifies as nature? Do you focus on what you find pretty and soothing, or do you focus on creating habitat for local wildlife or migrating species? Do you want more information on options, trends, underlying science and some of the potential dilemmas of creating such spaces? How do you know if that tree you have but are not fond of is a native species, or if the tree you love the appearance of is hardy here or likely to become invasive?
We are happy to immerse you in information, help you choose a path forward, and design a space that you will love and not feel guilty about. We can create a care plan, and if desired, provide that care. We know that for some, half the fun and satisfaction is in the gardening. For others, stepping into a pleasant oasis needs to be all about relaxation and not about weeding or watering. Whatever your goals, we are here to support your journey to a renewed connection with nature.
On the Green Side
Just like our draperies and upholstery, our interior plantings need a lift from time to time. Have a few large specimens taken over the space? Are there vines that need to be restarted as cuttings and replanted in new, pasteurized soil? Do you see a ring of lime build-up around the saucer or planter rim?
Would the look be more soothing if all the planters were just one or two colors? Do the new pillows on the couch now clash with one or two planter colors? Have you been
trying to add succulents, but struggle with where to place them?
As the days shorten in fall and we spend more time indoors, this is an excellent time to spend a few minutes evaluating what works, and what doesn’t with your indoor plants. Take a photo of your plant groupings, and flip to a page you love in a magazine or an image on Pinterest that appeals. How can you make a few changes to your plant collection that will take your space to a higher level of personal enjoyment?
If you are not sure what plants can be moved to a lower light level, or what can be pruned to rejuvenate or condense older specimens, we can help. If it is time for something unique that you have seen in a photo, but don’t find in a local nursery or shop, we ship directly from the Florida growers on a regular schedule. We can access everything from tiny succulents to large specimen Tropicals.
If you have plants in your office, shop or other business, take an honest look at the age of the design. If it has been more than five years since the plants arrived, it may be time for us to walk and talk together and explore updates. Carol and I are always eager to come visit you and see what can be improved. We are here for you.
She Sheds are the women’s equivalent to the man cave, and are a trend that has taken hold of many women. They provide a space for solitude, peace, and privacy, within a small outbuilding, and create a comfortable retreat in the backyard. If you look on Pinterest or Google “She Shed”, you will find thousands of ideas to create your own and personalize it for your needs. An existing shed can easily be modified, and many kits are available. Local contractors can build on-site or deliver a small building already constructed. Be sure to check your local municipalities for local permit requirements. Even old wood-framed windows can be recycled into a unique retreat.
Typically situated in the garden, your shed should feel like an extension of the landscape. Add a feminine floral print and some live plants to create more depth. Hanging lights around the exterior, and filling window boxes with flowers and vines creates an inviting look. Remember to consider both privacy and utility when adding any structure to the landscape. How will you use your She Shed? Would a quiet retreat in your garden make life more enjoyable?
Last year we were excited to add Tinsel Town, the large pole barn tailored specifically to store holiday décor for our clients. This fall, we are expanding our plant holding yard significantly, allowing us to accommodate hundreds of fall mums, as well as spring and summer flats of annuals. As our landscaping enterprise has grown, and we travel more frequently to west or east Michigan for trees, shrubs, and perennials, we have experienced a space problem.
Though we are not a retail nursery, our design and planting projects often require us to hold plants for a few days or weeks. When several projects are in process at once, the plant material can be significant. As always, we seek landscape projects that we can design and source for our clients, drawing on Michigan growers for maximum hardiness and health. The extra space allows us to add another shade structure as well, enhancing our capacity for holding tropical plants in warm months as well as protecting shade-loving plants waiting to go into client gardens.