Nothing is forever except Change – Buddha
Did everyone have an interesting year? We humans just got a nice big kick in the rump, stopping us in our tracks, making us take a huge pause. Covid forced us to take a good look at ourselves, and it sure made us reflect on the relationships we have with all that is around us. There has been both horror and joy, and we are all in it, all of us, figuring it out. Life slowed down, with no overrun kids being shuffled here, shuffled there, no traffic to be stuck in (one of my favorite parts), taking stock of what is really important in this world. We were all riding the wave of our own circumstances and it’s crazy to think that it has already been a year since this all started!
The Family Business
Maybe you found out who you were actually married to? Scotty, of course, reinforced his awesomeness, and I am, well, Perfect so ya know….:) Maybe you discovered things about your kids you never knew and that, hey, I really like these mini me’s; Or you wanted to sell them. Boy, I really have a lot of respect for our customers with real little ones. Maybe working from home or having to still go into work, shuffling day to day life with young children and having no one to care for them, nowhere to send them! Daycare and Schools closed! Yikes, talk about learning on the job. Some of you have been with us since the days of watching me working on your property carrying infants on my back, while at the same time trying to plant just one plant, please dear child, let me do just one thing without wanting to fling you into the bushes! I really DO believe, though, that this is one of the reasons there is such a strong bond with each of our kids. Getting through a crazy, difficult situation because you have to (they all lived), and doing it together. Our teenageers have turned out to be pretty cool creatures; smelly, but cool:).
No doubt about it, we were definitely grateful to be in a business that did not have to stop working. Working outside in the heat, cold, rain, and mud, getting swarmed by mosquitoes and gnats has its advantages. Since many were sidelined in some form at home, people started to really take stock of what was going on in their yards and decided to spend their time making the outside their sanctuary.
Happy Home, Happy Life
Can our home be our happy place? Covid said yes, yes, it can! If you don’t have some sort of fire area (fire pit or fireplace), well, now is the time! Pre-Covid, Scott and I loved going out to eat every weekend which was obviously sidelined. So our fire pits (yes plural) have been our go to spots. You get them hot enough, and 25 degrees is nothin! They can be as small as a single rock ring, or they can be a part of a glorious outdoor room with maybe a Bluestone patio, fun lighting, and beautiful natural stone details. With all these Kids being home, it’s just another spot that they can go to, and also get some fresh air at the same time.
When Life puts rocks in your way, build something nice with them
Since being inside for long stretches of time makes me feel what I call “Mall sick”, I like to think of our outside spaces as just more rooms to hang out in and enjoy. Why do we treat the front of the house like a cardboard cut out; just for show and not for use? Usable front porches and patios; this what we would like to see get more use. They give us a different perspective of our properties, and it’s another place to hang out if you get bored of the back yard. If you are a people person (I’m trying to smile more and be friendly, but it’s a work in progress), the front yard is a great way to get to know your neighbors (although this could be good or bad?). When we saw our house for the first time we said, wow, what a s***hole, we’ll take it!! The dilapidated front porch was the first thing you saw. It’s what we walked up to, and it is now one of my favorite places to be. Scott rebuilt everything, and I’ve decorated it with lots of stuff that makes me happy. The potential of the entire property was exhilarating and step by step, year by year, we have made our home our happy place. Harvesting the good energy of all your spaces, using all of what is around us, surrounding ourselves with beauty. These woven together will bring on the positive benefits that we all crave in times like these. Bring on the Mojo!
Lest We Forget, Nature Will Set You Free
Something to keep in mind. YOUR YARD IS THE FUTURE. We can all take environmental action into our own hands. Humans have not had a sustainable relationship with the natural world that supports them, but we can change. In Downingtown, where we live, I see the remnants of the amazing woodlands that were once here, and the pieces that were left are now horribly stressed. Development has cut through this area like a hacksaw, disregarding the natural beauty of the area. Instead of creating a balance between progress and sustainability, the powers that be have left the area limping. But all is not lost. By restoring our own yards with LOTS and LOTS of native trees, shrubs and perennials, we can counteract the devastation and improve our relationship with the land we own, no matter how small. WE CAN FIX IT. Let’s connect our gardens together by putting in the diversity that will bring back and sustain what we have lost. It’s a huge task, but it’s exciting to think about. Nature is not just somewhere else, it’s in your own backyard. Let the healing begin!!
If half of American lawns were replaced with native plants, we would create the equivalent of a 20 million acre national park, nine times bigger than Yellowstone, or 100 times bigger than Shenandoah National Park
In conclusion, Remember this small list from for this year and beyond (Disclaimer: My filter gets thinner as I get older)
- Leave the leaves in your beds in fall, and leave as much of the garden as you can standing until spring, there’s lots of life in this stuff (your yard is the future remember:) Turn off your lights at night/use motion sensors-this is HUGE (beneficial nocturnal moth/insect decimator)
- Lawn fertilizers and chemicals pollute. Period. Perfect lawn equals long term destruction of ecosystems. We can’t pollute our veins and arteries and have a healthy heart, correct? (they destroy, well, our creeks/streams/Lakes, and ummm, we need clean water to survive, yes? Yes, I think so, yes) If you need to use it, do so minimally!
- Spray Irrigation systems can be tricky, spraying water all over the place causing disease/rot, hitting some plants too much while others not enough. Note…Most of that water is lost through evaporation anyway. Drip irrigation in beds is fine and only needs to be used when it has been really hot and dry for a long period of time. Our plantings do not require much water after the first year. Hand watering at the base of plants is ideal, and you will receive EXACT instructions from us. Screw the grass, it’s a needy water hog (it goes dormant in droughts and comes back!)
- No Black mulch please. Let’s see, it doesn’t decompose much at all (plants are like, hey what is this crap, there’s no food here!), it may have possible contaminants in it from the wood used, and it leaves black stains on everything; including far down into the soil? Ewwww…(Is that your newly paved driveway, or no wait, shredded tires, with plants growing out of it?)
We’re super excited to start this spring, and we’re looking forward to getting our hands dirty! Spring pots are a great way to bring instant color and hope, so give us a shout if you need some instant happiness:)
Here’s to a bright and healthy future! Let’s plant!
Kirsten and Scott
Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon, and the Truth