KM Gardens Spring 2019 Newsletter

“Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.”
- Chief Seattle 1854

KM Gardens Landscaping

Hello and Happy new year!

Change. Connection. Positivity. I’ve been thinking alot about these three things lately. As I grow older, I find myself searching for ways to be more aware of everything around me. Life is short, right? I think about how all life on this planet came from the same place, our Earth, which was created from the cosmic dust of the universe. Crazy. Life on this planet is truly a miracle, and the Earth is really what we all have in common. Constant change, the state of being connected, and the art of staying positive in a very harsh world, these are things that bind us together. What does this have to do with landscaping you might ask? Everything.

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It can be scary, it can be hard, it can be refreshing, and it can be amazing to watch transformation in progress. My kids are reaching adult size (but still making the messes of toddlers), and my skin is starting to gravitate downwards. Scary and hard, but inevitable. That new landscaping that was installed? Well, that garden will never stop evolving, changing week to week, month to month, year to year, never staying the same. Every landscape I tend to has a surprise for me each year, and even though that change may be subtle, it is rarely predictable. My job is to direct these changes in the garden on a desirable path, and to make good on the positive changes as they happen. Hey, if there is a plant that comes in from somewhere else in the neighborhood, and makes itself comfortable with its new friends, then why not leave it? Looks good, not invasive, welcome to your new home. For now at least:) It wasn’t planned, but sometimes the best things in life never are. This occupation I have is actually a perfect fit for me because I crave constant change, I cannot sit still, and I love surprises! I’m always looking forward for the next thing to happen, and that’s why planning a landscape design is so important in the long term, where there is always something after the next thing, after the next thing, after the next thing..….All four seasons are important, particularly winter. Evergreens are not the only standouts for winter interest. I like to use plants that have another life after living, plants that have gone dormant underground, but leave their showy seed pods which look fabulous with a dusting of snow, providing food for the birds, and shelter for winter creatures.

Change can be unnerving at times, but going with the flow is a real release. The garden can offer many teachable moments for accepting change if you let it.

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How many of us have a plant that reminds us of our past memories, or plants that we have relocated from a parent/grandparents garden? What is it about trees that brings a calmness inside of us? There are many times I am asked if I can incorporate a plant that has personal significance into the landscape. Using something that is special to you and using it in the landscape only enhances the plantings (just so it’s not invasive! Bad grandma). I may be a native plant freak, but I still have to have my liliac, my peony, and my German Iris, even if they do look like doo doo after they bloom. Trees are like friends, sheltering us and keeping us company. Sometimes I like to go up to a tree, put both my hands on it, and feel that energy, knowing that, wow, this thing is alive! The branches above, the roots below, feeling that force under my fingertips. This is definitely a love connection:) So, if you look out your window one day and see me hugging a tree, well, you’ll know why. Or I’m just friggin hot, and need to get out of the baking hot sun.

Yeah, I am a tree hugger and proud of it!

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This has always been a tough one for me, since I’ve always leaned towards protecting myself, thinking about the worst thing that can happen in any situation. Well, who needs that? Not me. That kind of thinking only brings me down, and accomplishes nothing. We can’t have a positive life with a negative mind, right? It’s definitely a skill and a decision to be so, but since I am the one responsible for my own outcome, I think learning the skills of being positive is one of the most important things I can do, not just for me, but also for putting that positive mojo into your garden. I think that a little bit of nature, a daily dose, is crucial for all of us. Good landscaping is a VERY positive investment for your home, not only monetarily, but in ways that money could never buy. I want your landscaping to promote Good health, Healing, Inspiration, Resilience. Peace and Love baby! Yeah, and don’t take that phone out every minute whilst in the yard. Put it away, look up, look around, and breathe. Maybe our Zombie children can do the same on a daily basis, keeping their heads up for a while, and just not do anything for a bit. Tree hugging is the new craze, I hear.

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Scott and I are committed to weaving these three things together in the landscape, bringing us always closer to our natural world. We only have one planet that’s ours, let’s keep her healthy so she can keep us healthy.

KM Gardens Landscaping

Oh, but just a little negativity injected here. The deer have mutated into big huge monsters that are now eating pretty much everything. Every year there are more plants eaten that used to be on the safe list, but that are now being mauled, so I have been using Liquid fence as part of my maintenance plan. It smells worse than a teenage boy, but it works. For now. Some properties need it more often than others, but almost no one is untouched by these beasts. And the rabbits? Wow. Whatever the deer don’t eat, these little buggers will. I know they’re cute and all, but they’re also delicious in a stew:)

KM Gardens Landscaping

Remember, we love maintaining your property, not only after an installation, but in the long term. That change thing I talked about earlier, well it happens faster than you think, and your landscape can quickly start to lose itself if you’re not sure how to maintain it, so once a month maintenance is a good investment. It is cheaper in the long run, better than reining things in that have lost control. Also, if there are any invasive plants that are still on your property, let’s rip out these heathens and I can suggest replacements. Believe me, 20 years ago I planted my share of evil plants not knowing that they were, or were going to be, considered invasive. Ugh, If I only knew then what I know now! Hindsight would be an awesome super power. That’s why I think it is so important for people in my industry to take responsibility for what they plant, grow and sell. Most homeowners only know what they see in the nursery, or in other landscapes, so it’s up to the professionals in the horticulture industry to say, hey, don’t plant that piece of junk, it’ll ruin whole ecosystems (Burning bush I hate you. Sorry, being negative). 99.9% percent of people will say, oh ok, I didn’t know, will take our advice, and plant something that we suggest in its place.

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Also, since we were all living in a swamp this past year, there may be some plantings that will have rotted, so we can address that as needed. Rain garden anyone?

Remember, word of mouth is the best form of advertising, so if you're pleased with our work tell all your friends. Plus, if there is anything we could be doing better, PLEASE do not hesitate to let us know!

Looking forward as usual to seeing everyone, and here’s to a thriving year with lots of beauty, peace, and laughs.

Kirsten and Scott
Plant Milkweed!

KMGardens Landscaping

An old cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, empathy, and truth.”
The boy thought about it, and asked “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”
The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”
- Unknown Native American

KM Gardens Landscaping

Kirsten MacLaughlin Gardens
590 Rock Raymond Rd. Downingtown, PA 19335
(610) 476-5892
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