About

The History of HeatherGarden Tea & Hat Party 6-9-13 042

Hello and welcome! My name is Heather and I am so glad that you have joined me on this journey through the garden and through life.

I realize that I have had a passion for nature my whole life. I have been nurturing plants and animals in every home I have lived in. It began as a child when I lived on a small 5 acre farm in Ohio. We had horses, a cow, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, cats & dogs. We Heather with animals as child_0002even raised turkeys one year, but that’s another story. My mom would plant flowers around the house and we had a small vegetable garden. We knew what it was to eat what we grew.

Heather with animals as child_0001

As I grew up, I lived in many types of homes; dorms, apartments, town homes and single family homes, many with minimal green space. Even if all I had was a small balcony, I filled it with decorative potted plants, hanging baskets, a bird feeder and even a bird bath all chosen for the scale, light and particular environment of that space. Our most recent home in the suburbs of Maryland had enough lawn that it became a blank canvas for my unrealized garden dreams, thus the inspiration for this site.

Heather with animals as child_0004

Gardening is such a part of me, it is like breathing itself. I almost didn’t realize that while I have been home raising our children, I have also been logging many moments, hours, days and years creating a sacred and nurturing outdoor space. A place where our family and friends come together to enjoy.

I have found that the act of nurturing plants and observing nature brings me peace and happiness especially after a long hard day or in times of trial. And, it can be done on any budget in any space.

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At first, I was driven to create curb-appeal for our new (to us) home that had been neglected by the previous owners. It seemed easy for me to pull from my Graphic Design and Fine Arts background and create a landscape plan that would accomplish my mission: to create a warm and inviting landscape that would beckon friends and neighbors to come in and stay for a visit.

IMG_0385 - Copy (750x1000)Next, I focused on the kids. I wanted them to have a safe outdoor space to play and explore, like I did as a child. I began by creating a butterfly and hummingbird garden while also making room for the swing set. The garden vision quickly grew into a whole yard adventure which would unfold in front of each guest as they entered, unveiling little moments of splendor at every turn. Our frequent guests and residents are butterflies, many species of birds, lady bugs, praying mantis, hummingbirds, squirrels, chipmunks, frogs, fish and bats. Some of our visiting wildlife includes turtles, bunnies, deer, snakes and raccoons. Ultimately, I was able to qualify our property as a Certified Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation.

Up until this point I have simply been relying on my passion for gardening and my design background to develop our little garden sanctuary. I have mostly been successful but if a garden idea did not work out, I simply chalked it up to “Trowel and Error. I have enjoyed learning from my mistakes. But recently, I have decided to take a more educational approach. I have now completed both the Maryland Master Gardener and the Maryland Master Naturalist Programs. Now, I have pages of notes filled with inspiration that I would like to experiment with & explore in the garden and our local nature parks. Luckily for me, my whole family is on board.  IMG_1581

Everyday is a new and exciting experience in our wonderful little habitat. The longer you stay and the quieter you sit, the more entertainment is provided. The kids love going outside to see what new adventure awaits.
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Isn’t this the way life unfolds as well? The longer you stay, the more quietly you observe, the more is unveiled to you and the better you understand.”

Join me as I chronicle my journey through life in the garden.

 

11 thoughts on “About

  1. Heather, it is wonderful to see your passion come to life! My wish for you is many years of joy and happiness, and much success in your new endeavors! Your web site looks wonderful, keep adding photos of your works of art so we can all enjoy.

    Len Hart

  2. Your website is a-m-a-z-i-n-g Heather! Good for you for moving forward and realizing your dream. The Universe will support you (and me too)! I’m sure we will be working together in the near future. Wishing you all the best.

    Much Love,
    Hilary

    • Hilary,

      Thank you for your kind words. When I was brainstorming about this site, I felt that this would be a perfect place for you to host one of your classes. Let’s put something together. I have some other people coming to the garden to show their talents. One is a high tea with custom made hats. Stay tuned…

  3. I think this website was very informational and I loved how you talked about when you were young and surronded by nature. I loved how your family is putting the effort in helping you in the garden. Keep doing what you love!!! You are a very nice gardener and long may you rein!! I love you!!

  4. Great site and beautiful gardens 🙂

    I have been doing raised bed gardening for 15 years, at one point having 300 feet of beds. Recommendations:
    -Buy and study this: The Vegetable Gardeners Bible by Edward Smith. I have used it for years and there is not one bad piece of advice in it.
    -There is no such thing as too much compost
    -Don’t Step on the beds! ever!

  5. I received Colesville Life and your article was in there. “Colesville Suitable” would have to mention extreme fencing for deer. There is no garden otherwise! I’d love to have one blade of anything around here! Thanks, Madeline Wetzlar

    • Yes, Madeline, we do live in an area with high deer pressure due to the imbalance between urban “progress” and lack of natural habitat for deer and other creatures. Fencing is a must here to beat the browsing. Good point!

  6. I really enjoy your garden website. Like you, I love gardening. I can spend all day out in my back yard working, planting, and weeding. However, I do not know much about gardening and Mother Nature/Earth, but it is very therapeutics for me when I am out side planting and watching my flowers grove.
    Please continue public/posting your advices and photos so I can follow.

    Thank you very much for your website.

    Mary Barone

    • Thank you Mary, for your great feedback. I love to know how this work touches the reader.

      Happy Gardening!

  7. Heather:

    What a WONDERFUL name for someone who is interested in gardening and nature! And what a great website!

    I share your passion for nature and animals. – however, we are moving. To a condo in Reston. Currently, I have a koi pond in my back yard – it meanders downhill via a small stream and a couple of small waterfalls to another pond downhill. The yard is filled with flowering bushes and shrubs that bloom all season, and we have bluebirds that I feed regularly.

    We are moving to the condo primarily due to age-related issues – but I will MISS the out-of-doors! We plan to put a water feature on the patio of our condo – to help the transition – but if you have any other suggestions to “bring the out-of-doors with us”, I’ d appreciate hearing your suggestions.

    Neal Grunstra

    • Dear Neal,

      Thank you so much for your comment. Your garden, koi pond & waterfalls sound magical. The new owners are so fortunate to inherit it’s beauty, which is the result of your years of hard, loving work.

      I can relate to your desire to bring the “outside in” with you to your new Condo. When I lived in a condo in the past, I, too, added potted plants, a bird feeder and a bird bath. The water feature you mentioned adding sounds like a great first step. And, will trigger loving memories of your backyard pond. Here are a couple of ideas that might inspire you, as requested:

      1. Add potted plants of varying heights, texture and shape. Create levels of interest with the help of plant stands and/or stacking such things as crates, upside down empty pots topped with planted pots of the same size (add a dowel rod inside to help with stability) or other weather-proof items. Repurposing old garden items can really get the creative juices flowing. The sky is the limit.

      2. Choose plants for the environment you have. Is your balcony sunny? Or, shady? Choose and place plants in the area of your balcony where they will get the sun they need and/or be shaded during the hottest time of the day.

      3. Unlike your home garden (in the ground), potted plants rely solely on you for water and nutrients. Especially if your balcony is under the cover of another one above it/blocking rain water. Keep a watering can near the sink or choose a decorative one to leave on the balcony to remind you to check moisture levels often.

      4. Remember to repot your plants once per year and/or as needed based on the plant’s needs.

      5. Even balconies can qualify as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. All you need is a source of water, food, shelter (bird house or dense plant) and a nesting spot. Have fun and consider adding the items you need to gain a formal registration. It is enjoyable to you, is an eco-service & a conversation piece for your new friends and neighbors.

      6. If/When choosing a bird feeder, consider a finch feeder, an upside down finch feeder just for Goldfinches or feeders that will hold mess-free, already shucked seeds to minimize mess for you and your neighbors below you.

      7. The number ONE rule is that when you look at your balcony, add items that keep you actively engaged, remind you of your love of gardens and nature, and provide you peace.

      Best of luck to you and your wife in your new place. Feel free to send us pictures on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheSoulfulGardener/

      Happy Condo Gardening! <3

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