by Brent Knoll | Jun 7, 2013 | Landscape design
A Healing Garden is a space that is created with the intention to enhance our inborn stability and to reinforce the grounding belief that we are connected with nature. It’s a space with a therapeutic magnetic pulse, a beacon that offers solace and sanctuary for all to enjoy fresh air, sunshine and shade. With exotic flowering trees, fruits, veggies, herbs and sacred plants, and with architectural accents like fountains, benches, bridges and bird baths, a Healing Garden becomes a space to connect with friends and family, a place where you can express your creativity, and can nurture and love. The plants that you choose to share this space with you become your friends, an extended green family. By introducing super foods, herbs and fruits, you can create a sustainable space for nurturing on the physical level, and feel empowered to take your health into your own hands by growing your own food, rekindling the sense of stewardship that is our birthright. By carefully selecting native trees that will thrive in this tropical climate, including flowering plants to attract butterflies, and bushes with berries to attract birds and other friends, your Healing Garden will become a natural extension of your home. It is in our power to create a space where you can gather, connect, explore, share, bond, laugh, nurture and meditate, a place where you can feel grounded and centered.
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by Brent Knoll | May 13, 2013 | B-Edible Landscape, Education
A Healing Garden is more than a landscape, it is a spiritual oasis that can directly affect what we bring into our lives. Our Healing Garden is the anchor to our truth of who we are and what we want to feel. The Healing Garden is the highest guru and has the power to reshape the essence of our human experience.
As much as we enjoy socializing and spending time in community, we really need to value and honor our need for solitude and personal space. When we go out into the world we consciously and unconsciously interact with so many different energies that can alter our mood and affect our thought patterns. Sometimes, among all the various energies, we can become confused and mistake what we are feeling for the energies of others around us. This confusion is more common than we realize and if we don’t allow ourselves to take time in solitude amongst our own sacred space we can lose touch with the personal essence that brings us our peace of mind.
A Healing Garden provides an ideal energetic sanctuary for us to relax and contemplate what really matters in our lives. Within the boundaries of a Healing Garden we can sort through our thoughts and feelings while being supported by the pure nourishing energies of the living plants all around us. Those plants and their natural energies provide an energetic reference with which we can calibrate our own energy field and identify any discordant energies that we may have picked up out in the world. The more time we spend in our healing garden space, the more familiar we become with the pure energies of nature, and the more familiar we become with those pure energies of serenity and life the easier it will be for us to move towards that type of energy wherever we are.
Consider, in this context, the law of attraction. The energetic vibration that you are projecting attracts thoughts, feelings, people, and objects that match or resonate with that vibration. When we are feeling angry, tense, hopeless or depressed our vibration is very low and so we attract unproductive and unharmonious situations. When we are feeling joyful, positive, relaxed, and grateful, our vibration is very high and we attract situations that are beneficial, serendipitous and fruitful. That being said it is wisest to always keep your vibration high, but of course that is much easier said than done.
Healing garden design
No matter how much time we spend in contemplation, practicing relaxation, or in meditation we still do not have control over the vibrations and energies that are brought into our field of experience by those around us. The people that we encounter in our lives have unpredictable moods and vibrations that, despite how much we may care for them, affect the way we feel and therefore what we attract into our lives. Friends, family and strangers alike embody inconsistent and erratic energetic patterns that can make it difficult for us to remain grounded in our experience of peaceful consciousness.
On the other hand, the plants, flowers, butterflies, bees, trees and all beautiful life in our healing garden embodies a steady and reliable vibration of graceful vitality and joyful abundance. The more time we spend in that presence the more we will align our own energetic vibration with it. As we begin to identify more and more with the energy of the healing garden it becomes easier and easier to maintain that vibration out in the world. As this vibration becomes an effortless constant projection we will begin to attract circumstances into our lives that reflect the abundance, prosperity, vitality, and joy of the healing garden energies. You will invariably discover that the new people and opportunities that come into your life are also embodying this very high vibration of prosperous joy and abundance.
Healing garden design
Building a Healing Garden is, in itself, an energetic declaration of personal reformation. When you take the time and effort to build this sanctuary for yourself you are putting the universe on notice that you are ready and able to be filled with lively joy and abundance. You are taking responsibility for your self in a way that is energetically, ecologically, and economically sustainable. You are opening yourself up to a sacred healing partnership with the earth and accepting the grace and providence of nature. When you identify with the high vibration of the Healing Garden you are beginning to realize that, like the earth, you have all the power to heal, and to provide safe energetic space for yourself and others.
Landscape Designer Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design specializes in Healing Garden Design. Call Brent today at 3054965155 to schedule a consultation and experience for yourself the Healing Power of the Garden.
by Brent Knoll | Mar 11, 2013 | B-Butterflies, Education
Making your landscape a butterfly garden
South Florida hosts wide range of exquisite butterfly species. More than a dozen or so types of butterflies can be seen around our area all year. Swallowtails, Zebras, Fritillaries, and Monarchs are just a few of the majestic little garden dwellers that you have the opportunity to encounter in your very own yard. Seeing as there are so many butterflies in our South Florida landscapes, it makes a great deal of sense that there are so many native plants in our area that are butterfly attractors.
Two monarchs getting to know one another
Butterflies have a very intimate relationship with plants; they feed on the nectar of flowers and lay their eggs on leaves and stems. Native plants have become markedly dependable for their nourishment and shelter, and so by incorporating more native butterfly plants in our landscape and gardens we will become an honored host. Plant these host plants and you’ll have a thriving butterfly garden in no time.
One of the best plant choices to bring butterflies into your life is Milkweed. Butterflies absolutely love milkweed nectar and you will love how their striking orange, pink, and red flowers liven up your landscape or garden. Milkweed is also relatively inexpensive and, living up to its name, grows very quickly in virtually any soil condition. As a South Florida native, milkweed, in addition to its butterfly attraction, will do wonderful things for your soil and surrounding ecology. Milkweed is an important element in any butterfly garden.
Queen butterflies having lunch
When you attract butterflies to your garden with food they will come and go, but when you give them a place to lay their eggs, well they’ll be there all the time! There are many plants in South Florida that are larval plants, however few compare to the Corky Stem Passion Vine. The corky stem is a larval plant to Zebras, several types of Fritillaries, and the Julia butterflies. The corky stem passion vine is also reasonably priced and grows very rapidly. This is an ideal vine for privacy fences. The flowers are not especially striking however the massive clouds of gorgeous twirling butterflies more than make up for that.
Corky stem passion vine
A very important consideration for butterfly attraction is to be mindful of any chemicals you might be using in your garden. Butterflies are very fragile creatures. Commercial fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides are lethal to butterflies and their larva. Brent uses safe organic means of pest control but even some of his organic methods must be undertaken with great care to preserve the winged beauty of his garden spaces. Brent uses an organic pest control product that is essentially an organic bacteria. This bacteria has no effect on the plant but it is toxic to caterpillars and other bugs that feed on our fruit and vegetable plants. When Brent is spraying this on his tomatoes, peppers, squash, and other edible plants he must very carefully avoid getting any of it on his butterfly plants. Brent remains vigilant in his application of these agents and, as a true lover of butterflies, takes the greates care in keeping them safe and comfortable in his gardens.
There are so many bright, vibrant, and beautiful butterfly plants that can be utilized in our area all year long, and Brent knows them all. In Brent’s garden, when you are experiencing the breathtaking display of endless swarms of butterflies as far as you can see, it is difficult to imagine at that moment that there could be any butterflies anywhere else. When Brent unleashes his famous, “Butterflies Gone Wild” it surely seems as though every butterfly in South Florida is in eager attendance.
Butterflies transcend all ages
Landscape Designer Brent Knoll knows butterflies and Brent knows butterfly plants. Whatever the taste and whatever the budget, Brent can turn your home yard and garden into a favorite destination for butterflies everywhere. Give him a call today at 3054965155 and turn your South Florida landscape into a butterfly haven!
by Brent Knoll | Feb 26, 2013 | B-Sustainability, Education
Miami’s own Brent Knoll, of Knoll Landscape Design, makes sustainability and ecological responsibility his top priority. Fortunately for Brent’s clients, his application of sustainability brings style and flare. We know, of course, that growing our own food is one of the most sustainable and ecologically responsible things we can do. It revitalizes our soil, fortifies our health, saves countless barrels of fossil fuel, and builds a healthy natural relationship for the generations to come. But what about the other aspects of our lifestyle? What about the materials we use to build our houses, furniture, floors, etc.?
Did you know that it can take up to 30 trees to build the average single family home? Did you know that at least 7,000 sq. kilometers of rainforest are cleared annually for lumber use? As the population grows and we need to build more homes these numbers are only climbing, and at this rate we are rapidly losing our most pristine and important global forests.
What can be done? As we are collectively coming to admit that, for the sake of our planet, we must find an alternative source of energy to fossil fuel, we must also collectively search for a viable alternative to our conventional construction materials. Just like internal combustion, the industrial standard of pine lumber was a shortsighted and ecologically impractical idea from its inception. While seeming convenient and lucrative in the moment, the rate of growth and the required means of procurement make it a highly destructive and ecologically jeopardizing endeavor with zero chance of sustainability.
As this industrial nightmare closes in on our most vital ecological resources, our hero, bamboo, most certainly comes to the rescue. Bamboo shows us that we haven’t necessarily chosen the wrong trees for the job, but maybe we’ve chosen the wrong plant altogether. Most trees take quite a long time to reach a stage in which they could be harvested for viable lumber. Trees also are a home for so many species of animals; from birds and squirrels, to ants and bees. Bamboo on the other hand is actually a grass; and we all know how rapidly and abundantly grass propagates itself.
Bamboo has a growth rate that exponentially exceeds that of conventional lumber trees. Coniferous trees, such as southern pine or Douglas Fir, are not ready to be harvested for at least 30-35 years. That means that once the logging industry harvests part of a pine forest, that forest will not fully regenerate for at least two decades.
Bamboo on the other hand, is ready to be harvested in as little as four months. This means that if you harvest your lumber from bamboo plants to build your home, the lumber you harvested could regenerate before the construction of your home was even finished!
Now that we’ve seen how bamboo blows away the competition in rate of growth, let’s look at how it stacks up in the strength department. Surely our conventional lumber, that we have been using for so long to build our homes, must be much stronger than bamboo, right? Not even close.
Despite the hollow structure of the bamboo culms, they are extremely durable, and what’s even more important, extremely pliable. When a structure made with standard lumber boards faces heavy strain from wind or shifting earth, the boards can warp, split, and even snap. When bamboo faces the same strain it bends and flexes to keep the structure intact. In fact, there are many regions of the world that are prone to regular earthquakes where bamboo is used as the primary building material. In these regions bamboo is considered virtually earthquake proof.
One of the most troubling issues of our conventional lumber system is the havoc wreaked on our forests by the collateral damage of the logging process. Trucking in the large machines necessary for that job is a loud and dirty process which does not go unnoticed by the surrounding ecosystem. The trees harvested in this process have been housing entire biological systems and many species of living creatures for decades before the saw falls upon their bark. The practical reality of this process is heartbreaking and not something any of us would want to be a part of.
Bamboo can grow anywhere, and is harvested relatively simply. The rapid growth rate almost requires significant harvesting, and because of the quick turnover rate and lean structure, bamboo doesn’t generally shelter wildlife long term.
In Asia, bamboo is widely used in all types of construction from family homes to sky scrapers and large bridges. Even now in our country, this earth saving concept is catching on; but is it catching on quick enough?
From furniture to flooring, bamboo is now being used as a sustainable and efficient alternative. Yet, because the conventional lumber industry has become such a strong institution the masses are reluctant to let go and embrace the change. A mix of corporate greed and general ignorance, this reluctance could be a great detriment to the revitalization of our eco system. Until the awareness and demand for this magical plant steadily rises, the materials will need to be imported and the cost to the consumer will not reflect the ultimate efficiency of such a product.
What can we do? We can realize it from the grass roots. If we want to see this change in our culture and society, then we can be that change ourselves; right from our own backyards. Bamboo can grow almost anywhere, and as luck would have it, in our sunny South Florida climate we can play host to quite a wide range of beautiful and exotic bamboo species.
By using bamboo in your edible organic landscape, you will be able to enjoy the elegant beauty, whimsical sounds, and reliable utility of this magical plant. Whether you are using it as lumber for your household DIY projects, or simply using it to replace the pine timber privacy fence, bamboo will enhance your landscape and ecological outlook in so many ways
Brent prizes his bamboo for their stunning beauty and their reliable sustainability; the two are inseparable as far as he is concerned. He loves his job because he knows that bringing our natural connections onto our back yard means saving the world with style, beauty, and grace. Brent knows that his organic gardens and edible landscape designs provide many levels of enjoyment for South Florida families.
The diverse beauty and abundant nutrition that the right organic edible landscape can provide will open us up to the inspiring realization that our relationship with nature always perpetuates abundance and prosperity. When we cultivate that relationship right in our own backyard we manifest that abundant prosperity in a way that is fully evident in our health, state of mind, and even our wallets. We rest easier as we witness the process of what nature can provide for us freely, and most important of all, we know that the more intimately we engage in this relationship, the more we contribute to the healing and rejuvenation of the planet itself.