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.
Purple Cherokee Tomatoes
Brent Knoll, of Knoll Landscape Design, understands the superiority of heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are seeds that have been passed through the generations for hundreds of years. They have been lovingly tended and carefully preserved by the sons and daughters of the planters that came before and so they carry with them a legacy of respect and devotion. They bring us back to a time and a state of mind that placed natural virtue well above material vanity. It is a kind of culture when mothers and fathers pass down the essence of their joyful labors, and sons and daughters inherit natural abundance and sustainable prosperity. The saving and passing on of seeds is the last vestige of our natural heritage and a clear reflection of our working connection to nature.
Heirloom vegetables will always stand out and bring a special atmosphere to any garden. They have personalities of their own; bright colors, stunning patterns, rich flavors, stimulating textures, and a strong hearty constitution. The lineage of heirloom plants preserves the knowledge gained from their collective experiences. Plants have an exceptional capacity for adapting to the conditions of their environment. They can alter their processes and structure to become less vulnerable to particular pests, fungi, and chronic soil conditions that are becoming more common as the planet itself begins to change. These learned adjustments begin to develop over the generations as the plants begin to code these developmental changes into their new seeds. When the lines of these plants are preserved, their wisdom is passed down and continues to grow greater in each new seed.
Seeds that are sold by large companies are often hybrid seeds. This means that to create these seeds two varieties of plant from the same species were intentionally crossed to produce the best traits of both parent plants; e.g. preserving the large size of the father and the prolific yield of the mother. This method of production is used to breed plants that will embody exceptional traits, yet unlike the open pollination heirloom plants who develop these traits organically over generations, hybrid plants have these traits embedded immediately through human manipulation. Of course any man made manipulation of a natural process is most often a short sighted solution that will become a great detriment in the big picture. When the hybrid method is used to create plant seeds, the plant may grow well and yield prolifically but the genetic structure is too unstable to produce viable seeds. In other words seeds from hybrid plants cannot be saved for future sowing or passed down to the next generation.
Brent’s favorite heirloom cucumber, The “Japanese Long”
There should be a clear distinction made at this point between hybrid plants and genetically modified plants (GMO). Hybrid seeds are not the same as GMO. While they share essential traits and common disadvantages through their manipulation of nature, the GMO process uses a more intense approach that results in a much more dangerous ecological outcome. Hybrid seeds are created by intentionally breeding particular plants to create a desired plant trait in offspring. Genetic modification of plants is the direct manipulation of the genes themselves. Often times genes are used that do not even come from plants but rather fish genes or even genes of harmful bacteria.
Genetic modification is a highly dangerous and incredibly irresponsible endeavor that only exists out of a fluctuating combination of public ignorance, blind greed, and misguided desire to save humanity. The biggest problem with this industrial process is that there is no way to opt out of it. Seeds by design are made to spread across great distance and cannot be contained. Pollen drifts through the open air on and seeds float across the fields on the breeze. If someone is using GMO plants in their garden or farm, they are putting at risk an area larger than most would imagine.
While the difference in intensity is quite clear, in the context of seed saving, GMO and hybrid seeds arrive at the same essential downfall. When the seeds we sow cannot produce seeds of their own they become, quite literally, unsustainable. While this becomes quite conducive to the consumerist system of our culture by veiling the free providence of nature and making us dependent upon a marketplace or manufacturer, it allows us to fall out of alignment with the natural order to where we cannot harmonize with our inherent natural legacy. If we cannot preserve the natural history that is at the very root of our sustenance as ecological co-creators then we gradually erase our place and purpose in this world of being.
Brent understands these issues very well and furthermore he understands them on a very practical level. While others are ranting and raving about the politics of it all and engaging in laborious self perpetuating struggles of the mind Brent brings the simple practical solutions to the grassroots of us all. We all have the opportunity to practice our views about this issue in a joyful productive way. When we grow our food sustainably and responsibly in our own back yards then our voice grows and fruits in the sight of our universal neighbors. What we do and how we live becomes the loudest clearest and most influential argument for natural harmony and the case for sustainable natural freedom.
Heirloom plants provide superior flavor, texture, and heartiness than any other method of seed creation. They perpetuate the freedom of nature and alleviate great financial strain by continually providing the seeds of their own reproduction again and again. They afford us the ability to offer an inheritance to our children that will nourish and serve not only them but their children and their children’s children.
Heirloom melons illustrate the inherent superiority in flavor of heirloom plants
When Brent plants fruit and veggie gardens for his clients across Miami, he uses the methods that best suit us all. Brent works with heirloom seeds that his predecessors have been using for generations. He sows and waters those seeds with joyful memories of his youth and the love of those who planted before him. He preserves and cherishes the seeds to be replanted again and again in the gardens of the children who are enjoying the sweet fruits of those seeds today.
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!
The Wisdom of Native Plants, South Florida and Miami
In the great scheme of nature, all living species spend many generations co-evolving with their surrounding eco-systems to become perfectly suited for their role in their environment. They not only develop the defenses and resources needed to survive, but they also develop particular traits that contribute something unique to the life around them. As an ecosystem forms and evolves, all the interwoven qualities and contributions of every organism become essential to the survival and growth of all other organisms within that shared ecosystem.
Where plants are concerned, all the plants in a particular ecosystem share common ground, quite literally. The condition and constituency of the communal soil is determined by the life processes of all the plants who share that space. In this respect, it is easy to see how the effects that one plant has on the soil, directly affects every other plant.
Most of the time when we are planting ornamental or edible plants in our garden, we choose the plant according to our aesthetic or culinary preferences. Our planting choices are rarely based upon the geographical and cultural heritage of the plant species. However, Brent Knoll of Knoll Landscape Design in Miami, wants to tell you that it certainly should be.
An ecosystem can only thrive when the resident organisms are strong healthy and mutually compatible with the environmental conditions. When a plant is a native to a particular environment it has been conditioned from its inception to fit perfectly into the system in which it was brought up. Native plants have strong relationships with not only other plants but also with local insects, bacteria, and fungi. Through the long process of evolution the plants that have become a permanent resident in their ecological community have developed the means to peacefully and beneficially coexist with their neighbors.
When a plant is taken out of their native setting they become disoriented to their surroundings. They do not fully understand the customs or even the “language” of their new environment. When plants and other organisms evolve together they use biological communication to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. They ingeniously establish a means to feed each other while preserving their own life and vitality. They also develop a multi dimensional means of communication, and through a language of taste, color, aroma, and so forth, they will relate the details of this symbiotic dance to their neighbors. When a new plant enters this system without that vital means of communication it is vulnerable and its chances of survival are greatly reduced.
In a properly functioning ecosystem, the insects, bacteria, and fungi that feed on plant matter have created an agreement with their source of nourishment that will allow both parties to thrive. For example, when an insect feeds on the tissue of a plant, it would not be in that insects best interest if their feeding process interfered with the life processes and reproductive cycle of that plant. If that plant was not able to thrive and replicate, then that insect would lose a vitally important source of nourishment and/or shelter. For this reason, the insect has learned how much of the plants tissue can be consumed before affecting the vital processes of the plant. The plant communicates with those insects through its carefully designed and multi faceted language to let them know when enough is enough and, for their own sake, the insects respect the signals.
When a foreign plant is introduces to a new environment it lacks the understanding of the new ecological dynamics. It doesn’t know how to explain its boundaries and needs to the surrounding life and will in most cases be consumed by the surrounding environment. We see this all the time in our gardening practices. Why is it that we must habitually disperse pesticides and fungicides on our domestic plants for the sake of their survival, when in nature these plants thrive on their own amongst the presence of countless more potential “threats” than in our backyards?
By introducing foreign plants to the ecological domain that we inhabit, we are interfering with the harmonious evolution that has been taking place their long before we came on the scene. When our garden is subjected to pests and dis-ease we may view the situation as interference from nature, however the more accurate conclusion is that our botanical choices are creating resistance to a force that has long been in place and functioning perfectly. When we learn to adapt ourselves to these ecological conditions and relationships our lives and gardening chores become much simpler.
When we choose native plants for our gardens and landscapes then we are bringing strength and solidarity into our backyard environments. As we begin to choose more and more native plants our soil quality will improve and we will begin to host a balanced system of beneficial organisms to help pollinate and protect our plant life.
It is not necessarily a requirement to include only native plants in our gardens especially when our aim is to grow our own food all year. However, by always consciously choosing the native option when possible we can exponentially improve the quality and compatibility of our gardens. Brent loves to plant native butterfly plants in his South Florida organic gardens, edible landscapes and ornamental landscape designs. Corky stem passion vines, firespike, milkweed, and lantana are just a few of the gorgeous native flowers that become an attractant and/or larval plant for the many beautiful native butterfly species here in the Miami area.
Even where edible plants are concerned there are native options that will always contain that inherent wisdom which will bring them vitality and you, abundance. The everglades cherry tomato plant is native tomato of South Florida. The Everglades tomato has adapted to the hot summer sun and will produce fruit even in our sweltering summers when no other tomato can take the heat.
Native plants are wise beyond any of our botanical or horticultural sciences. They possess a wisdom that, if we learn to listen, can teach us a great deal not just about plants, but about all the mysteries of life. When we use native plants we are going beyond the preservation of our soil and into the preservation of natural heritage. Planting natives is just one more way to simplify our lives and find more sustainability by stepping into the flow of nature.
Would you like to establish a natural habitat in your back yard? Knoll Landscape Design specializes in Certified Wildlife Habitats. Give Landscape Designer Brent Knoll a call today 3054965155 for a consultation or landscape design.
Composting in South Florida
Often times you may be driving around South Florida, and you will see landscape trucks filled to the brim with dead palm fronds, tree clippings, pulled weeds, and many other products of a day’s work in the yard. You may also see these piles sitting out by the curb waiting to be collected by waste management.
We see it all the time and it has become very normal for us. After all, what else are you going to do with all of that “waste”? When you have your yard mowed, your hedges clipped, weeds pulled, trees trimmed, and leaves raked you have to do something with all of that “stuff” don’t you? You can’t just leave it there, can you?
Natures composting process
Well lets think about what would happen out in nature. If we sent teams of landscapers into a pristine forest and collected all the fallen leaves, dead branches, decomposing fruits, and all other fallen “waste”, and we brought it out of the forest to the dump, then that forest would surely perish. It may look prettier and “neater” to our conditioned eyes for a time, yet that forest would starve to death before very long.
We know that , along with plenty of sunshine, plants feed on nutrients in the soil. They gather the nutrients with their roots and use them to create new growth. However, we need to ask ourselves how do those nutrients get into the soil. How does the soil replenish itself? The answer to that question lies in heaping piles at the Dade county dump. The decaying matter that falls from the plants at the end of a life cycle decomposes on the ground and the nutrients from that decomposition replenish the soil; making it very fertile.
Composting as fertilizer
Of course when we have a detached experience of the process of nature we might be conditioned to think that plant food comes in bags and bottles from the Gardening store. We assume that manufactured fertilizers are essential to a healthy landscape and that rich potting soil is something that must be purchased at the Ag shop. The truth is that when we understand, appreciate and facilitate the natural process of plants, we see that the plants have all the necessary resources to take care of themselves.
Manufactured plant foods and fertilizers are really just a poor quality replacement for the high quality, nutrient rich plant food that is literally falling into our yards everyday. When we gather and remove the clippings and deadfall from our backyards we are not only taking away the most nutritious and compatible food source from our plants, but as we throw these resources away we are also throwing away all the money we spend on fertilizers, plant foods, soil, etc.
Brent smelling fresh composted soil
Composting is clean
The good news is that we CAN have the best of both worlds if we learn to work with nature’s process. We can have a neat clean and tidy yard while still being able to utilize the free food that our plants provide for themselves. We do this when we create a composting system in our own yards. Simply by finding an inconspicuous area behind some hedges or in a hidden corner to pile our debris, we create an inexhaustible source of food for our many plants. When we gather and mix our yard clippings, chipped branches, dead leaves, and food scraps, we watch our soil and plant food being created before our eyes.
At Knoll Landscape Design, Brent Knoll encourages his clients to avoid taking anything organic off of their property. Brent knows the value of that organic matter and how much it means to his plant friends in his organic landscapes and gardens. He also realizes that one of the greatest advantages to the copious heat and sunshine of the South Florida climate is how rapidly organic yard waste can decompose to become fertile soil. This advantage makes the compost turnover rate surprisingly fast, and leaves little excuse not to have a compost area in every yard. Brent will actually find a suitable space for a compost area in his clients yards and can even create functional and aesthetically pleasing compost bins when desired. This is his way of being sure that no nutritious future plant food is tragically towed away to the dump.
Organic vegetables grown from compost
Composting is the way of the future
Although it should be known that, thanks to Brent, even when others unknowingly dispose of this nutritious organic plant food it doesn’t necessarily go to waste. A wise man knows that what many perceive as trash, others see as treasure. When Brent builds his magnificent garden spaces he is actually using your waste! Brent collects the organic matter that has been sent away by other homeowners and uses it to build massive stores of “homemade” organic soil. Using his own special composting process, Brent takes truckloads of chipped trees, yard waste, and manure and turns it into some of the most fertile soil in South Florida.
So now that you know how it works, “Keep it in your own yard”. Create a space for a compost pile and collect all that beautiful nutritious debris. This is a cornerstone of sustainability. Why throw away the resources nature provides only to use industrial means of manufacturing unnatural and inherently poor quality substitutes that cost you money? Embrace your ecological relationships and utilize the perpetual providence of nature. This natural partnership is essential to our philosophy at Knoll Landscape Design, and facilitating that process for our client’s is our mission.
Raised Bed Garden
Need help with your Organic Garden?
Need help getting started wtih your organic garden? Knoll Landscape Design is there for you. Call Brent Knoll at 3054965155 to schedule an in person consultation and get your organic garden going in the right direction. Brent has been designing organic gardens in Miami for over 20 years and is ready to help you. Call today!
Landscape Designer Brent Knoll