People want to have a sanctuary where they can connect with nature in their daily lives and want to create it themselves, but don’t know how.
This site exists to help you solve that problem.
To find out how I got here, read on…
“I can’t believe we are sitting here talking about ornamental grasses!” – those were famous last words uttered by me to my brother and sister and their spouses over a Dinner out at a restaurant in the 1990s.
I never would have expected then, that a decade later I would give up my career in the insurance industry to pursue a career persuading plants to grow in ways they didn’t want to. When I left Member Insurance Agency to begin my career at Anderson Japanese Gardens , I was embarking on a new journey.
The change did not come out of the blue. I had always been fascinated with Bonsai and even got married at the Fabyan Japanese Garden in Geneva, IL. After me and Jenny, my wife, bought our home in 2000, I caught the home improvement fever. I eventually re-landscaped my backyard over the next four years. I thoroughly enjoyed this process. Looking back I think it had reconnected me to many positive experiences in my youth, especially with my late uncle Vin (great guy, orchardist and the all-around tree fanatic).
But what really gave me the fever was when I first visited Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford. Here I found a place that made me feel like when I was wandering the north woods in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I was hooked.
During my travels in the insurance industry, I had the opportunity to visit every public garden and natural area I could find. During this time I started taking Horticulture classes at night and earned my degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design. Even though I had enjoyed my insurance career, the extensive travel requirements for me as a father of two baby girls, dictated I needed a change. I had decided that this was the career for me.
Well long story short, I started working at Anderson gardens as a Horticulturist in 2006. I have been learning and practicing this art and science since. It has also ignited a love of learning about plants, design, ecology and nature.
In 2015, I left public horticulture to join the Landscaping industry and am currently a landscape designer with a northwest suburban Chicago Nursery and Landscaper. While my 2nd career began at a public garden meant to invoke the feeling of being in nature, my focus now is on sustainable and ecological landscaping that works with nature.
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Thanks for visiting my site.
I hope you have a chance to check out some of my favorite blog posts. I would suggest starting with my Three Part Design Series for an Ecological Garden Design, which goes through tree, shrub and finally perennial plant selection and design:
Here are some of my other favorites:
Ecological Landscape Design with a Prairie and a Pond (Part 1, Part 2)
Would you want a 70 foot statue in your yard?
It’s time to rethink the idea of having one big shade tree,
Naturalistic Front Yard landscape design,
Crabapple pruning in 4 easy steps (part 1, part 2, part 3),
Three aesthetic pruning cuts,
Pruning to reduce regrowth,
Japanese garden fall color lessons you can use,
What do you really want?
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