David Bowie had it right when he sang about changes in the world, but they don’t need to be the scary ones he was thinking about. In fact, the changes we are seeing at Nature’s Seed are exhilarating and people are moved to improve the world around them. There is a price that comes with the changes, though. One of those changes is that our longtime blogger, Skylar Christensen, will no longer be a regular. No, he will not be gone, and yes, he still has important things to write about. It is just that he doesn’t have the time to write every week. After all, he is responsible for a rapidly growing company that fills a vital niche in the seed world. So, he is turning over the majority of the blogging to me, Alex Grover. Some of you in Utah know of me and of my work, but the majority of our readers do not know me, or my background. I think it is only fair to share some of it with you.
Education & Experience
I graduated in 2002 from Brigham Young University with a BS in Urban and Landscape Horticulture. While I was at BYU, I pioneered the current intern system with the grounds department. I moved through several different positions and responsibilities including sprinkler repair and installation, tree and shrub pruning, turf maintenance, paver and retaining wall installation, greenhouse operations, and materials handling and recycling. By moving around, I gained a broader experience than many of my classmates and gained skills that I have used again and again in all my subsequent work.
Landscaping; a Regionally Dependent Art Form
The day I graduated I moved to Georgia to specialize in annual flower gardens. During my time there I mastered the ability to design flowerbeds and to efficiently plant up to 4,000 flowers a day with my crew. During my Georgia days I also learned how fundamentally different growing a plant could be in different climates. This difference was in more than just planting times and heat and cold tolerance. The pests and diseases were much different as well. I personally learned that landscape design is truly the last of the regionally dependent design arts.
A Focus on Sustainability
Four years later I moved back to Utah and worked primarily with trees and turf until I started my own company, Utah Sustainable Gardening, in 2010. With my own company I could focus on the details that were so often missed by larger companies. I also structured the company so that I could focus on the long term issues of soil and plant health that traditional landscaping so often ignores. Through this blog I hope to share some of those issues with you, and how to solve today’s problems by planning for a long future.
Oh, and one more thing: writing this blog is not the only personal change I am going through. I am also moving from my apartment to a house with a nice bit of gardening space. As I develop the garden (the lot is less than a quarter-acre) I will be experimenting with Nature’s Seed products to maximize my ability to get as many different types plants in the garden as frugally as I can. While I am pretty rabid about sustainability and home food production, I am a big fan of good flowers, so this is going to be a fun project. I hope you join me as often as you can! Manana!