Embracing Organic Land Care – One Design at a Time Roots…
By Michael McCleese, AOLCP
Twenty-five years ago I took a job on a landscape crew as an out of shape, burned out social worker. It was a particularly hot summer and I’ll never forget what it was like hefting 24” balled and burlapped boxwoods out of a trailer onto a planting bed. I was used to carrying a pager, talking on the telephone, and having long lunches with co-workers. Landscaping was tough. The sun was brutally hot. The work was hard and physically demanding. Sweat and grime soaked my clothes and at the end of the day; I was really, truly hungry. As the weeks passed, leathery calluses began to replace the blisters on my soft palms. I noticed something else that summer while I dug holes and mulched and edged and planted. As the calluses got tougher and my body slimmer, I started seeing colors in the garden, not just green, but 40 kinds of green and 20 kinds of yellow and lavender and blue! I began to notice venation in leaves and that some shrubs and trees had exfoliating bark on their limbs and trunks. Then the big surprise, I started noticing shapes and textures and grade changes in the landscape. Amazing! A garden designer was born!