The land, approx 3 acres, had once been a Coast Live Oak woodland with coastal scrub and maritime chaparral. Much of the natural habitat had been lost by years of agriculture and development. Still present and thriving, however, were a number of the Coast Live Oaks. Several of these have been dated at over one hundred years in age (one at over two hundred!)
And so I began to wonder what did this place look like when these trees were just saplings? And could it ever again?
Concurrent with a 20+ year career in horticulture covering a broad spectrum from landscape design & installation, maintenance in parklands, to varied nursery grower/manager positions and more, my work has never ceased here in an effort to restore, preserve, conserve and enhance the land I have been fortunate to live on and steward.
Since then, hundreds of trees have been planted, (I stopped counting after 300), as well as thousands of other plants as well (many native). And all of this led to a desire to learn about and utilize those plants present for their medicinal and edible values. Much was gleaned from the wisdom of the indigenous peoples who once lived upon these lands. Along the way I also learned about the beneficial interconnections of the plants with each other and the abundant wildlife they support.
Lastly with a desire to celebrate this diversity came the appreciation for those plants that have been used by humans for millennia in ceremony. The culmination of all this was to embrace the practices of organic permaculture growing techniques, utilized in the establishment of a botanical and wildlife “Forest Garden” preserve that I hope will eventually be self sustaining and benefit all who inhabit this place.
The idea for a nursery stemmed from the notion of sharing this bounty with the local population by creating a retail/wholesale outlet to grow and selling potted landscape plants that are also medicinal, edible, beneficial and/or ceremonial.
Many plants were sold wholesale for several years. A retail location was created in 2010. A portion of all the proceeds were donated to organizations that protect the environment and wildlife, (especially cats both big and small, wild and domestic),
With the onset of drought and other uncontrolled difficulties, the nursery shut down in 2015. Efforts were put back into sustaining “mother stock” and continuing the work on the property. Emphasis shifted also to doing consultation work with clients with large or small gardens who wanted to bring these aspects to their own sacred spaces, as well as providing plants to help fulfill those goals.
Over these many years, literally gallons of blood, sweat and tears (mine of which I’m pretty sure is green until it spills), have been poured into this land. I continue to grow plants because it’s what keeps me alive beyond love and cats.
Much of my focus now has changed from a business to that of simple appreciation for the shear wonder, beauty and abundance of nature and all that it provides us in our short lives.
I hope to share with the world through my photos and writing, what meager knowledge, wisdom through experience, and skills I have gained and learned (and I am still learning) about the multitude of nature’s bounty that can bring us all closer to the understanding of our inherent inclusiveness in the order and chaos of all things.
I hope you will take the opportunity to join me on this journey.
The journey of a simple gardener.
Green Tiger Garden is temporarily closed while we make changes to the gardens, nursery, and website.
Our continued intention is to grow edible, medicinal, and beneficial plants to encourage and support balance, harmony and self-sufficiency.
During this transition, we will continue the Blog and Facebook postings as well as offer occasional classes and workshops. Horticulture consultation services in the development of forest gardens, apothecary gardens and edible landscapes are also still available.