Gardens is the work of Alan Clifford Kettler, who began digging
in sandboxes at the age of 5. At the age of six, he advanced to the
next level of digging by vegetable gardening in Annapolis, Maryland
in rock hard clay, with no mulch, no water, and lots of pesticides.
Friendly box turtles invaded his tomato patch to munch on juicy ripe
teen he refined his craft when he started composting leaves and grass
clippings from his family's suburban homestead. He used the finished
compost as a soil conditioner on the lawn.
he furthered his knowledge of plants by studying agricultural ecology,
ethnobotany, economic botany, soil science, and the environment as
later he began to work for clients who needed to transform their lifeless
landscapes into places of vitality and beauty. His ongoing landscaping
practice led to learning about birds, insects, water quality, and
their connectedness to plants. Also, he began to see that his gardens
made people excited and happy because of their color and complexity.
operates the only two public gardens between Pittsburgh Pa and Hershey
Pa, and they are the only public gardens in the mountains of Pennsylvania.
They are 100% organic, bird-friendly, and include many lovely native,
hardy plants, including ferns, perennial flowers, and ornamental grasses.
owns one nature reserve in the Laurel Highlands near the Youghiogheny
River, which has given him the knowledge, experience and confidence
to landscape large rural or estate properties. He has developed and
landscaped his 60 acres for over 30 years, and worked for decades
to improve and maintain his land, including the development and maintenance
of elaborate trail systems.
on the left, Mr. Kettler sits atop a firewood shed he built in New
England from recycled wood. The shed has a green roof planted with
ferns, pansies, flowering bulbs, creeping phlox, and wood poppies.