About Us

Kettler 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 tomatoes.

As a 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.

In college, he furthered his knowledge of plants by studying agricultural ecology, ethnobotany, economic botany, soil science, and the environment as a whole.

Years 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.

Mr. Kettler 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.

Mr. Kettler 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.

Pictured 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.


Copyright 2011 by Alan Clifford Kettler