My name is Caitlin Larsen.
Much of my life has been centered around plants. Being raised by a research mycologist, my father started my botany education at a young age. Taking us on research trips to the Oregon coast, Montana and Idaho, I knew the names of wild flowers before I knew how to read. Gardening was second nature to me. I started out small, mowing lawns and doing odd jobs for families where I grew up in rural Wisconsin. When I attended university in Idaho, I worked for several seasons in a small nursery in McCall, Idaho. It was there that I began to gather detailed information about plants. Next, I moved to Seattle where my true passion for gardening began. I was assistant foreman and lead gardener to a large landscape maintenance company. It was here that I began gaining more gardening and landscaping experience working side by side with an experienced botanist and designer. After several years teaching and studying in Asia, I returned to my passion, working for a well established and experienced gardener in Edmonton and then finally, starting my own company.
When I started The Garden of Weedin’, I asked myself, what was it that I wanted to offer to my clients. After 10 years of working to industry standards I had begun to realize with alarm that many of the standard techniques and practices were harmful to me, my clients health, and the larger environmental context. How I came to recognize the physical harm caused by pesticides/herbicides was the development of a rash on my skin caused by contact with these chemicals. My doctor said I should consider a new profession! Instead, I decided that it was time that I made a change in my gardening practices both in my own yard as well as in the yards that I work in. I decided to go chemical free. What does chemical free mean? No pesticides or herbicides, plain and simple. In order to really understand and apply these changes, I enrolled in GAIA College and completed their Organic Horticulture Specialist certification course and am also a certified Master Gardener. I am currently working toward an Ecological Landscape Design certification.
The use of chemicals, pesticides and herbicides on both gardens and lawns is overwhelming in the gardening and landscape maintenance world. These chemicals have a drastic affect not only on plants but animals (including your pets!), and children (they play in gardens and yards!) as well as doing irreparable harm to valuable eco systems. Many people don’t stop and think about the damage that is caused by the use of chemicals, pesticides and herbicides whether it be due to the lack of information or previous ways and traditions. That’s why I started The Garden of Weedin’. My aim is to provide a chemical free, environmentally conscious gardening service for Edmonton and the surrounding areas as well as provide information for people who are interested in shifting to organic gardening practices.
– Caitlin Larsen / The Garden of Weedin’