Meet Kylie Williams: Horticultural Maintenance Supervisor and Fairy Godmother
It’s early Monday morning before the sun peeks up into the sky. Kylie arrives at the office to check her emails from the weekend. On Friday, she planned out every property that the Lotus Gardenscapes’ crews would be working on and she sent emails to each client. A handful of clients filled out the attached survey and made special requests, so Kylie adds those to the work tickets and bounces out the barn to help her crews load up the trucks for the day.
At 8:00 AM, Kylie and her crew members pull off the lot heading to their first of six stops that she’s scheduled to be within close proximity of each other. On each property, they’re responsible for the horticulturally-correct gardening and maintenance of the trees, shrubs and perennials.
It’s a long, hot day in the sun and by 4:00 PM, the team is exhausted and they still have one more stop. Kylie reassures her teammates it’s the easiest one and should be a breeze. But, when they walked to the backyard they found a bed that had completely overgrown with crabgrass within 2 weeks! In fact, some of the grassy weeds were as big as the shrubs! The humor of it sets in and they all start laughing. “Kylie! We thought this was going to be a cakewalk!” 😂
A challenge like this is something Kylie has seen before. Working in the green industry for 5 years, she knows that weather, especially irrigation, plays a key role in how plants grow and gardens thrive. When Kylie meets with her clients, one of the most common questions they ask is about watering. She takes her time to explain that all living things require water and will walk the property with the homeowner to help them understand more about how much and when to irrigate.
She’s also extremely educated on trimming and pruning. She said, “Occasionally people will think a plant is dying, but it just needs a rejuvenation pruning to remove the dead and unproductive wood.” She encourages homeowners not to be intimidated by hard pruning and recommends winter as the best time because:
- Trees are dormant which will allow healing in the new season and less chance for diseases to spread.
- Many insects are not active in the winter to feast on the new wounds from pruning.
- Without leaves, it is easier to observe the structure & potential hazards.
- Frozen ground means there is less impact on surrounding landscape, so it’s a great time to trim those hard to reach trees!
An expert, like our partner Greenstreet Tree Care, can help direct you on what’s best for your trees and shrubs. Remember, some trees like Oaks and Elms should ONLY be pruned in the winter so click here to submit your last minute requests!
Kylie’s favorite season is spring. Recently she purchased a house that has a great backyard and has been busy transitioning it into her own diverse garden. Her dog, Bama, a retired greyhound from Alabama, also woofed that she’s ready for the warm weather so she can race around the yard.
But when it’s winter and things are dreary she still keeps busy. You can catch her at The SCRAP Box in Ann Arbor collecting used materials to make fun garden creations with. A few years ago, her wife told her “No more gnomes!” and her hobby turned into a business. Now she owns MossandWhimsy Etsy Shop where she creates then sells garden gnomes, fairies and other miniatures. One of her best sellers is a fairy wand made from recycled golf tees or twigs, broken jewelry and marbles or gems.
Kylie’s love of plants, gardening and the outdoors started when she was young, helping her grandma in her garden and snapping peas on the front porch. After she was able to experiment with container gardening in her first apartment, her passion led her away from film school and into working at greenhouses, tree farms, retail and floral companies. In 2018, she came to Lotus Gardenscapes horticultural maintenance division and gained her commercial pesticide applicator certification.
As a vegetarian and a sustainability lover, spraying weeds is a necessary evil of her job. She has a pollinator garden of her own and insect hotels that she enjoys watching the activity in. While it may be impossible to avoid spraying, she has a few recommendations for homeowners that want to be eco-friendlier.
- Plan for Native plants that work well in your specific space and avoid invasives that will take over a natural garden.
- Along with pollinator gardens, install hummingbird feeders, insect hotels or bee hives to help support these valuable species.
- Try using vinegar, kitchen spices, or other alternatives that are less harmful to wildlife.
- Get ahead of the weeds in the early spring with pre-emergents. This will ensure that you don’t have a completely overgrown garden when the spring sunshine and rainfall begin.
- Set realistic expectations for how you want your garden to look. Plants are living things and they respond to nature just like we do. Increasing the number of hours or the frequency of visits in your maintenance contract will allow our team to provide more manual means of weed control.
Doing more positive acts than harmful acts for our planet is a virtue that Kylie and Lotus Gardenscapes share.
Needless to say, we love having Kylie on her team. She’s incredibly attentive to details, organized, and her analytical thought process are perfect traits for her supervisor role. She is able to navigate through large, broad goals and projects and dissect them into daily tasks with descriptive details.
We have a bright future planned for Kylie at Lotus and our clients will begin to see more from her as she’s been given the freedom to help with small designs and enhancement work at the homes she provides maintenance on to add perennials, expand gardens, install stepping stones and more.
It’s 6:00 PM, and Kylie and her crew are back to the barn, unloading their tools. She receives an email from a client who came home after a busy day and saw that their outdoor landscaping looked exceptional – no more crabgrass and all the shrubs freshly pruned! She high-fives her teammates, grabs a Cherry Coke and heads home feeling proud of everything they’ve accomplished today.
Want to see Kylie on your property? Our gardening division is growing and we’ve added an additional crew this year! Click the link below to schedule us to visit your site and make recommendations on how we can reduce the weeds in your property, keep the trees and shrubs pruned, and make your yard the best in the neighborhood.