Shayla Holliefield

Our National Parks

Grand Canyon, nature
This month, Sunset Magazines’ front cover made me do a quick double-take….was that a painting or a photograph of the Grand Canyon? If you get up really close you’ll see it is an amazing photo complete with the Colorado River cutting a serene blue path through the base of the park. That photograph reminded me of all the wonderful vacations I have had the privilege of taking in and around our National Parks. Warm, nature-oriented memories of when I was a kid when everything seemed so big. Then later, taking my own kids to see the wonders of Grand Canyon and fishing in Yosemite and the Sierras.… Read More

Imagination and The Possible

Arthur C. Clarke, futurist
One of my daily joys is reading our local newspaper, UT San Diego. On May 13, 2013, there was an intriguing front page article by Gary Robbins about science fiction and imagination, as seen by four authors. Robbins wrote about the late Arthur C. Clarke who authored  “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1968. And while we might look at some of the ideas in the book and movie as shocking, it sure shook up readers to think that someday we’ll be communicating with extra-terrestrials. Who could imagine? How do these super-smart guys come up with these ideas? And how do we use our imagination to see what is POSSIBLE, rather than IMPOSSIBLE?… Read More

It Starts Today – Let’s Help Our Environment

Environment, global warming
It feels like every news broadcast I watch has been filled with more and more tragic news, from devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas, to school shootings and terrorism attacks all over the world. I feel so helpless to do something to help or change the situation. Some of the heartbreaking news is man-made, and some of it beyond our control. In particular, the weather has been so crazy. Nightly weather broadcasts have taken on a sometimes frightening appearance. Happy broadcasters used to point to smiling-faced sun cutouts and cheerfully report holding an umbrella during rainy days. No more. The weather around the world has seemingly taken on a harsher quality.… Read More

Dining Out Differently With Sustainability In Mind

Seasons 52 edible wall
When I was a kid, going out to dinner was a big deal. It usually meant getting cleaned up, which for me was a big deal because I truly believe dirt was part of my skin. After the outer layer was scrubbed, it would be clean shirt and shoes and my “table manners” for a couple of hours spent counting down the seconds until the bill came to my dad. Even if it was a family pizza parlor night, dining out was a special event. Menus were bigger than me and in the fancy places, French names like coq au vin or escargot seemed daunting.… Read More


There’s so much talk today about the becoming sustainable. If you aren’t in the “green groove” or an Eco-Warrior (like me!)  that term can mean a whole bunch of stuff, mostly confusing. In Eco-speak, “sustainable” means that the process being used can be repeated without using too many (if any) resources. And that it is a self-perpetuating process. Keep that carbon footprint as small as possible while building it and use as few resources as you can utilizing the system. Keep everything possible out of the waste stream. We can’t continue to use up our natural resources without replenishing them somehow.… Read More

Underground Living

Hobbit, Underground homes
Once upon a time, humans lived in caves. Over the years, futuristic science fiction books and movies quite often depict humans living underground. But underground living is not just the past and the future. In the form of a green roof, it’s here now. Think of the Teletubbies and Hobbits, clearly residing underground, which apparently is nothing new because Hobbits have lived underground for eons. Everyone knows that. Cool houses, too with windows that frame a green grassy knoll and carved earthen archways. This is by far the one of the coolest ideas I have seen. I may just make one for myself!… Read More

Another Opening, Another Show

“Another Opening, Another Show… ” I know that’s a line from a Broadway show, but also how it feels around here after our Open House and Plant Sale last Friday. We had such an outstanding response from clients, former and new. This place was jumping with people asking about Tower Gardens, Living Walls and AquaPonics. Our event made the calendar in the San Diego Union-Tribune so we had a lot of folks that came that would have otherwise had no idea what we are up to. It was a treat to meet so many new people. And we sold a lot of beautiful plants and containers.… Read More

Out of One Business, Into Another

Joan Rivers
It’s always strange to end one type of business, especially if you’ve been doing it for 25+ years. So here’s my official announcement that (with the exception of current and selected clients) we are going out of the Short Term Plant Rental business. I made this decision to open time and energy for expanding our GreenScaped Buildings branch to design and build more living walls and green roofs and to let our Good Earth Plants staff focus on new commercial and residential plantscaping accounts. NOT an easy decision! But a necessary one, kind of like when you buy a new suit, you kind of have to donate an old one to make room in your closet.… Read More

Speak Kindly to the Plants

“Speak Kindly to the Plants… and the People!” It’s so easy to get busy with work and home and family and all the million little sticky notes, lists and pieces of paper that are flying around. Those reminders to do something, buy something, call someone, or submit something by a deadline. Life is one BIG deadline. The plant business has an added sense of urgency because we are working with a perishable item. Plants want to live, but they don’t like being ignored, left in a dark corner if they need sunlight or in hot sun when they want shade, not watered if they are thirsty, watered too much if they want to be dry.… Read More

Plant A Garden, Add a Kid, Watch Them Grow!

Every now and then, I get a reality check when it comes to my kids. I am sure this happens to every parent…you’ll be driving along or just working through your day and something occurs to you about how different your own childhood was compared to your kids today. I remember long summer days when I was set loose with a PB&J sandwich and my bike (no helmet). Time was measured by light through the neighborhood trees and the sound of the Ice Cream truck. My acceptable range of travel was about nine blocks. I didn’t have a cell phone. I was expected home for dinner in reasonable condition at a reasonable time.… Read More