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Planting a new seed

By Gabrielle Nomura on May 3, 2010 – No Comment

Armed with a pair of rubber boots, gardening gloves and a small shovel, you are ready to tackle that withering flower bed you call a garden. But where do you begin? 

Having a detailed plan customized for your project, whether it be a small vegetable container or an expansive flower bed, would make the overwhelming task seem a little less, well, overwhelming.

That is where garden consultant Kristen Lints comes in. 

Garden design is considered to be an art in most cultures, a distinction Lints takes pride in. Lints is the founder of Gardens Alive Design, a local company specializing in landscape design and coaching for all gardening abilities. She is a Certified Professional Horticulturist and attended Master Gardener Training last spring.  

She works with clients from all over the Eastside and Seattle area.  

“Gardening is my joy,” she said, on a recent sunny afternoon in Bellevue. “I want to share that joy with others. It’s that simple.” 

Lints’ goal is to get people feeling good about gardening and onboard with the hands-on process. 

A nature-lover from a young age, Lints grew up on her father’s farm in Eastern Washington before returning to the area to attend the University of Washington where she earned a degree in Botany. After college she joined the U.S. Peace Corps and traveled to Tonga in the South Pacific where she taught villagers about gardening in a tropical climate.

“I have an in-depth knowledge of gardening in different climates, an innate sense of soil, plants and a love for being outside,” she explained. “It has given me a scientific framework which gives me a very rigid and problem solving approach to gardening along with a sense of artistry.”

According to Lints, vegetable gardening is the latest trend sprouting up around town. 

“Eating local is huge right now and what’s more local than your own back yard?” she asked with a grin. “It’s all about where you find your joy.”  

Lints takes on clients with all levels of gardening experience and works closely with them to design, plan and implement their ideal garden space. When designing a new garden, she takes into consideration the climate, the location, the purpose and the clients preferences including color, scent and overall maintenance time they wish to devote to the project. 

She then works with the client to create a shopping list consisting of which seeds, plants, soil and tools to purchase.

Next, she creates a gardening calendar including the outline of the design, a plant shopping guide, what soils to use, a how-to guide and a checklist for upkeep throughout the year. It is all delivered in a single notebook, organized for simple instruction and follow through.  

“It’s all about cutting out all the trial and error,” she said. “I want to make the process as simple as possible so the client can really enjoy the magic of gardening.” 

Learn more at Gardens Alive Design ~


Photo of Kristen Lints by Valley Voice Weekly


Gardening Tips from a Pro 

Soil:  It’s all about feeding your plants a solid, healthy diet consisting of a good compost.

Seed Selection: You have to know what plants work in our cold winters.  Do your research.

Watering: The number one mistake people make is using the sprinkling method. You need to get down to the roots.