About me - Hi, my name is Eyal. Happily married, father of two amazing
girls, always restless and a hopeless optimist.
I’m a 45-year-old social entrepreneur, landscape designer and gardening consultant, with over 20 years of experience. Having spent most of my life outdoors and in open spaces, I have planned and planted more than 500 gardens. I also wrote and established a gardening education program that has been implemented in more than 3000 kindergartens over the last 5 years.
I am a hopelessly optimistic social entrepreneur, but even with the best attitude there is no way I could do what I do without the support of my family (yes, that’s us in the pictures). There are not enough words that can express how much I love them and how much they mean to me. Without a doubt, they are the blooming garden I am most proud of. I told you it's not just about me!
About me as a social entrepreneur - Back in 2009 I decided
to sell my very successful landscaping company - a company I established in
1994 and whose good reputation I had been building ever since. Still, I decided
to sell and move forward to a new adventure.
I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I knew it had to combine who I was, my greatest passion, and my strongest skills. The ‘social’ part runs in my blood, and I knew where my skills lay - that part was ready to go. All that was left to do was come up with an idea.
Once I had sold my company, for the first time in my life, I could just sit down and do nothing... but I quickly discovered that this wasn’t me. Supported by my amazing family I started to think and do - simultaneously. I established a new company called GrowEat – it was a refreshing new start because it dealt with developing educational kits for kids. The idea was to teach children how to grow veggies, something I believe is fun and exciting for any child, and at the same time, maybe change their eating habits and introduce something a little healthy into their day.
Yes, I gave it all I had. I invested every dollar I got from the sale of my landscaping company and spent 5 years on a crazy roller coaster ride called ‘establishing a startup’ (if you have ever been in the world of startups you’ll know what I mean).
Anyway, during this period when things got a little much, struggling to penetrate new markets, having endless meetings, and managing the daily running of my new company, I found myself regularly escaping to my garden where I found peace and quiet in pruning. That's right! Pruning!
It was then that I remembered that throughout my years as a landscaper, pruning was my thing. Anytime I felt stressed, I’d go pick up my pruners, step outside the door, and in a matter of seconds the world was a better place.
Although GrowEat became part of the official educational program for preschools and kindergartens, it didn't fare well and in September 2014 we decided to sell the company, try to recover our loses and move on.
So, what did I learn? Nothing, actually. Well, nothing new. I will always try again, and again, and again - until things work out. Until I succeed. I understand that failure is always an option, but not for me. I’ll deal with it if it comes knocking, but I’ll do my very best to make sure it knows it isn’t welcome at my door.
About me as a volunteer guide and mentor to youth at risk - I discovered the benefits of hand pruning 20 years ago, but didn't realize at the time the impact hand pruning would have on my life, and on those in it.
The guys in the picture are my flagship project. I have been working with them for 3 years, using my gardening skills to help them grow and bloom (excuse the pun, but in this case, it can’t be helped). The project runs for 3 years, between the ages of 15-18, and the central tool that I use to lead the group is gardening. My pruning skills lead us as a group throughout the project, and they just love it!
The aim of the project is to empower these youth, each in his or her own way. I do this by allowing them to take responsibility over their behavior and the process. Think about it for a moment, to be handling sharp, dangerous tools, not from a place of power, or to threaten or hurt anyone, but rather, in order to protect and nurture. Think how it feels to take responsibility and make a garden grow, then to see the results that you have created. I don’t know a better way than pruning your garden to get such results and to feel such fulfillment. We prune the garden at the youth village, while the gardeners do the more heavy-duty work. The sense of pride each and every group member feels when they look at the fruits of their labor – a blossoming garden – is clear and transparent on their faces.
About me as – An enthusiastic and passionate pruning hobbyist.
I hang around a lot of gardens, with customers, potential customers and friends. And the same questions always come up: can I prune that? Would pruning now be a good idea? How should I prune? When? Why? And so on…. So, I decided to teach the world how to become fearless pruners.
And if you’re wondering when I have the time for my own garden, I head out there twice a day - like prescription pills. Most of us wait for the weekend and see the garden as a ‘project’. I don’t. My garden is a couple of steps away from my living area so walking outside is easy (I’m sure yours is too - gardens are usually just outside the back or front door – mostly, we don’t have to travel far to reach them.). Anyway, my point is – our garden is out there all the time and if you step outside just once every day for 5-10 minutes you'll see a big change in your garden, but more so in your mind set.
Yes, it only takes 5 to 10 minutes a day to make an impact on a garden. Don't try to do it all at once. Another advantage of going outside and ‘visiting’ your garden once a day is that you will get to know it better, and when you know someone better you notice things… new growth, new pests or perhaps diseases, you’ll become a bigger part of your gardens growth and you won’t have a ‘project’ hanging over your head. Turning your garden from a chore into a hobby is not only easy - it's immensely satisfying.
BTW i forgot to tell you all about my container gardening site www.adanit.co.il it's in hebrew though but im sure you might find it usefull.
It took me 6 years to sit down and start my new initiative – a website where I plan on sharing with you my knowledge and passion and all that I know and feel before, during, and after pruning. I hope you make the most of it, as I intend to bring out the best in me, so you can bring out the very best in you. Why hand pruning?
Providing general guidelines on 'how to prune' any kind of plant is important, but there are plants, and there is YOUR plant. So despite there being loads of information on this site, I also provide specific and personalized support. If something wasn't clear, or you're not sure of your plant's name, simply send me a picture with your question. Use the form below and I'll get back to you. In the mean time, see what others are asking.