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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Landscaper Taps into Human Desire to Connect with Nature: "Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.’”

A Reflections of Nature gravel pathway

As a shamanic gardener, Michael Gulbrandsen is acutely aware of people’s instinctive need to be close to the natural world. “Native Americans consider the earth to be sacred—a sustaining gift from the Great Spirit,” he says. “We seek to live in harmony with nature. As the poet Gary Snyder wrote, ‘Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.’”

But many people move into the woods hoping to soak up the positive forest energies, only to find that they are scared to venture into those very same woods, Gulbrandsen says. “With ticks and poisonous plants on the rise because of the recent mild winters, many homeowners in wooded areas only get to look out through their windows to see the nature they once dreamed of connecting with openly. Not only do people desire this connection to nature, they also want to embrace and nurture it.”

To solve that problem, Gulbrandsen ecobrief Landscaper Taps into Human Desire to Connect with Nature built a landscaping business, Reflections of Nature, with a team of professionals who share his deep knowledge and experience of plants and animals, and can create environments that benefit both homeowners and the environment around them.

“Our caretakers of the land mold the environment in ways that allow people to walk along trails and boardwalks through their wooded property into outdoor spaces without fear,” he says.

Each space is tailored for the homeowner and the land that surrounds the home—whether it’s a patio with a fire pit for roasting marshmallows, a stone landing for meditating to the sounds of a waterfall, an area for entertaining a dinner party, or a medicine wheel garden for growing herbs to brew tea. Whatever the design, the intention is connection with the natural world.

“It’s important to remember that trees, rocks, clouds, creatures, storms, lakes and plants all have spirit, and that spirit can be communicated with easily,” Gulbrandsen says. “Our shamanic gardeners communicate with the land to create spaces that nurture and heal the self, as well as the earth. Working in harmony with all the natural elements, these spaces expand awareness and offer a peaceful sanctuary in which to relax and embrace the forest.”

For more information, visit or call the company at 845.489.7250.