Friday, October 30, 2020

Meet Our Community: Karin Hicks, "snake lady," native plant lover, and educator

 


Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Karin Hicks



My most rewarding days are spent watching wildlife live their best life. I’m known as the snake lady to my neighbors, who sometimes call on me to rescue an unwanted snake from their garage or basement. On my blog Southern Meadows, I share my love of insects, snakes, amphibians, birds, and other critters and their relationship with native plants.

I garden on 10 acres in the Georgia Piedmont. We have a little bit of everything: woods and meadows, dry shade and full sun, rain gardens and water gardens. We also grow food in our organic kitchen garden and 1-acre orchard. My family has put a lot of sweat into creating our habitat haven, and there is still much to do. It is a place for us to study and appreciate our ecosystem.

I hope that our native plant garden will inspire others to move beyond the highly manicured lawns and sheared shrubs that dominate Atlanta suburbia. It’s possible to have a stylized, natural, native plant garden and still meet the restrictions of an HOA. One of my favorite plants is Aralia spinosa, a native found at woodland edges. Its compound flowers are a pollinator favorite, the berries support birds and other wildlife, and the sharp spines on the trunk are cool!

I work at our county extension as a horticulturist and master gardener coordinator. Through gardening I’ve discovered my calling in education. I teach classes for the state botanical garden and native plant society, train master gardeners, give talks to gardening and homesteading groups, and lead a youth gardening program at a local elementary school.

My other passion is photography, something I learned from my father. I always carry a camera and always discover a moment to capture. I post daily on Instagram and have photos on Flickr.

I will never pass up an opportunity to view a garden. It’s such a pleasure when a gardener is willing to share their passion and work. I always find at least one takeaway from every garden. My favorite gardens are those that creatively transform challenging conditions into functional spaces or use plants in unique ways.



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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Karin! You can follow Karin on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, and at her blog Southern Meadows.

Photographs courtesy of Karin Hicks.

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