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Nurtured by Nature

Hello and welcome! My name is Heather, however, you may know me as

The Soulful Gardener. 

My life-long passion for gardening and nature began as a young child on our small 5-acre farm in Ohio. We raised and cared for horses, cows, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, cats & dogs. My mom planted flowers all around the house and we had a large vegetable garden. One of my earliest memories is getting up in the morning and collecting freshly laid eggs for breakfast. 

Endless curiosity had me investigating every interesting animal and insect in the landscape. I spent hours collecting and carefully observing cocoons, chrysalises, fireflies, unique insects, animals, tadpoles, mice, frogs, and anything that would fit into canning jars with holes in the lids that I made with a hammer and nail. 

I have lived in many types of homes since leaving the farm; dorms, apartments, and townhomes, many of which had minimal, if any, green space. Even if all I had was a small balcony, I filled it with decorative potted plants, kitchen herbs, hanging baskets, a bird feeder, and a bird bath. All were carefully chosen to fit the scale, light, and particular environment of that space.

Heather Zindash Selfie
Heather Zindash Growing Up
Heather Zindash Growing Up
Heather Zindash Growing Up
Heather Zindash Daughter
Heather Zindash Daughter

Inheriting my mother's creative talent, I am always finding ways to artistically express myself. This passion includes designing beautiful indoor and outdoor living spaces. As a result, I chose to study Graphic Design in college and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  


I met my husband after college. We then started our own family in the suburbs of Maryland. This is the first home I had with an outdoor space since Ohio. This property became a blank canvas for my unrealized gardening dreams.


At first, I was driven to improve the curb appeal of our new home which had been neglected for many years by the previous owners. Next, I focused on the kids. My husband and I both wanted them to have a safe outdoor space to play and explore like we did as children. I began by creating a butterfly and hummingbird garden. The garden vision quickly grew into a whole-yard adventure that included water features and a backyard pond.


Soon, the kids could spend time outside observing butterflies, birds, ladybird beetles, praying mantids, hummingbirds, squirrels, chipmunks, frogs, fish, and bats. Some of our visiting wildlife would include turtles, bunnies, deer, snakes, and raccoons. Ultimately, our property became a Certified Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation.

Once our girls were grown, I decided to pursue a more formal horticultural education to add to my life-long experience. I began by studying and becoming a Maryland Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. I enjoyed those programs so much that I went on to earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS)  degree in Landscape Technology (now known as Environmental Horticulture and Sustainable Agribusiness) from Montgomery College. Simultaneously, I became a Certified Professional Horticulturalist, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Scout and Consultant, ISA Certified Arborist, and Medical Cannabis Agent/IPM Consultant. 


In 2013, I combined my Graphic Design and Horticultural education with my entrepreneurial spirit to create The Soulful Gardener, LLC. I now work as an independent IPM Scout and Consultant who helps Growers, Landscape Professionals, Property Managers, and Homeowners protect their plants, and properties. I do so by properly identifying plant arthropod pests and diseases and recommending the best management strategies with a focus on solutions that are gentle on beneficial insects, non-target organisms, and the environment.

Now, I am collecting and carefully observing plant arthropod and disease pest samples in jars, vials, and Petri dishes using my endless curiosity and specialized training to help growers and landscape managers properly control plant pests. It is a full-circle moment.


I never realized my childhood curiosities would lead to such a rewarding career. I am truly living my Dharma. 

Bluebird on CWF Sign 4-2016_edited.jpg
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