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Continually Blooming With Knowledge

Ken Salvail, owner of KHS Landscape Design and Build, tends to some of his many plants in his home garden.
September 17, 2018 - 12:00 AM

As we sit partly shaded under a back yard pagoda amongst a vegetable garden, trailing greenery and some unusual plants; Ken Salvail talks about everything from his favorite garden clippers, to insects, edible weeds and landscape design.

But Salvail’s knowledge of everything horticulture didn’t come fast or easy. It grew with focused, self-driven commitment.

As a young man, he first found himself around plants when he was 15 years old after taking his first job with a landscaping company in 1979, despite him describing himself as scrawny and struggling with the physical work. That took him into the greenhouse, planting and propagating endless varieties of plants

“To become an expert you have to start young and just learn it. It’s not about memorizing, it’s about learning,” says the self-proclaimed horticultural generalist.

The Kelowna business owner of KHS Landscape Design and Build knew he was destined to be a gardener, landscaper, designer and builder not long after his first job at the nursery. He says he remembered the exact moment he decided to place his focus on horticulture.

“I stopped dead on the street and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. So I went to the library and studied every day for years and years.” Ken poured all he had into soaking up everything he could about plants, soil, insects, fungus, climate, design and build and eventually business management. “I made a list of the things I was most confident to least confident. In the winter I selected the least area of knowledge and studied that all winter so it could be at the top of the list. I did that for years.”

The accumulation of knowledge and experience allowed him to start his own business in 1987of which he now employs 27 people out of two offices and equipment yards.

Along with his company, Salvail has hosted over 1000 gardening radio shows and continues to do so in Kelowna. Though many questions have often been repeated by different listeners over the years, there’s always something new that comes up which sends him into research mode; something he thrives on.

With this constant desire to learn and share his knowledge, Ken is re-launching his web site. The site will be full of how-to gardening videos, information on gardening equipment, soils, insects, fungus and everything dirt and green. Visitors to the site will eventually be able to purchase organic fertilizers, special gardening tools and even unique plants and seeds.He will continue to share his vast knowledge at seminars and talks, and is planning to pen and publish four or five books.

“We need to share our knowledge and be mentors. At KHS, we teach other landscape companies, as well as have our own training sessions every Monday.”

With more than 100 clients, KHS Landscape Design and Build isn’t going anywhere, and Salvail’s love of earth and greenery continues to blossom.

“You don’t pick your passion, your passion picks you.”

For more information on seminars, products, landscape questions, visit

Sponsored By   KHS Landscape Design Build

News from © iNFOnews, 2018

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