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How Molly Sedlacek fosters a deeper connection with nature

At Koala Eco, we believe meaningful connections with the natural world offer humans joy, respite, healing, and, ultimately, a meaningful connection with ourselves. On a recent business trip, I was thrilled to have the privilege of meeting Molly Sedlacek, the founder and principal designer of ORCA. ORCA is a landscape design studio known for its innovative approach to outdoor spaces. ORCA was born from a personal garden project in San Francisco, where Molly experimented with various materials and flora to discover what resonated with her aesthetic and functional sensibilities. Molly developed a design philosophy centred on creating spaces that foster a deeper connection between people and nature. Her approach is a testament to her belief in the importance of sustainability and her commitment to reconnecting people with the natural world. Read more on our latest Hour in Nature interview.​

Is there a ritual or custom you have to bring nature into your home?

When I hike, I gather small objects from nature and place them in my “seed pod bowl.” This collection of found objects (fallen pods, rocks, dried plant material) is an offering. I ask visitors at my home to choose something from it, and tell them the story of where it was found. The story of nature is one of the best gifts to share. 

What is your favorite natural scent, and why?

Moss! The woodsy dampness takes me back to childhood on the Oregon coast. Scent memories last for a lifetime and I feel very lucky to be so connected to Bryophyte.

Is there an animal or plant that you’ve always felt particularly drawn to, and can you explain why?  

Laurus nobilis, also known as Bay Laurel. My parents planted a hedge of laurel around the home I grew up in. It served as a fort for me to play and a place of refuge. I’d climb on its limbs and dream: the canopy was my roof, the leaves fallen on the ground were my floor. The Laurel became my imaginary home and to this day, the more a dwelling space feels like nature -wild, raw, organic- the more at home I feel.

I am a second generation female landscape designer, and my mom named her nursery and landscape design company after the hedge: Laurel Bay Gardens.

Is there a sound in nature that you believe everyone should hear at least once in their lifetime?

The stillness of soft wind and the murmur of a Red-tailed Hawk on a warm day.  

Koala Eco Journal


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