If I was business-minded, I would do things a lot different…..but I am not.
My gardens are not a business. Heirloombulbgirl isn’t really a business either….it is really just a labor of love.
Last year, I saw a beautiful vision of teenagers working the gardens. Let’s face it, the modern teen struggles with the balance between technology and real life. Imagine if you were filled with anxiety, social pressures, mental illness, disabilities, and depression…..what then? The world is fast and furious…..many of these kids are left behind, struggling silently.
There are many studies that are showing the overwhelming negative effects of technology and children. The rise of Sensory Issues, Autism and ADD has exploded….estimating that 1 in 4 children are being diagnosed with new challenges that were practically unheard of 30 years ago.
The missing link? Many studies are pointing to nature….or lack there of.
Being a Mother, who raised my children outside in the garden, I decided to bring my gardens to other children…..who need a Sanctuary of their own. A place of refuge. A place of peace. A place to find courage and quiet…..to reflect, grow and relax.
So I started The Garden Project…..a program that hires and encourages teenagers to work in the gardens. At any given time, I have teenagers growing, digging and harvesting garden goods. Hands on the dirt….receiving healing from simply getting back to the basics.
My Garden Helpers have become more like a gardening family….sharing hopes, dreams, fears, struggles and ambitions. I am the ear that listens while we pull weeds together. Chickens are the quirky friends on lonely and sad days. Pigeons are the dreams that soar high into the sky, as they circle the studio. Bulbs become an inherent reminder of what looks ugly and worthless on the outside holds a world of beauty on the inside……they are just waiting to show their bloom.
Last year, one Garden Helper, who suffers with severe bipolar disorder and memories of abuse, was planting bulbs. She looked at me and asked “How can something so ugly turn into something so beautiful? Wait…..that is kinda like me.”
There isn’t enough money in the world that can buy that moment.
My gardens are not a business……
A simple place of refuge that empowers Garden Helpers to believe in themselves. Every bulb that is sold, goes into the The Garden Project…..so we all can invest in children, the gardeners of tomorrow.