Recently I found this quote written by David Fairchild from “The World was my Garden” that describes the life of a horticulturalist:

I have always liked horticulturalists, people who make their living from orchards and gardens, whose hands are familiar with the feel of bark, whose eyes are trained to distinguish the different varieties, who have a form memory.  Their brains are not forever dealing with vague abstractions; they are satisfied with the romance the seasons bring them, and have the patience and fortitude to gamble their lives and fortunes in an industry which requires infinite patience, which raises hopes each spring and too often dashes them to pieces in the fall.  They are conscious of the sun and wind and rain.

This is a special day for me.  Three years ago I started writing my blog: Darlene’s Garden.  My first post was entitled: The Art of Garden Writing.

I began blogging because I had always loved writing and it gave me an outlet to share my other love – gardening; during a time when I was unsure of where my life was going.  It allowed me to express my, at the time, repressed passion for horticulture that I worried would slowly burn out in my lonely, isolating office.

Little did I know that only 3 months later I would be laid off and forced with some difficult decisions.  It seems crazy to not want to follow your dreams, but pursuing your dreams comes with risk and uncertainty.  Everyone says “I will do it when it’s the right time”.  As I had said to myself many times as visions of walking through my very own greenhouse with a cup of tea in hand were swirling through my mind every single day in my office.  I was waiting for a more “secure time”, but fate had kicked me out of my comfort zone and gave me no choice but to act.

I would not have changed one thing about all that happened next even when I was so scared to start my business that I was hiding under the covers afraid to face the day I had chosen to launch it.  All along the way I blogged about this amazing journey I have been on ever since.  There has been so many new things I have done in the past 3 years that I thought would always be just fantasies.  Some of them have been teaching fellow gardeners, speaking to local garden clubs, attending local festivals selling plants I grew, being on a local garden show with our former mayor Mike Wiggins, helping design rain gardens for my neighborhood park, watching my clients’ gardens grow into something they can be proud of,  forming friendships with my clients beyond the garden, and most currently having the opportunity to teach horticulture at a local community college passing on all the experience I have gathered over the past decade.

Things are likely to change in my career again, but not sure yet how it will play out.  However, for the first time in my life I am unafraid even though I don’t what lies in store for me.  Even though something I love doing will likely come to an end soon.  I am ready for fate to take me on a ride again, but this time I wont be hiding because I have faith in the journey.

Some great moments in the past 3 years:


“Turn Over a New Leaf” gardening class at Bonelli’s Cafe Italia


Earth Day Festival: Darlene’s Garden first event

rain garden

Implementing design for neighborhood park


Emerald Coast Flower & Garden Festival


Palafox Market (first day!)


Fellow vendor (Cheryl Kittrell) on a chilly morning at the Palafox Market

volunteer crew 2

Volunteers from planting the neighborhood park rain gardens


TV appearance on “The Garden Spot”


Me and Coach in front of my new greenhouse