Today we’re visiting with Valerie Miller.
I am an artist and newish gardener. Three years ago I was a work-from-home artist and homeschool mom with three little boys (one, four, and seven years old) who spent more time crying than probably anything else. I felt trapped and guilty because I had beautiful healthy children I love more than anything but who I felt were suffocating me. (I no longer feel this way, but I did at the time!)
So in the spring of 2020 I started growing flowers with my kiddos and became obsessed with growing things. Slowly the flowers and soil have healed me and my issues, and I am happy, free, joyful, and a good mom.
And when three hard things came along—COVID shutdowns and then two big fires in less than a year at my business, art studio, and historical family building (we lived on the third floor for years until the third boy came along and we needed outside space)—I was already on my way to being able to handle stress with a clearer head. Gardening and the flowers had brought me back to myself. So while my husband dealt with fire cleanup for many, many months (twice), I ran to the flowers with the kids in tow.
After what I’ve just gone through, I’m turning my focus to spread as much joy as I can through flowers, gardening, and flower art—and letting others know that beauty and fresh air and flowers and digging in the dirt can help us tackle all sorts of hard things (even if we don’t want to tackle them).
It’s hard to beat dahlias (Dahlia × variabilis, Zones 8–10 or as a tender bulb). I love the warm peach color of this one.
If you want to see more from Valerie, check out her Instagram: @steelcowlavenderfarm
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
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