Monday, June 23, 2014

Saying Good Bye to Growing Wisdom

I'm nearly at the end of my Extreme Home Purge and I've come across some interesting things in the process.

One thing that I discovered, was just how long I have been working on growing a gardening business. Before I started Growing Wisdom, I had started Le Petite Jardin. (with a whole lot of help from my friend Ev.) 

That was in 2003! Over 10 years ago!

I shut that down after a few years, when I realized that I wasn't able to manage getting a business off the ground while mothering teenagers, and driving a school bus and volunteering.

I never quite let the idea go mind you, just let it simmer until a better time presented itself.

I've always wanted to make a living by utilizing my creativity. In the early days, when my kids were small, I had hopes of writing for a living, then, as they got older and my interest in gardening grew, I thought gardening might be the better way (have you ever seen the statistics when it comes to making any money writing??) and began working towards making that happen. I took courses and got my Master gardeners diploma in 2001. I read everything I could get my hands on, attended garden club meetings and visited gardens where ever I could. I even visited a beautiful garden in Victoria while on a 3 day cruise with my sister Lisa. And, because I'm a bit of a rebel, it wasn't Butchart Gardens, but rather, a much smaller garden with a wonderful story and a beautiful design . . . The Abkhazi Garden was such a treat, and one I got to by catching a city bus and crossing my fingers that I'd find my way back to the boat before it sailed that evening.

I ate, slept and breathed gardening.

In the end though, I discovered that as much as I enjoyed sharing my love of gardening and making cool things to enhance other peoples gardens, I didn't love the business part that had to happen to actually make a living from it. I looked at my own garden as a portfolio rather than a retreat from the worries and cares of daily life.

And there have been plenty of worries and cares over the last few years. . .

Pair that with the ever growing Big Box competition in the gardening market, and  . . . well. . . things just weren't fun anymore!

I also wasn't making a living with my business and I needed to.

It is very odd how, for years you think you have so much time to plan for retirement, and then, one day, while blithely making plans, you're caught up short in the realization that you are 49. 49! Your husband is 54 . . . !

People, that means if he wants to retire at a traditional 65 there's only (gulp) 11 years to go!

How did that happen??!

So, the time has come to say good bye to Growing Wisdom, and to gardening for profit in any form. It was the oddest thing, but when I made the final, irrevocable decision to shut the doors I just felt . . . relieved. I had thrown everything I had into it, learned a lot, had great times, met lots of interesting people and grew as a person. Rather than feeling as though I failed, I felt empowered with the knowledge that I was making the very best choice for me and for my family.

Life has changed a lot for me in the last few years. What's important to me has changed as well.

Henry and I are entering a new chapter as a couple as our kids grow older, leave home, get married and seek out adventures of their own.

What I do going forward is going to reflect those changes and will be a melding of old and new interests and skills.

But that's a conversation for another day. . .

Today is all about saying good bye to a dream that has brought me great joy and leaves me with beautiful memories and skills that have allowed me to plant an oasis I can step into from my back door.










Dreams shouldn't be laid to rest without something special to mark the occasion however, and I am holding a Garden Open House, complete with wine and cheese, for anyone (family, friends, blog readers, garden enthusiasts . . . you . . .)  who'd like to help me mark the occasion.

Say Goodbye to Growing Wisdom Open House: Wednesday, July 23, 7-9 pm.

 RSVP to rosa_veldkamp@hotmail.com by July 21 (so I'll know how many bottles of wine I'll need ;D )

I'd love it if you could join me.

4 comments:

Nancy-Mom said...

Beautiful pictures Rosa, you'l be great at anything you endeavor to do. Making money at it is a bonus:-). Don't get discouraged. I think photography is a niche you could do very well at. Babies, weddings, family shoots......:-)
We would love to come see you guys and your beautiful garden...but:-(
We are hoping to go across the country next year after we get a new lift which is not in the budget this year anymore. We had to buy a special wheelchair accessible van a few years ago. The Lord has blessed us greatly over the years that we were able to have the $$$$$$ equivalent of about three or so new vehicles :-) to do this. We have a good lift but the one we hope to buy next year will go around any bed rather then the one we have now where the legs have to go under the bed which doesn' t work with motel beds. Soooo....the Lord willing ( sound like your mom?) we'll come by next summer.

Nancy-Mom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rosa veldkamp said...

Thank you Aunty Nancy! I'm not discouraged, just ready to move onto something new:)And I'm hoping photography will be the niche for me. :D

You do sound like mom ;D but it would be great if you were able to come by and visit next year!

And THREE vehicles worth ?! Yikes!

Nancy-Mom said...

Yep $60,000 we bought a Toyota van which had to have it's floor lowered 12" and a ramp put in that comes down to the ground so I can be pushed in the vehicle. The passenger seat has been taken out so the wheelchair can go there and be strapped to the floor. The seat can be put in if uncle Ben goes out with someone else. It also has a backseat which, of course, is further back so that the wheelchair can get in the vehicle. A lot of work involved to make it all work, but it's all push button easy. Push the button, the door opens and the ramp comes out. The only downside is that with the lowered floor the tailpipe is only inches off the road so we have to take great precaution when going over speedbumps or such. We aleays have to take them at an angle. Have had to have holes in the tailpipe fixed thhree times already due to scraping speedbumps :-( Uncle Ben recently saw a different and much better model which he is now salivating over :-) It too is a Toyota which we like the best.

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