Perhaps we can start with you telling us a little bit about yourself?
‘Well, I’m Sarah and I work with women to help them make the most of their precious outdoor space and, in the process, connect more deeply with themselves. It’s a two part process really, because in talking about the garden we inevitably ask questions about what is important and what is needed, both practically and emotionally. So the conversation can often become personal, as well as being very practical in a garden way.
I’m 53, have two very grown up children and a life experience that has led me here. With a history of depression and anxiety, disordered eating, and trauma it has been a real process coming to this place where I am well and happy and enjoying my life.
And my connection with my garden and nature (as well as therapy) has been crucial in my recovery. I discovered my passion for plants in my mid-twenties, at which time I was already a mum of two, when I joined a friend on a course. I didn’t really care what the course was, for me it was a chance to get out, one day a week, without a baby bag, and be myself.
That course, General Horticulture, led to a career in garden design. After eleven plus years I changed careers, and trained, and then worked, as a humanistic psychotherapist. I loved both ways of working, and gathered skills and experience which inform what I do today.’
Growthfully brings together these two careers into a very unique offering. How did you come up with the idea for Growthfully?
‘It came to me in a period of recuperation. I had been forced to stop working as a therapist because of illness – something akin to immune-overload – and, in that delicate time was thinking about my life. I wanted to find a new way to work that would offer me the opportunity to blend my two passions – working with women and wellbeing, and working with gardens.
I was also motivated by the wish to create a slow-living and sustainable way of life for myself so as to ensure I didn’t get ill again. Growthfully is an ideal blend of all this.’
How has Growthfully developed from this initial idea?
‘When I first had the idea, I didn’t have a clue as to how it would look. It was just an idea and I remember saying to my daughter that I needed to build a website, and her reply was that I needed to work out what it was I wanted to do first! Which was completely true.
My life was really turned upside down at the time as we had just moved to live in the country, so it was all up for grabs. I really didn’t have any idea how this could look, and it’s taken a while to find out, especially because as a kinesthetic learner I need to do in order to know.
However I now feel really clear, which is lovely. It’s developed into a recognition that I am as interested in the woman and her wellbeing as I am in the garden we are working on.’