This post shares The Creative Hot Seat #4! I’ll be interviewing wonderful makers from around the web, and today I’m featuring Stephanie Rose from Garden Therapy. Enjoy.
STEPHANIE ROSE FROM GARDEN THERAPY: THE CREATIVE HOT SEAT #4
Hey guys, I’m really excited to share today’s creative hot seat profile of Stephanie Rose from Garden Therapy! Stephanie is an absolute master when it comes to plants and gardening. And she combines two of my favorite things—plants and making!
To me, plants and gardening are such a natural fit for makers. I mean, there’s nothing more DIY than literally growing something from almost nothing. And there are so many ways that you can combine plants and gardening with DIY, making, and crafts.
INTRODUCING STEPHANIE ROSE FROM GARDEN THERAPY
Stephanie hails from Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. She has been creating forever, gardening since 2006, and blogging since 2009. She is passionate about gardening and all things plant-based living. And yes, she does make all of her own soaps, lotions, and balms from all plant-based ingredients. (Stephanie, don’t judge me for buying bulk packs of Yardley soaps please.)
And she isn’t just a maker and gardener—she’s an author, too. She’s published books on botanical beauty, including The Natural Skin Care Book, which is filled with the everyday recipes that she uses for her family. She also published Make & Give Home Apothecary, which shares how you can craft your own bath and body gifts. If you want a sneak peek at what her books have to offer, you can check out her free 5-Day Natural Skin Care mini course.
I really enjoyed getting to know Stephanie and her work. Her blog’s tagline is “better living through plants,” and I couldn’t love her approach to living more. Just reading about her projects had a calming effect on me. So let’s jump in to Stephanie’s story.
5 QUESTIONS WITH STEPHANIE ROSE FROM GARDEN THERAPY
1. WHY DID YOU START GARDEN THERAPY?
In 2006, I became suddenly and severely disabled and had to stop working. I was so ill that I wasn’t able to get out of bed for almost two years. My doctors suggested I find a support group to help with the loneliness and struggle of not being able to work…but instead, I found my group of people were gardeners and makers. I found joy and healing in my garden.
I started chatting with other gardeners on Twitter and started a blog so that I could showcase what I was growing and my projects. Over the next five years, I completely transformed my garden and my health. I joined a community garden, started a charity garden in my front yard, and learned everything I could about growing food, flowers, and medicine.
Then I became a Master Gardener volunteer to teach gardening to city kids. I studied herbalism, natural skin care formulation, and permaculture to learn more about how to live a healthy and happy life through plants. And I did all of it with my own spin of DIY, crafts, recipes, and projects that make gardening both fun and accessible.
2. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT MAKING?
When I was a child, I wanted to make my toys rather than buy them. I would use modeling clay to create dolls and characters, and my favourite things were paint, feathers, pipe cleaners, and glue. I thought that one day I might end up as an artist. However, after my experience what disability, I turned to plants and nature for my creative supplies.
I love the natural beauty that can be found in both the tiniest details and the largest expanse. There’s so much versatility. Nature has it all figured out—I respect the power of plants and admire their brilliance. Using plants to make art, food, and natural skin care products both feeds my creativity and nurtures my health.
3. WHAT’S A MISTAKE YOU’VE MADE WHILE MAKING
I’ve killed a countless number of plants and accidentally planted some invasive species, but this is all part of learning to garden. Our job as gardeners is not to get it perfect, but to get out of the way and let nature do what it does best.
But perhaps the biggest mistake I look back on was thinking I could live my adult life without art and making. I wanted to go to art school, yet I ended up in business school for fear that I wouldn’t be able to make a living. However, I am thankful to have that business background so that I can support my family through my creative ventures.
4. DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT THROUGH YOUR BLOG?
I’m a British Columbia Master Gardener. It’s a volunteer role—we educate the community on natural gardening practices. For the past 10 years, I’ve helped develop children’s education gardens so the next generation can fall in love with plans like I have. The earth and environment are very important to me. If we teach children to love nature, they will protect it.
5. YOUR THREE FAVORITE GARDEN THERAPY PROJECTS: WHAT ARE THEY?
I love to make things with plants throughout the year. But I do have a few crafts that I make over and over again: wreaths, candles, and natural beauty products.
I started making fresh wreaths as a fundraiser, and they became an addiction! I love to go out and discover what’s looking pretty in the garden, clip a few branches, and make a one-of-a-kind creation to hang on my door. Over the years I have made many wreathes for summer, spring, and fall, but I think that the fresh evergreen holiday wreaths and bleached pinecone wreaths are my favourites.
Homemade beauty products
I switched to making my own skin care products, and I will never go back to the store-bought stuff! They are easier to make than you might think. And they are wonderful for your skin and make fabulous gifts. Here are some of my favourite projects—the peony bath salts are everything!
Making homemade candles
For pure indulgence, I love making candles. I started with basic mason jar candles, and when I shared the recipe, I got so many questions about getting the right supplies that I started selling candle making kits on Etsy.
But I couldn’t keep up with the packaging and shipping (and if I’m being honest, I didn’t love that part). So I stopped selling the kits and wrote a candle making book instead! This book has 12 techniques to make candles.