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Here at Lobotany we believe that gardening is more than just a hobby—it’s a lifestyle. That’s why we’re featuring articles written by urban gardeners all over the world, so you can both show and tell us what gardening means to you. We love to see and hear about all the different ways people in urban environments are incorporating a little bit of green into their lives and cities.
Today we present you with Rachael Lee Stroud, a multi-talented creative soul who also loves to cultivate all things green in her urban garden, located in Los Angeles, California.
As I am approaching my 25th birthday in just over a week, I have been reflecting on some of the growth and new life around me during this season. 7 years ago, I moved out to Los Angeles with many beautiful dreams, and I have had the absolute honor of watching many of them come to fruition. What’s even better, though, is how some of the dreams and desires of my heart have changed and evolved over time.While I love this wild and beautiful city, the pace began to overwhelm me. The past two years have been full of transition…loss, pruning, and rebirth in my personal life and identity. I started to feel a bit starved for peace, for nature, for the pure unadulterated Earth we are here to experience.
It seems that my quarter life crisis has taken on the appearance of all things green, and that’s perfectly okay with me. While some LA 20-somethings might clear their heads at clubs, bars, or swiping on Tinder (that’s how it works, right? I’ve clearly never done it)…my activity of choice involves soil and sunshine. And so I began my garden. What started with many house plants, which my dog Abby helps look after, has now turned into tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, and more.
Living in Los Angeles, it’s easy to feel disconnected. Gardening has become a way for me to feel grounded and in tune, even in a fast-paced world. I have the personality in me that I must always be learning and challenging myself. And while I am terrified of killing my plant babies that I love so much, gardening is this incredibly potent and crucial lesson for me to give up perfectionism. Life, and botany, isn’t about perfection. It’s about learning and growing.
Even though I will surely make mistakes, what if I could be a part of something beautiful? What if in some small way, I can help facilitate life, growth, beauty, process? Perhaps that’s part of my duty in being here on this planet.Working with living plants brings me closer to many deeply important parts of my soul…
- Closer to my heritage (my grandmother was a florist for many years, and we have much in common. I hope I have just a touch of her green thumb!)
- Closer to the Earth
- Closer to God
- Closer to my art (while I am a photographer and writer, gardening allows me to create in such a pure form.)
- Closer to myself
Whether we are speaking about plants, dreams, or our personal lives, this I know to be true:
Everything isn’t meant to bloom in every single season. It’s the process of life and death, trial and error, patience and learning that makes this journey so miraculous.
Rachael Lee Stroud is a writer, photographer, actor, songwriter, and deep lover of all things creative. She arrived in Los Angeles in 2009 to pursue her career in the entertainment industry, appearing in multiple films and television projects. Rachael also began writing for various websites, an effort that lead to the creation of her own online publication, Identity Girls, a blog aimed at inspiring young women. Rachael’s most recent online endeavor is founding “Hey, Sweet Human,” a non profit organization utilizing art as the root to excavate purpose from pain with a focus on suicide prevention.
For more on Rachael, you can visit her personal blog and Instagram at: