Twenty Years Passes in a Heartbeat

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I can’t believe that HPassion flower for headerarmony Gardens is celebrating its twentieth year in existence.  My company has grown very organically and in a way that I didn’t  imagine in the beginning
In the spring of 1993 I was working a “dream job” for a Fortune 500 developer as the “in house” landscape architect.  I loved traveling to San Diego, Las Vegas and around Los Angeles – helping to get large scale tract home and multifamily housing projects designed, installed, and set up for sale.

It did bother me that our work involved “pillaging the land” but I justified what I was doing by knowing that I was influencing the company to engage in more sustainable landscape design and practices.  Then the downturn happened and I was laid off.  Luckily I got a severance package and instead of rushing into a new job, I decided to take the six months of pay and explore more spiritual matters so that my next step would clear.

I had never wanted to have my own company because watching one of my bosses and the difficulties in running a business didn’t appeal to me.   But over time I  realized that what I was doing with my life was not all about me.  I had already defined my mission in life as “improving peoples lives by improving their environments.”  I realized that as long as I worked for other people, I was at the mercy of other priorities.  When I worked for a previous firm, that was good because I was learning my trade from superior designer but I had developed my own point of view and style and that deserved to be out in the world.

The name of my company came like everything else in my work, as the result of spiritual inspiration.  This inspiration is what offers itself to me during my design process in order to make the world a better place and people a bit happier in it.

When I’m designing a garden I usually get to a point when I move beyond the struggle of picking the perfect palette, worrying whether I have seen every option for amenities and formed the right configurations and I go to the timeless, spaceless world of pure design that is an indescribable place of form and perfection.  The days I spend doing  design are among the most purely pleasurable, almost hedonistic experiences.  It is almost sinful that I get paid to enjoy myself so much.

Twenty years ago as I stood at the precipice of this venture I was afraid of every part of it.  It was my my sense of mission that moved me beyond myself to form my company and it is that sense of mission that keeps me going through the difficulties and lessons that every career offers you.  Owning your own company isn’t for everyone but if you decide that is what you are called to do, be sure that you love your work and that it aligns with your higher purpose and then you can’t go wrong.


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