For many people, gardening is a task that comes with ease; we carry heavy loads without question, and minor aches go away fast. Despite a rare and invisible illness, Stacey Horler has found the strength to keep going with her dream hobby, which she then turned into a supportive group for others. When tasks on the plot were too challenging to handle herself, her partner came to the rescue to do all the landscaping and heavy lifting, ensuring his girl can enjoy what she loves.
Not having luck finding any local community gardens, Stacey started an internet group, Girls Who Garden, where they can talk honestly about the highs and lows of gardening and real life. Many gardeners with physical or mental health issues are often too reluctant to reach out for assistance, and this group proved that there is space for everyone in the gardening world. Support, sisterhood and openness about asking for (and accepting) help have brought many girls together without fear of judgement which is sometimes visible in social media.
“For a whole host of reasons, for many of us, our gardens and allotments are our sanctuaries and safe spaces, and this is really what brings us together.”