Terry Garrett believes everyone should be able to enjoy gardening. He knows it improves your health, your environment, and your community. These are the reasons why Terry, CEO and Owner of T&L Group, started Elevated Gardens. It all began when he saw personally how a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) devastated his brother’s life.
“I watched as my brother lost the ability to garden, a hobby he found purpose and hope in. Seeing his purpose and hope diminish as he became confined to an oxygen tank, unable to bend over, I decided to do something about it. I needed to develop a garden that would be fully wheelchair accessible while still giving individuals the options to stand, rather than having to bend down as one would with a traditional garden.”
Terry knew he had to do something. Working with his Director of Marketing, Abigail Hunt, they developed Elevated Gardens in order to bring gardening to those who have accessibility challenges. These mini gardens are 30 inches tall, allowing for both wheelchair accessibility and gardening while standing. By limiting the amount of bending needed, these gardens have also found use in senior living centers, nursing homes and schools. Elevated Gardens have also designed a mobile version, easily allowing those who with limited movement to garden indoors.
Terry understands the environmental and communal importance of horticulture. Working with plants “... has been a means of survival since the beginning of time. However, in our world today, horticulture is paramount as a means of improving the environmental degradation going on around us. Gardening is a unifying activity as it is something that everyone can participate in and find joy in.”
Working to let everyone enjoy the benefits of horticulture is rewarding, but Terry knows pursuing a career in horticulture can be challenging.
“I often say that I don’t know the meaning of the word “no.” I have always believed that hard work is the key to success, especially in the horticultural industry, as it is not only physically demanding, but also requires a lot of perseverance from a business standpoint as well. I highly recommend jumping in and interning to find out what part of the horticultural industry you are most suitable for and to find out what you enjoy.”
This small but mighty operation is an inspiration for anyone who wants to strike out and use horticulture to improve lives. Terry’s name was submitted to Seed Your Future by Valerie Hunt and Rose Korp. They tells us that by bringing plants to those who need them most, Terry Garrett is their (and now one of ours) Horticulture Hero.