Barefoot and soil smudged, face to the sun, Tanya Bartels was a child of nature at an early age. With a creative, active mind, she is the kind who feels safest and most alive when outside with the earth and the plants and the air. Exuding kindness and warmth toward everyone she meets, it’s no surprise she has the same effect on a garden environment. She loves things into growing. People, plants, her company, and most importantly, her community.
As an adult, her journey from gardener to guide began when she moved into a home without a garden. While transforming her new space she felt herself changing. A new step with nature reflected what was happening in her world, and her 20+ year career in the fashion industry designing shoes was leaving her quickly approaching burnout. Like plants that reach for the sun, she became aware of something in her that was reaching for more, something grounding and holistic that nurtured and fulfilled. In this reconnection with the earth, she found her own healing and alignment and knew she had to share this powerful potential for self transformation with others.
Diving in fully, she returned to school and after completing the horticulture program at UCLA and an in-depth course on Permaculture in Cuyama, CA, it became clear that a new path was before her, a way to share her passion for gardening.
Her philosophy is one of harmonious flow with nature, seeing ourselves as part of a larger system. She speaks of the practice in emotional and spiritual terms. “I believe that over time you will begin to feel and see your plants as a vital part of your life, connecting you more deeply to natural cycles around us. In the strengthening of this beautiful relationship, a way to work with and not against nature emerges. Watching how water flows, your plant grows, and how the light lands will direct your gardening hand.”
Leading with her heart, she now spends her days helping her customers and community find the right plants for their homes, teaching workshops and educating, encouraging creativity though nature inspired art projects, connecting people looking for similar paths, and opening hearts and eyes to the power of nature that grows around us every day.
For Tanya’s journey to the Golden Garden in her own words, read her Love Letter here.