It has often been said that gardeners live longer, the time we spend nurturing and growing our gardens, working in nature and getting physical exercise is perhaps a contributing factor. I recently spoke with Marcus Bridgewater about how his love of gardening has changed his life, his outlook, as well as his journey forward, and how he inspires and guides others to do the same.
Not so long ago, Marcus was in a job where working lengthy hours afforded him little to no free time and left him exhausted at the end of a busy work week. Taking solace in his garden he spoke with a visiting friend about the life analogies he observed whilst cultivating his plants. Pointing out the importance of his observations, this friend, encouraged him to go public with his thoughts and expertise and offer these insights on social media. Now a full time CEO, creator and educator, Marcus pulls inspiration and insightful observations from his garden which he shares to help and mentor others. The friend, Dana, is now his business partner and wife.
Soon after Garden Marcus introduced himself on popular social media platforms, the roots of the pandemic were beginning to take hold, forcing us to stop and adjust our routines and lifestyles. It was during this time of contemplation which allowed his followers, like his plants, to grow tall and strong, they spread far and wide, and relished the nurturing and wisdom that he offered whilst partaking in something simplistic, organic, inexpensive and available to everyone.
Working with children is something that happened by chance for Marcus, offering weekly youtube guided meditations, his regular followers began to participate with their kids, his soothing voice, energy and calmness offer a welcome opportunity to embrace stillness, introspection and be at one with ourselves. “Fostering community,” says Marcus, “is about reaching all people, it takes a village”.
The ancient practice of gardening is good for us on so many levels, whilst focusing our attention of the aesthetics of our surroundings we can also grow our own herbs, fruit and vegetables, which in turn, improve our diet, having flowers and plants as part of our environments aids our wellbeing. An increase in serotonin, which reduces anxiety, is released when we cultivate plants, whether they be indoors or outdoors, the benefits of this practice are plentiful. Gardening has been scientifically proven to help with countless health issues, so it’s a win win. Feeling the soil in our hands has a grounding effect, reconnecting us with the earth. Gardening can be a sociable pastime too or one of solitude where we give ourselves some space and alone time.
Daily social media posts from Garden Marcus help to keep us on track, these short bursts of wise words give offer just enough guidance for the day ahead, where we can relate to certain situations, the past and our own journeys. They are uplifting and encouraging in the garden path of life and help us to see things from a different perspective, which can ultimately be game changing, this happens when we step back and question where we are and what are we doing, is it right for us, and most importantly, are we happy?
With his first book “How To Grow”, being a resounding success as a wellness and self-help manual as well as a gardening guidebook, he has a second book launch approaching with a picture book which is perfect for children as well as grown-ups.
With interviews in Vogue Magazine and The New York Times, Garden Marcus has also appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show, she is an avid fan! He has cultivated a tik tok following of almost 700K with Instagram close behind, Marcus has remained grounded, approachable and a pleasure to converse with.
Garden Marcus is an offshoot of his company “Choice Forward”, which offers workshops and seminars, motivational speaking, and wellness retreats. These events explore the aspects of kindness, patience and positivity promoted and celebrated through his life coaching and unique approach to mental health issues, physical fitness and spiritual awareness. Extensive travel and study, the observations of different cultures and lifestyles have culminated in the ability to teach individuals and groups in self-improvement, wellness and community consciousness.
So, what’s next in the garden of Marcus Bridgewater? Marcus and Dana recently shared the most important update of their life, a little seedling. Their first baby will arrive in September, congratulations on their future growth into a family.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”- Audrey Hepburn
"Fostering community is about reaching all people, it takes a village."