Landscape Gardening: My Experience Thus Far


Even while I was in Germany, I decided that, when I return home, I would take up a new vocation in landscaping. Well, that desire came true this past March when the team at Tapestry Gardens hired me.

The work I am learning to do is mainly garden work: weeding, pruning and lawn mowing, but I thoroughly enjoy the work: I like working at different places every day of the week, being outside, doing physical work.

Me, gardening on a cold, wet day in March.

Though, being a new gardener has been no walk in the park. It’s probably the most challenging thing I have done aside from going to Europe twice on my own. It’s not the job that’s so challenging; it’s the weather we have been getting in this corner of Canada: Our winter was unusually cold and our spring, cool and wet. I spent almost every day the first month on the job, working in the rain. I’ve learnt very quickly that preparation for weather conditions means dressing appropriately, not just for the job, but for the weather. I happen to get cold quite quickly, so I wear layers of clothing (I still do that to an extent now). Even so, in the cold and pouring rain, I have found myself having to work harder and a little quicker just to keep my body temperature at a healthy level.

The grass has been growing non stop. The rain and cool temperatures have made it lush and beautiful to look at, but a beast to cut. Until I learnt how to properly maintain a lawn mower and cut according to grass length, thickness and moisture level, the lawn mower cut out several times on me. Not to mention, I’ve had to stop numerous times, just to empty the bag and to make sure the blades aren’t clogged.


Despite the challenging conditions our climate has created this year, I wouldn’t trade this job for any other. I would still rather be outdoors than indoors, especially when the sun shines and the air is warm.



Being able to enjoy the scenery around me and to breathe in the fresh, spring air, reminds me of how important the simplest of things are in this life.



I am also learning something new, expanding my skillset in a whole new field.


Landscape Gardener and BeachBody Coach


Months before I went to Germany, I wanted to slim down a little, tone up, build up my strength and my stamina. But I didn’t know what to do to achieve that goal or where to begin. I worked full time in retail, eight and a half hours on my feet, so by the time I finished work, I was too exhausted to do any exercise. I also walked the fine line between being a social drinker and an alcoholic. I would get home from work and drink one, two, often more glasses of wine at least three evenings per week. Rather than focusing my energy on my writing or on losing weight, I caved into my excuses for why I needed to drink. As the summer wore on, I decided I would put off my weight loss and fitness goals until I was in Germany. I decided that, once I was there, I would be walking so much that losing weight shouldn’t be a problem.


Well, as much as I loved Germany, I didn’t lose the weight I had hoped to have lost. Though, the first six weeks I spent in southern Bavaria, a region where health and fitness seem to dominate people’s lifestyle and overall well being, I became inspired and determined to make health and fitness a big part of my lifestyle. However, in order to accomplish my personal fitness goals, I had to make a few fundamental changes in my life.


The first change was; I gave up drinking. Just like that! After hearing my friends talk about being dry for two months, I decided to give it up myself. I didn’t do it because my friends did it: I did it for myself. Alcohol had become somewhat of a problem in my life. It was interfering with my goals and threatening to ruin my overall well being. Every time I resorted to alcohol to deal with stress or even to celebrate a minor victory in my life, it almost always left me in tears, wallowing in self pity, then feeling physically drained — and sometimes — sick the next day. It just got to a point where enough was enough! I will still drink a glass of wine or a bottle of beer on occasion, but never again will I return to that lifestyle.


The second change: I adopted a ‘Can do’ attitude in place of a ‘Can’t do’ attitude.

While I was in Germany, I spent a good deal of time contemplating the vocation I was going to take up when I returned home to Canada. The summer prior to my trip to Germany, two of my good friends worked as landscapers. I envied how toned and tanned they were and how they had the opportunity to work outdoors. That’s something I pined to do. For those reasons, as well as a desire to learn about the nature around me and how to properly maintain it, I settled on a vocation in landscaping.

A few people doubted my ability to do work as physical as landscaping. Also, my stamina wasn’t the greatest. While in Germany, I could scarcely lift my 40 pound suitcase! However, I kept telling myself, “I can do this! This is the right vocation for me. Whatever job I get, it’s going to be amazing.” At the same time, I asked myself, “How can I improve my stamina and my strength in order to succeed as a landscaper?” I started with mini workouts on the living room floor coupled with hour and two hour long power walks around the neighborhood a couple of times per week.


Over the winter months, while waiting eagerly for the landscaping season to begin, I took an interest in Instagram. I would post photos from Germany and from the Sunshine Coast (the place I call home) on a daily basis. I ended up spending more time than I needed on Instagram. In the process, I got connected with fitness coach, Nathan Campbell. Nathan was the person who messaged me on Instagram. He told me about, a website that’s devoted health and fitness (for a reasonable subscription fee, you get access to over 500 hundred workouts and healthy recipes on It’s also easy for anyone to become a fitness coach on Beach Body).

Nathan encouraged me to become a coach. He mentioned that my story and positive outlook on life would be an inspiration to others who, like me, aspire to lose weight and be fit. I took his advice, subscribed to and am ever so grateful I did. I am thoroughly enjoying the workouts and am learning lots of new moves. As for becoming a coach; it was around the middle of winter when Nathan expressed his desire to have me on his team as a Beachbody coach. I turned down his offer because, at that time, even though I was passionate about health and fitness, I knew very little about it. However, I never said I would never become a coach.


Fast forward a couple of months….I am now working fulltime as a landscape gardener for Tapestry Gardens, a small landscape and garden maintenance company based in Sechelt. I enjoy the job very much, the physicality of it gives me enough of a workout throughout the week. The workouts I do when I’m not working are tailored to become a stronger, more efficient landscape gardener. Now that I’m a little more fit and a little more experienced, I feel more ready to become a BeachBodyCoach. So, I signed up to become a BeachBodyCoach.

I do firmly believe that landscaping and fitness coaching compliment each other well and aspire to tie in my landscaping experiences with my coaching. I also plan to travel and teach fitness in the off-landscaping season. Even so, this is still such a new field to me. I realize I will have a big learning curve ahead of me, but I am going to embrace this new challenge.