Leaps and Grounds
Self-Description - Conscientious
Her Inner Light - my ability to notice little things, like the light in the dessert or a snail on my windshield, keeps me in tune with life. And kindness makes me alive.
Her message to women everywhere - “Dig for the thing that makes you go and go for it! Find people who can support you to do what’s going to make you happy."
Born in Ohio and raised in the Bay Area, Deb started working at a young age. She has worked at a gourmet grocery store, a card company, a home furnishings company, a dot com, and a wine importer. Deb absorbed what she could from each of these experiences. “I met many kind people and great influences who I learned a lot from."
After nine years of traveling widely and learning about wine with the wine importer, Deb grew restless. Having always loved plants, she decided to take a horticulture class at the city college. "I love how plants can talk to you and make you happier. I love how surprising they are.” That first class, an introduction to environmental horticulture, led Deb to take a second class and then another, until she found herself with a certificate in horticulture and landscape design.
During this time a friend said to Deb, “You’re stuck.” This candid honesty woke Deb up. She saw that she was indeed stuck, but she had no reason to be. Deb made a decision. She left her job of a decade at the wine importer and started apprenticing with a professional gardener. It was a bold move to leave a job where she was doing well and to forgo the financial security. But Deb said, “I couldn't just stay at that job and coast through life. I had to take a risk and challenge myself.” Deb made a leap in the face of the unknown, and she did it by following her inner knowing. When she’d learned all she could through her apprenticeship, Deb started her own gardening business, and Deborah Thomas Gardens was born.
Today Deborah Thomas Gardens, over five years old, has grown to a full service garden company. Deb didn’t realize it at the time, but all her experiences working in the many different businesses was preparing her to run her own business. Deb does everything from maintenance, upgrades and installations to landscape design. “I like to be an advocate for the garden,” Deb says. “But I also work with the homeowner to make sure they are getting what they want. I want my clients to enjoy their garden as a special place.” Clients find Deborah Thomas Gardens (http://deborahthomasgardens.com) by word of mouth. While gardens come in all sizes and colors, a common pattern is clear: Deb is drawn to kind people and kind people are drawn to Deb.
One of the challenges of being a gardener is that Deb can’t be the sensitive being she is all the time. "I love all forms of life. It’s hard because sometimes plants or insects have to die.” But Deb loves the work of being close to the earth and working along the cycle of life. She shares a memory of losing a loved one earlier in her life. "I had a boyfriend who died from cancer. He was in my life to remind me to live, and I think I might have been in his to help him go. I remember a defining moment after he passed. I remember walking and feeling so low to the ground. It was hard, but it was also a good feeling, the state of being so grounded and humbled.” It is with this grounded humility that Deb breathes life and tranquility in her gardens.