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Road to Renewal with Nancy

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

Hola! I’m Nancy. I’m a novice gardener and avid garden tourist.

Welcome to my blog, Road to Renewal. I’m so happy you stopped by, and I invite you to come along on a delightful tour of some of the most magnificent gardens, awe-inspiring parks, thought-provoking memorials, and sacred spaces in the United States.

My love for gardens began when I was a teenager, learning gardening skills from my aunt Lennie. Each spring, she planted the most beautiful and creative flower gardens around her home in Detroit, transforming the front and back yards into an explosion of color and form. She could take any container imaginable - old bathroom sinks, rusty wagons, oak barrels, and weathered flowerpots - and give them new life bursting with spectacular blooms.

Over the years, I’ve kept Aunt Lennie’s tradition going by planting flower gardens at my home, wherever it happened to be. You see, my 37-year working career replanted me from Detroit to Atlanta. Then I was transplanted in New York, Hartford, South Florida, and finally Seattle. This experience of living in distinct regions throughout the country allowed me to expand my knowledge about planning, planting, and cultivating healthy and beautiful gardens specific to each region. The learning curve was exciting, and I stoked my passion for creating my new gardens.

Since 2011 I had dreamed of road tripping across the United States and Canada visiting great public and private gardens in North America. I had survived a 2006 breast cancer diagnosis, enduring a chemotherapy regimen that threw everything at me but the kitchen sink. I was alive and had finally realized the importance of not deferring my dreams.

So, in March of 2018, I purchased a 2009 Roadtrek 170 Popular, whom I named Rhoda, to make my road trip dream a reality. I took early retirement in September 2019 and began planning my trip to hit the road in early 2020. It was not to be. The pandemic made sure of that.

Fast forward to February 2021, when I completed both doses of the COVID vaccine and put all my attention and focus into finalizing the trip plans. On April 29, 2021, Rhoda and I pulled out of the driveway. My long-awaited Road to Renewal had begun.

Thank you for being an “armchair spectator,” peeking in from time to time on the beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces I visited throughout my journey. While COVID restrictions required timed entries, I added a little spontaneity to my travel, allowing me to visit national memorials, historical sites, and noteworthy attractions on my travel route.

“Storms make trees take deeper roots.”

Dolly Parton

The global pandemic of 2020 is the worst storm I’ve weathered. My Road to Renewal offered me the calm, peace, wellness, joy, and beauty that I had been seeking. I share my fulfilled dream with you in hopes that it moves you to pack up and hit the road if, indeed, it is one of your dreams to take in all of the wonder and beauty these gardens, parks, and sacred spaces offer.

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