All Good News: Therapy garden helps La Mirada woman work through tough times

A La Mirada woman discusses how she found the solution to unemployment stress literally in her own backyard.

Friday, October 30, 2020
Therapy garden helps with pandemic stress
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Like so many others, Debbie Fitzhugh was left without a job during the pandemic. She found the solution for stress literally in her own backyard.

LA MIRADA. Calif. (KABC) -- Debbie Fitzhugh, an event planner, was devastated by unemployment until a friend planted an idea.

How about gardening?

"It was just a very bland piece of land, but I was laid off in April, like many other people. And I was completely devastated," said Fitzhugh. "My friend Barbara called and said, 'How are you doing?' I said, 'Well, you know' and she says, 'What made me peaceful is my garden,'" said Fitzhugh.

Fitzhugh had never gardened in her life. Her career was about raising money, planning mega events for the Girl Scouts. What she came to learn with seeds and soil, and crafting stepping stones was how to slow down - nurturing on nature's schedule.

"I was able to sleep better at night and I was at peace here in the garden," said Fitzhugh.

The materials were bought as a gift from her friends Barbara and David Groce. In return, they wanted only one thing - a smiling shot of Fitzhugh's grandson who just harvested some mini-pumpkins.

"It made me feel good, selfishly you know," said Barbara Groce. "It is more blessed to give than to receive as we mature in life."

Not only has her backyard oasis started to grow, Fitzhugh says she too has been transformed, thanks to her thoughtful friends.

"Kindness is just one of the most important things that anybody could hand you," said Fitzhugh.