One Woman’s Search for Purpose Helps Her Find Purpose in Horticultural Therapy

Ball Ground, GA

The Chelsea Korzenko you see today is not the Chelsea Korzenko from five years go. Back then, her world was dark and uncertain. She was grappling with a broken marriage, battling depression, and living with her parents as a single mother. The future seemed bleak, and Chelsea felt lost, not knowing what her next steps would be. But one ordinary day, when the weight of the world seemed unbearable, Chelsea pulled herself out of bed, made her way to the front yard, and sat down in from of this majestic tree. Little did she know, that simple act, would change her life.

“I grabbed the ground, and I remember that feeling finally of feeling safe and held, grounded. I looked around me, and for the first time I started seeing that color again. I started seeing trees blowing in the wind. I just, I felt present. Everything that was going on in my life that internal war happening was peace,” says Chelsea Korzenko, Owner, Daffodilly Farms.

It was this profound experience that led Chelsea to discover the power of horticulture therapy. She realized that cultivating plants and connecting with nature could heal, not only the land, but also the human spirit. So Chelsea embarked on a journey of healing and growth, immersing herself in the world of horticulture. She enrolled in courses, attended workshops, and learned the art of gardening as a therapeutic practice.

“So, we’re all very stressed, but there is research out there where they have evidence-based research where when you connect and use your hands, the cortisol levels decrease. And to me, that is such a powerful thing. As, as you work with your hands and step out into a garden, you know firsthand, honestly, it doesn’t really need to take research to understand that,” says Korzenko.

Nowadays, Chelsea is an aspiring horticulture therapist, interning at the Trellis Ability Garden where she is making a profound impact on the lives of others. With her gentle guidance and compassionate nature, she helps individuals find solace, purpose, and healing through the magic of plants.

“I have learned how to personalize the gardening activities with the people. And that is the biggest thing, is the client care and learning about their stories and figuring about where they are and where they wanna be. And having to find gardening activities to match that for them. And seeing what lights them up is really fun to experience and learn and being open to them and figuring out how to bring, you know, socialization is very key there,” says Korzenko. “So how to bring what I do over here in this farm to them in a social, you know, specific goals and learning that has been amazing for this, this profession. You can’t learn that in class.”

However, Chelsea’s journey didn’t end there.

“This is our sensory bin here. And we bring clients here to smell and feel all the different textures, to see the different patterns,” says Korzenko.

“Inspired by her newfound passion, she decided to start her own business, Daffodilly Farms, an oasis of serenity where people can find respite and discover the power of nature. The name was inspired by a life-changing trip to England, where Chelsea witnessed first-hand the breathtaking beauty of daffodils in bloom.

“I was obsessed with William Worsworth, the Daffodil poem, and visited his property, and he wrote that poem after he lost his baby. He went up on top of the hill, and there’s a spot, and I sat down and I saw it, and he looked across the beautiful green rolling hills of Lake Grasmere, and there was the daffodils blowing in the wind. And I got to see that. And I didn’t fully appreciate it then until my life turned upside down. And I felt that decapitating grief, and I realized, ‘oh, he found hope through flowers.’ And so when I was creating this farm, I loved daffodils. I didn’t really think that was the name, but then I was like, ‘you know what? I’m, you know, I’m silly. I’m fun. I’ve, I found that part of me again, daffodilly, that makes me laugh, that makes me smile. And that’s how it was created,'” says Korzenko.

Yes, Chelsea’s business is flourishing. And so is her personal life. She found love once again and remarried, leaving behind the shadows of her darkest days. Today, she is happier than ever, radiating a joy and purpose that inspire everyone she meets. When asked If she could go back in time and speak to her troubled self! Well, suffice it to say, the conversation would be one filled with emotion, and more importantly, encouragement.

“Keep going. That’s what got me through the darkest days then, and it gets me through now. Now I know my faith is ahead of me. I did not know that then. All I saw was fear. I thought the future fear belonged in the future. I have learned through this process that fear doesn’t belong in the future. It’s only here. It can’t belong in the future. Faith is there, light and hope. And if you just keep going, I find that fear just comes behind you. It just walks behind you. If you just keep pushing through it,” says Korzenko.

By: Ray D’Alessio