My Name Is... Maddie Ibsen

Formerly wayward youth finds self-sufficiency and peace among plants

David Gilbert
dgilbert@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 10/14/20

Getting off a ‘bad path’ I’ve been working with plants since my early teens. I was going down a bad path, and my parents said I couldn’t stay home in the summers because I would get into too …

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My Name Is... Maddie Ibsen

Formerly wayward youth finds self-sufficiency and peace among plants

Posted

Getting off a ‘bad path’

I’ve been working with plants since my early teens.

I was going down a bad path, and my parents said I couldn’t stay home in the summers because I would get into too much trouble, so I started working at a garden center.

When I first started, I didn’t really care about plants. But every year that went by, I started to realize how important plants are to the planet and to people. During the height of the COVID shutdowns, lots of people had nothing to do but garden. My knowledge allowed me to help people work on something positive during one of the most stressful parts of their lives.

‘They become your baby’

Plants are great to help people lift themselves up, too. You can grow food for needy people, or teach them to grow things for themselves.

It’s also just plain fun. If you start with an itty-bitty plant in a two-inch pot, you can see it grow it into an adult. It’s like raising a kitten or a puppy — they become your baby.

Lots of people think gardening is just a hobby, but if we all grew more food we could have less reliance on industrial agriculture.

Way to grow

I love to travel. You get to see these plants in their true environments.

On a cruise in the Caribbean a couple years ago, I went hiking on these cool nature trails in the Bahamas, and I started noticing plants I only thought of as houseplants growing wild. I had never seen a fiddle-leaf fig in its natural habitat.

That was when I came up with the idea for an interior landscaping business — I realized I could take the knowledge I gained from my travels and apply it to how we grow things indoors in Colorado.

The future in front of me

Now, I take care of plants for places like Coal Mine Ave. Brewing. Most restaurants don’t have a lot of natural stuff inside, but it’s a way to make people feel more at home and provide a relaxing atmosphere.

I can also take care of people’s plants on vacation, or offer consultations on how to bring more plants into your home and get them to thrive. I even help design terrariums for lizards and do birthday parties where I help kids create their own fairy gardens.

It’s been amazing — I went from working with plants because I had to, to realizing that it was my future laid out in front of me.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is, please contact David Gilbert at dgilbert@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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