If you have been following Growing Spaces for several years, you are probably quite familiar with Udgar and Puja Parsons. If not, let us give you a little background. Udgar and Puja founded Growing Spaces in 1989, putting their heart and soul into developing a community and business centered around fresh, healthy, organic food.
In April of 2018, after selling the company to Lem and Liz Tingley, Udgar and Puja embarked on a series of world travels. Returning home, they continued their dedication and involvement with the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership in downtown Pagosa Springs. They also helped the community during the pandemic lockdown by providing fresh food for Food Banks and neighbors.
Finding A New Perspective – Gardening in Retirement
Retirement, and the past year at home, has allowed Udgar and Puja to slow down and experience the joy of their Growing Dome® as a place of sanctuary from a Growing Dome® owner’s perspective as opposed to that of busy business owners.
“What is NEW after years of writing about our mission and purpose in the business is that I get to write about how EXPERIENCING a Growing Dome® has added to our lives this challenging past year. As founders, we wanted to create sustainability and independence with our product as well as nourishment and health “for people and planet.” But we also wanted to create beauty and connectedness. We have lived the lifestyle we promoted with this product, in eating fresh food since our first prototype in 1989. This gave us a really good foundation for health and longevity. But, 2020/21 was an unprecedented time of emotional challenge within the ups and downs of the Covid Pandemic. While in the “pause” of social distancing and isolation and the need for emotional healing and inspiration, our Growing Dome® provided amazing therapy not just for gardening but as a place of peace. Having this beautiful dome-shaped space helped to dissolve the collective feelings of uncertainty and fear. The sense of isolation and challenge as well as grief, in the Pandemic was transformed for us inside the environment of our Growing Domes. Just going there, returned us to a sense of peace, refuge and renewal. Our flowers especially nourished our souls in the physical and emotional winter of this past year.” – Puja
Puja said the space provides “Hygge,” a Scandinavian word which translates in English to a “mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.”
Inside Their Greenhouse Sanctuary
“I was amazed to see that Alyssum, Amaryllis and Geraniums and Christmas Cactus, Petunias, and succulents all continue to grow in the winter. My Above-Ground Pond is full of beautiful plants and fish that continue to thrive.” – Puja
In the newer 26 foot Dome, we included flowers, a gazebo, reclining chairs, and a rowing machine, as well as a yoga platform in this Growing Dome. “In our older 22 ft dome, we have a little pond in the center bed for frogs, but most of the space is devoted to growing produce.”
Advice From a Dome Owner Gardening in Retirement
From one dome owner to the next, Udgar wanted to pass on some well-warranted advice that is relevant to all gardeners, not just Growing Dome® owners:
“Don’t worry too much about doing it right. There is no such thing as a mistake in gardening. There are always going to be challenges when learning and growing, you can count on that. Gardening teaches us to let go of control. There will be many lessons. Just relax and enjoy it.”- Udgar Parsons
While they are finding “a special environment for contentment” through gardening in retirement, Udgar and Puja are still actively involved in staying connected with the community they built through our Facebook groups and events.
We would love to hear how you have transformed your Growing Dome® into a personal greenhouse sanctuary. Please share your tips, tricks, and personal touches with us on Facebook or Instagram and keep an eye out for upcoming events in your area. As always, happy growing!
You can find all of our Featured Growing Dome’s highlighted in our monthly newsletter “The Happy Grower,” on our social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram), and in our blog. At the end of the year, we create an annual calendar that includes every Dome of the Month. We send them to all Dome of the Month participants, along with a gift of Growing Spaces gardening goodies! Apply here.