By Jere Peck,

Garden Manager at The Gardens at Heather Farm


“The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions.” Chanakya.

I have been thinking about this quote a lot lately.  Isn’t the quote lovely?  And true?  In recent weeks, I have watched goodness grow in the Gardens.

As you well know, the Gardens at Heather Farm has a spectacular and celebrated rose garden.  During the blooming season, it is truly a special place to be.  Our garden staff dedicates the first part of the year to tending to the Cowden Rose Garden.  However, even with the right care, a rose bush eventually needs replacing.  When you have a collection like ours, with over a thousand roses, not only is this a lot of work, but it can be financially overwhelming, also.

Recently, the Walnut Creek Civic Pride Foundation awarded the Gardens at Heather Farm a grant to fund the replacement of many roses in our collection.  As a fiscal sponsor of the Cowden Rose Garden, the Walnut Creek Civic Pride Foundation has enriched our community through their support of this local treasure.  And little did they know, they were also planting a seed of goodness in the garden.

When searching for replacements,  we contacted Regan’s Nursery in Fremont.  In addition to helping locate the specific varieties needed, the kind people at Regan’s also offered a large donation of roses.  Thanks to the combined goodness of our two partners, our rose collection has received a fantastic upgrade this year.

Pruning of the roses this winter became a challenge due to the rains.  Fortunately, we have an outstanding team of volunteers who are as dedicated as they are fun.  They danced around the rain to make sure the roses were pruned in time for Spring.  Our volunteers are the true flowers in our garden.  And every day they are out working, visitors to the garden stop to thank them, compliment their work, and contribute the goodness in the garden.

Gardening is a labor of love.  It has been shown to have therapeutic benefits.  It is a lot easier to see the goodness around you when you are doing something you love.  Get out and garden!  The winter blues can be a challenge.  Heck, life itself is a struggle for many.  So keep in mind the above quote.  Spread goodness; it will grow.  And always remember to garden downwind of the flowers.

If you would like to become a garden volunteer and learn other ways you can make a difference in our work,  visit

Keep on growing!