Garden Girls planting the seeds of love. Photo credit: Harlow & May Studios

Kindness Is in Season as Garden Girls Teach Young Adults Who’ve Aged Out of Foster Care Adaptive Skills From Gardening

We often think that we are growing gardens when the gardens are really growing us.”

— Jen McDonald

HOUSTON, TX, USA, April 27, 2023/ — Garden Girls, a Houston-based company reimagining garden design, is lending their green thumb to A Lighted Path, a Houston nonprofit providing young adults who have aged out of foster care with life skills, mentoring, and career counseling, by installing raised garden beds at their facility on April 28th and 29th, 2023.

In partnering with A Lighted Path’s Adults In Training (AIT) program, Garden Girls aim to teach young adults how to nurture relationships with patience and care —and experience life through what they plant. In this case, it’s seasonal favorites like peppers, tomatoes, arugula, rosemary, and basil.

According to the National Institute of Health, 20% of foster children who place out of the system are instantly homeless. They are also less likely to receive an education, leading to high levels of joblessness and mental health issues. However, programs like A Lighted Path, designed to prepare foster alumni for the workforce, increase their ability to secure employment from 20% to 80%.

“We were thrilled to partner with A Lighted Path because their mission is incredible. Taking ownership of a garden and teaching others how to care for it leads to pride in one’s work. We want the leaders of ALP to embrace their roles and spread the love of gardening and growing with their peers and in their community. It’s just the tip of the iceberg!” says Jen McDonald, co-founder of Garden Girls.

While Garden Girls are known for installing beautiful turnkey garden beds throughout Houston and beyond, they believe gardening is a form of therapy and are dedicated to redefining gardens as safe places created out of beauty and love. Their mission is to demystify gardening by making it more accessible in public and private spaces and promote the benefits of eating garden-to-table.

Lori Gobillot, President and Executive Director at A Lighted Path, sees this collaboration as a blueprint other organizations can adopt. “ What I love about the garden is that it will be a place of beauty, quiet, and reflection. It ties in with our life skills of cooking nutritious food on a budget, managing daily stress, being curious about the world, and being lifelong learners. With input from our AITs and volunteers, Garden Girls has designed an inspiring space that ticks all the boxes.”

“We often think that we are growing gardens when the gardens are really growing us,” McDonald adds.

To learn more about Garden Girls, visit


About Garden Girls:

Founded in 2022 by Jen McDonald, Jill Oliver, and Nicole Shah, Garden Girls is a Houston-based company reimagining garden design. They conceive and install custom garden beds for commercial and residential clients locally and beyond and provide the necessary tools to maintain a flourishing garden.

Garden Girls’ mission is to make gardening more accessible by helping people with less space plant indoor and outdoor gardens, eat garden-to-table, and promote gardens as healing places.

Garden Girls has been featured in Martha Stewart Living, The Washington Post,, Real Simple, Architectural Digest, Apartment Therapy, Homes & Gardens, Martha Gets Down and Dirty, and is the go-to gardening guest on Houston Life.

Marnie Goodfriend
Kind Publicity
+1 323-206-6469
[email protected]
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