Dr. Mike Sherlock
As a pediatrician, Mike Sherlock’s interest in living things extends beyond human anatomy. Plant life—horticulture—is also a passion of his, and one that led him to become a Firesoul in a most organic way.
Having moved east from Montana, Mike settled in Baltimore, MD with his family and grew his practice. After gardening his own yard, then a few, smaller public spaces in his Mt. Washington community, Mike decided to earn a landscape design certification. Now he was poised and ready to tackle an ambitious community project: to convert a dismal, brown acre of land—a neglected vacant lot. One where an apartment complex had been devastated by a hurricane several years before.
“It might be seen as breathing fire or light where there was none before”.
Armed with a cadre of other like-minded community volunteers, Mike and his team volunteered their Sundays for over seven years to create what is now the Mt. Washington Arboretum—a lush acre, entirely open to the public, with walking trails, hundreds of native plant species, a pond with a waterfall, a teaching tent, a water-collecting wheel, an entrance kiosk and a pergola.
The arboretum is used by nature groups, amateur painters, photographers, school groups, master gardeners and botany classes. It’s Sacred Place serves as a garden centerpiece—it’s bench is canopied by a hand-crafted, curved arbor—making the open, circular area all the more enticing.
“So much can go wrong in this world that you can have no impact on. But in the garden, you can do something right. You can create some beauty in a world that is often ugly and disorderly. The garden puts you back in touch with the natural world and the natural order of things.”
We couldn’t have put it any better.
Photo credit: Maureen Porto
Photo credit: Maureen Porto.