PM360 recently spoke to Sarah Foster, Advisor – Enterprise Website Integration, Eli Lilly and Company, about crafting awe-inspiring landscapes.

PM360: We hear you have a passion for landscaping and gardening. What does that involve?

Sarah Foster: It starts with a lot research and planning as we plant upwards of 600 to 800 bulbs a year. We’ve even been featured by a local landscaping company that uses our yard as their advertisements, so we put a lot of work into gardening. It’s my space away from work to clear my head.

What goes into choosing which flowers you plant each year?

A lot of thought goes into how much space each plant requires and what it needs to survive, such as the sun, shade, and water quality. And then it is deciding the look that you’re going for. For instance, last year we did a tropical theme, which was very flower-focused. We planted a lot of elephant ears and caladiums, and it included more shade with a lot of greenery and those types of things.

What have been some of your favorite themes that you’ve done over the years?

In addition to the tropical theme, which worked really well for us, we previously did what we called the pink and white. That year we planted upwards of 1,000 plants with a wave of petunias that were all pink and all white and we intertwined the colors so that it looked like flowing pink and white flowers. And then we put pink and white wreaths and bushes by our front door so it all just flowed together.

What do you have coming up this year?

That’s the great debate right now, as I’ll have to start ordering things soon. As our kids get older, we’ve been trying to involve them to help pick the themes. We may do kind of a mossy theme this year, so a lot of greenery, less flowers, but more shade and succulent type plants to pull in different color greens.

That sounds great. Do you have any other interests outside of the gardening?

Yes, our two boys are very active athletes, so we try to stay involved in youth sports, whether that be sponsorship, board member positions, or coaching and volunteering to give back. Currently, I coach 2nd-grade boys’ basketball. I started about five or six years ago with my older son, and now I coach my younger son’s team.

What do you focus on when coaching kids that young?

As a past college athlete, I was always super competitive, but it can be a bit of a struggle to get the younger kids to focus and pay attention. My goal is mostly to help the kids learn how to be good teammates, how to carry themselves overall, be polite, as well as learn the basics and fundamentals of the sport. Anything you learn in sports is going to carry over into life as well. So, we mold them to be respectful and compete in the right way.

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