Hi there. I’m Jeremy Ohmes. I started Wild World Gardens because I believe gardens can be meaningful spaces for healing and connection. I am a gardener who was fortunate enough to grow up in a gardening family. I helped my parents and grandparents grow vegetables, plant flowers, and provide habitat for the backyard creatures. Some of my fondest memories from childhood were gardening “chores”: weeding, watering, mulching, harvesting veggies, picking raspberries, and spreading manure. I took a break from gardening for many years, but after I bought a house in Chicago with 900 square feet of yard space, I was determined to stretch out my green thumb again.
I started small with a couple of raised beds for herbs and vegetables. Then I gradually planted fruit trees, installed rain barrels, constructed a compost bin, created a pollinator garden, added more raised beds, replaced my front lawn with native prairie plants, and expanded my garden upward, outward, and inward. I also went back to school—completing the Chicago Master Gardener program in 2018 and acquiring a certificate in Horticultural Therapy from the Chicago Botanic Garden that same year.
Both of those educational experiences reaffirmed something that I had always known: that gardens can go far beyond basic curb appeal; they can be wild and restorative sanctuaries for humans and nonhumans alike. In my volunteer work with children at Garfield Park Conservatory, patients at Schwab Rehabilitation Center, and students at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, I have witnessed the many therapeutic benefits that digging in the dirt and caring for plants can have on people’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Combined with creating habitat for struggling species and restoring the health of your local environment, gardening can be a mutual flourishing of life above ground and below.
I hope you will consider Wild World Gardens for your next landscape project. If you would like to learn more about native plant gardens, edible gardens, and/or therapeutic horticulture, please contact me.