Max’s ‘The Garden: Commune or Cult’ is a unique show that combines reality television format with the genre of documentary to give us all an insight into the inner workings of the commune known as The Garden. Given the infamy that the group has achieved due to TikTok, many have found it fascinating to see for themselves just what is going on in this group. Among the prominent people involved in the workings of The Garden, Patrick Martion stands out the most, likely due to his role as its Founder. Given his crucial role in the group’s rise and his presence in the series, many of the viewers are quite serious about where he is these days.
Who is Patrick Martion?
As it turns out, Patrick Martion’s history with living in big open spaces is a long one. In fact, his parents actually met through the Rainbow Collective, a group that encourages its members to live amongst the trees for long stretches of time. Matrion apparently established The Garden as an offshoot of the community he grew up in. While Rainbow has often been accused of being a cult in the past, Patrick himself has only talked about it in a positive light, insisting that the idea of being connected with nature is something that he wholeheartedly supports.
Hence, in 2009, Patrick joined hands with his friend Tim to create his community, calling it the Garden. It started off after he purchased land in Lafayette, Tennessee, for $52,500. Initially, the group was called Shut Up And Grow and soon created a space for themselves in the 21.5-acre land. “We [Patrick and Tim] started dreaming about, I don’t know, living more free. You know, we both hitchhiked and traveled, and we found this area, and built a toolshed, built an outhouse, grow our own food, collect our own water, use our own fuel source. And ever since then, it’s been like kind of growing exponentially,” Patrick shared in the Max show.
That said, Patrick’s journey with The Garden did not start on the best note, but he continued to put everything in so as to keep his vision for the group alive. “The Garden, it was humble beginnings. I was very optimistic about, like, we were just gonna hit the ground running. We were gonna plant all this stuff. We were gonna build all this infrastructure, and it was gonna be awesome,” Patrick recalled. “All these people from all over were gonna come and be a part of it. And that’s not really what happened.”
“What happened is people really wanted to hang out, and they really wanted to drink,” Patrick elaborated. “I tried to encourage people for a little while to, like, do other things like, ‘Let’s get some chickens together. Let’s plant some stuff.’ And people were really not so much into it. At times, it was like discouraging. And at times, I left because it was so discouraging. Then I’d come back and clean up the trash basically and start over.”
However, by the time The Garden’s sixth year rolled around, things seemingly took a turn that Patrick always wanted and soon started to resemble the commune that we get to see in the show. His past experience with people’s desire to party, as well as his apparent worry over how such things might affect those who are trying to move past their addictions, were what seemed to have motivated Patrick’s dislike towards parties that we witnessed. He was also concerned about how loud parties might affect families with kids as well as the neighbors.
Patrick Martion is Now a Father
It seems like Patrick Martion remains a crucial figure within The Garden. The Founder has insisted numerous times publically that he does not see himself as the leader of the commune but rather as an ordinary part of the council that makes decisions regarding the group. While he agreed in the Max show that people do tend to look up to him and often cast him in a leadership role, he claimed that it is not something he wants to be and is apparently simply focused on his vision for the group and working alongside others.
Despite Patrick’s insistence, he has been accused many times over the years of pulling the strings behind the scenes and not allowing opposing views to thrive in the group. On the flip side, many have actually cast doubts about him being a proper leader, as evidenced by many comments on the reality show. Some of his negative press can likely be linked to his past affiliation with the Rainbow Collective as well as the 191 arrests that Heather Carnahan mentioned in the series. Presently, he is still living within the commune along with his wife Mai and daughter Ren.
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