Gardening is an optimistic pursuit, one plants a seed envisioning the future germination and growth of the plant. If you don’t think you will be around to see it fruit why plant? Gardening gives you a reason to keep going, a reason to bear the intolerable, something to look forward to when you future looks dark and uncertain.
Gardening is a healing activity. Working with plants, the fresh air, the exercise, and the tranquility, is calming and healing for the mind and body.
If you or someone in your life is ill, or recovering and will be for some time – I recommend planting a healing garden.
Knowing what I know now (having gone through it myself) I can help. Through Flowers in the Front Yard I can provide a complete healing garden from installation through to maintenance. Or we can provide any part of the service separately as best suits your needs and budget.
Perhaps all you need is a hour of so of Garden Coaching to provide a healing garden for your loved one.
Whatever you need I will be happy to help!
Elements of a Healing Garden:
- A place to relax, nap, or rest in comfort.
- Way and a reason to get gentle exercise, and fresh air.
- Something to look forward to each day.
- Pleasant peaceful sounds.
- Fresh organic food.
- Activity in the garden to watch and be distracted by such as birds, butterflies, frogs, fish, dragonflies,etc.
What to avoid:
- Air-conditioner noise
- Lawnmower or traffic noise
- Weeds and the temptation to do too much work.
- Plants that need special care or that may not do well.
- Too much sun.
- Mosquitoes and black flies, hornets.
Recently I have had reason to think more about healing gardens, and experience directly the power of a garden to heal. In March 2010 I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.
Treatment involved Chemo therapy, surgery, hormone therapy, and radiation. None of this was pleasant. I lost my hair(all over my body including eyelashes and eyebrows), my breast, the feeling in my fingers and toes, and the feeling in part of my right arm. I was forced to under go chemically induced menopause and the physical aging that results. Thank goodness I never did have the nausea that is popularly associated with chemo but I gained 20 lbs as a result of inactivity caused by the chemo.
In short I had a very bad year.
I do not think I would have survived if it had not been for my garden. Each day I woke up realizing anew what was happening to me and my only solace, the only thing that got me out of bed, (aside from friends and family) was my garden.
Each morning armed with a cup of tea I walked around my garden. I examined the new blooms, measured the new growth, and noted which plants needed to be moved next year and which ones I should plant more of. I also took a lot of pictures. All of this needed little physical effort on my part, just slow walking and observation – all I could do on some days.
Some days I would just go out to the hammock under the birch tree beside my little water fall and curl up with a book and a blanket. The sound of the water trickling is very soothing, the fresh air was good for me, and watching the birds and butterflies and bees visit the flowers growing nearby was diverting and kept my mind from darker thoughts. As I write this I have just passed my one year anniversary post diagnoses, I survived! My garden was truly my best medicine.