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The Garden As Healer
The word for 'paradise' comes from the Persian word for a garden and has always meant the same thing in every culture. It is representative of 'paradise on earth' and is our opportunity to own a little bit of heaven - here and now. It has a restorative significance as a healer when we understand that gardens provide us with a place of sanctuary and well-being.
The garden has the potential to provide a place of refuge from stress, "the health epidemic of the 21st century" according to The World Health Organization. Medical doctors suggest that stress resulting in illness is the causative factor underlying 70% of all visits to the family doctor. The ability of the garden to provide this place of healing and peace becomes crucial as more and more people succumb to this dis-ease of 'modern day life.'
It matters little whether an indoor garden is a few pots on a windowsill or a lush garden room, what does matter is that plants add a dimension to the home/and or workplace that literally changes the energy and adds life. There is something about caring for plants and tending to them whether watering, re-potting, or touching the leaves that re-connects us on a deep level with an overwhelming sense of awe about this miracle of life of which we are an integral part. As we plant the seed or see the cyclical nature of the gardens we nurture, time stands still, and we bask in the knowledge of our relationship to the earth, and to the spiritual aspect of ourselves.
Reasons for creating an indoor garden include: corners in rooms and on furniture are softened when plants are introduced and placed in these areas; living plants create feelings of calm and well-being; starting seeds indoors provides a jump-start on spring for those of us who get twitchy fingers in January and allows us to grow different types of plants not usually available from greenhouses; growing herbs indoors facilitates our ability to cook with fresh herbs all year round; teaching children to garden provides an opportunity for the healing aspects of gardening to become a life-long aspect of their lives; indoor gardening is a stress-management tool taught in various classes related to providing a higher quality of life for people dealing with loss through death, divorce, or trauma in their lives.
Steps to Creating your Indoor Garden
1. Purpose - what do you want to achieve - healing, meditation, growing herbs for cooking, or a project with the children?
2. Space - how much space is available - a closet, basement room, living room, corner of the bedroom, windowsill?
3. Seating - is there room in your space for a seating area?
4. Characteristics - create a specific type of garden such as a collection of Ficus, orchids, herbs, or ferns.
5. Features - include water features such as fountains, art, sentimental objects, wind chimes, aroma and/or colour therapy, candles, and /or music.
6. Location - is the location conducive to gardening indoors?
7. Light - is the light adequate or will you need artificial lights?
8. Plants - what plants will you grow? Indoor gardens can include anything from a tabletop garden, herb garden, healing garden, meditation garden, container garden, water garden, or wildlife garden. Thomas Moore wrote, "We may have to learn again the mystery of the garden: how its external characteristics model the heart itself, and how the soul is a garden enclosed, our own perpetual paradise where we can be refreshed and restored." In other words, the indoor garden can provide a place of sanctuary where we can take a moment and re-connect with our own sacredness.
Gwen Nyhus Stewart, B.S.W., M.G., H.T., is an educator, freelance writer, garden consultant, and author of the book The Healing Garden: A Place Of Peace - Gardening For The Soil, Gardening For The Soul and the booklet Non-toxic Alternatives For Everyday Cleaning And Gardening Products. She owns the website Gwen's Healing Garden where you will find lots of free information about gardening for the soil and gardening for the soul. To find out more about the books and subscribe to her free Newsletter visit http://www.gwenshealinggarden.ca
Gwen Nyhus Stewart © 2004 - 2005. All rights reserved.
Basic Lawn Care - Mowing, Scarifiers, Aeration, and Watering Tips
The arrival of summer heralds a time of increased wear and tear for the average garden lawn. Children's yard games, barbecue parties, outdoor sports and generally more activity in the garden means your lawn is set to come in for something of a beating and without a little TLC is likely to start showing more than a little worse for wear.
No Dig Gardens - How to Build One
The no dig garden is exactly what it describes..
Compost YES, Epsom Salts NO
You'll often hear garden writers recommending the use of Epsom salts in the garden as a general rule. First off, I'm not one of those writers.
Enjoy Creating and Growing a Sustainable Garden While Feeding Your Family
A sustainable garden means one that can be sustained over time, and would necessarily involve I) growing food you want to eat, so you are motivated to continue growing, II) growing economically, so that it is worthwhile doing, as well as III) taking care of environmental issues, so that the ground will continue to support growing.I) The plants to be grown should be chosen primarily on what your family wants to eat, and what will grow in your locale.
Homemade Hydroponics System Plan
Building your own water works system is quite simple and can be fun, if you know how to follow instructions. This particular type of system is best suited for water loving plants such as lettuce.
Garden for Birds #4
I would like to know..
Garden Swings Create an Enchanted Garden Setting
Nothing invites one to sit and enjoy a lovingly created and tended garden quite the way that a garden swing does. Only from the perch of a gently swaying garden swing can one fully appreciate the bounty of nature complete with the subtle flowery and earthy smells of the garden.
Discount Patio Furniture - An Easy Way to Get the Best
Buying discount patio furniture is an economical way to obtain quality furniture for your patio. Many department stores offer patio furniture at discounted prices towards or at the end of the summer season.
The Difference Between Large and Small Ponds
If you think that a large pond is simply a small pond that "grew up", you're in for some pond maintenance problems. Let's start off my defining the terms that we'll be using here.
This is a project I've had on the back burner for many months now, but now it's finally ready!We rigged up a wireless camera and aimed it at the KOI pond here, directly where my KOI get their daily feedings. To check it out right now, visit www.
An Outdoor Swing is A Great Way to Relax
There is simply no better vantage point from which to view the beauty of nature, the occasional passerby and the antics of wildlife than an outdoor swing. Outdoor swings do more than provide a beautiful addition to your outdoor décor; they provide a relaxation spot, gathering place and a comfortable outdoor perch that will be greatly appreciated by everyone in the family.
A Look at Fall Flower Bulbs
Most people would think of fall as a season when trees are changing colors and dying. For many, the autumn leaves are our last dance with color before the dark, gray winter sets in.
Fall Flowering Bulbs
Deciduous trees dazzle us with the brilliance of the golds, oranges and reds they display before dropping their leaves in the autumn. However, you don't have to be satisfied with autumn leaf color alone.
Garden Room Boundaries...
The areas of your landscape can be divided into several sections and areas, which are also known as garden rooms. Garden rooms are spaces where you plant, grow, and display different ideas in gardening in various creative methods.
Planting Bare Root Roses
Before planting, the plants must be prepared. The following suggestions will help insure that your roses grow into healthy bushes, trees, etc.
How to Find and Work With a Porch Swing Contractor To Install the Porch Swing of Your Dreams
You've found a great Porch Swing and you know exactly where you want to put it, and it's not on the Porch. If you're a Do-it-Yourselfer, no problem.
If you appreciate plants that have no hesitation in boldly stating their presence with huge, almost artificially perfect flowers, then tuberous begonias are for you. While some may find them rather too overstated, downright brazen even, if you like colour, and plenty of it, with subtlety an option rather than compulsory, then look no further.
Choosing Pond Plants
A pond without plants is like cake without icing. Pond plants fight algae, give fish a hiding place against predators, and beautify our own little slice of paradise to plunk down in at the end of a tiring day.
Tips For Successful Backyard Grape Growing
Growing grapes in the backyard or garden can be a rewarding experience. It can also be quite a failure if not done properly.
The Flower Garden in August
Our flower garden in August can be brimming with activities we can do at this time of year, as we can for most of the year. We have some flower gardening tips to give you and some experiments to try.
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