Therapy in the Garden

Life sometimes takes us on unexpected journeys; unplanned and unforeseen routes, and at times unfavorable turns. We don’t always know where we are going or what the outcome will be. There is always growth and learning on these journeys, even if it is difficult to navigate.

I find myself on one of these journeys at the moment. It sometimes pulls me away from the things I love, such as tending to this blog. I do, however, find myself always returning to gardening because of the therapeutic benefits of plants and nature.

Gardening literally grounds us. Playing with dirt grounds us. We remember that there is an entire world around us and below our feet which is far more important than whatever issue may be pending in our lives. Gardening reminds us to take care of another living being other than ourselves.

Almost a year ago, we took a trip to Wild Rose to finalize the “curb appeal” of my father-in-law’s property, making it sellable as he transitioned to a care facility. I was recovering from shoulder surgery at the time, so I was there as more of a moral support. This event, which at the time felt to me like the ending or closing of an era, was actually just the beginning of a much longer, harder journey.

I turned to gardening as both a way to assist with the project in a way that would add value and also as a way to help get through the difficult transition of moving a family member to a new home. My act of renovating the bed pictured above was a way to pay tribute to the former resident and also give a welcome to whomever the new resident would be. Using plants such as columbine, catmint, spurge and sedum created a calming effect with their soft scents and easy flowing leaves. We gathered beautiful rocks from the surrounding area to frame the plants. Of course, our dog Abbey gave the final nod of approval!

Wherever life takes me, gardening will always be a part of it. I hope it is part of yours as well. We all need to tend to mother earth in order to tend to ourselves.


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