Tag Archives: Horticulture Therapy

Only Child saves sanity through creativity

Edge of Only Child’s fall garden facing the street.

After my take on irresponsibility and sleep-walking through most of last week, I finally “woke up” Friday. The last residues of it all got blown away in the wind when I hit the gardening ground running this weekend. Then I took it inside to the kitchen.

We had a warm Sunday and first part of Monday, so I raked and swept leaves, cut off  the messy dead leaves from some perennials going into winter dormancy – hostas, day lilies and peonies, brought in some flowers – yes a few of those still around– pansies, chrysanthemums, lamium, and leaves with berries from the euonymus shrubs. Then I took it indoors – floral arrangements for the front hallway, kitchen table and kitchen windowsill. I also planted seeds indoors in pots for cinnamon and lime basil. I have some potted plants that you don’t usually bring indoors, but I did a few weeks ago – a tomato plant and pepper plant – both are still getting blossoms turning into cherry tomatoes and peppers, a lobelia  (annual) still flowering, and a dianthus (perennial). I carried on this indoor gardening into today and along with what was already there (coleus, African violet, Christmas cactus which believes Christmas is in November for flowering, jade, aloe vera, etc.) my indoor garden “centres” in the livingroom and bedrooms are growing (pun intended).

Sure, I had to pitch a few dead plants outside , but they taught me – when something is dead, bury it and move on. So, I’m trying to do that with friends’ betrayals, irresponsibility, etc.

My creativity continued with cooking (even dessert – I seldom make dessert from scratch, but this time did a rhubarb crisp from garden rhubarb frozen). And I did a few twists on some main courses. Today, I’m making soup for supper.

Doing all this creative stuff calmed me and filled me with hope for the future. It also cleared my mind. So did hibernating somewhat this weekend – only one phone call and a few emails, with the only “trips” away from home to get groceries or go for a walk – sometimes combined.

I don’t recommend being a permanent recluse – but the occasional getting away from the madding crowd can put things in perspective and kick-start you.

Now, I’m revved up for rewriting more in my novel, promoting my short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point and editing clients’ manuscripts.

That doesn’t mean I forget about cooking and gardening and even cleaning the house. It means putting what you do in balance, including figuring out what is important. Obviously, some of the stuff I blogged about last week isn’t at the top of my list anymore.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Balance, Gardening, Gardening health benefits, Healing through gardening, Home and Garden, Indoor Gardening, Only child, Rhubarb, Sharon A. Crawford

Fix what ails you – go into your garden

Only Child standing beside Black-eyes Susans and in front of black walnut tree in backyard

I’ve blogged about the healing garden before, but apparently without actually noticing what my garden is telling me this summer.

Although I’m not big on Feng Shui anymore, I do believe a garden will tell all, including some answers for what is bugging you. And I don’t necessarily mean the bugs in the garden. However, maybe I should look into the bug aspect as I’ve been stung twice. Both times I accidently shoved a finger or hand where a “stinging insect” rested and disturbed it. Maybe my answer here is I’ve been shoving myself into too many things without intention and getting bitten for my efforts.

The real thing my garden is telling me is to notice what is growing so well in it. With the drought this summer until the beginning of August, it is amazing that anything is growing at all. My bean plants are stunted and that tells me I shouldn’t be eating some types of beans right now. But it is the huge and taller-than-usual clumps of Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) that catch my eyes and my soul with an “aha” moment. Black-eyed Susan is a misnomer as the middle is dark brown, not black (although the perennial also gets called Brown-eyed Susan). The main part of the flower fans out from this centre in individual petal strips that are bright yellow. The Rudbeckia is growing all over the front and back of my garden and when I sit outside I can feel the flowers penetrating my body and soul. Yellow is the colour for healing and this summer I am having a particularly hard time with my digestive disorder.

Then there are those two black walnut trees on my friends’ property next door. The branches hang over my property and provide much needed shade in a corner of my patio. It’s not the leaves or the shade, but the earlier-than-usual walnuts that have been falling off the trees, bouncing loudly like a ball against the house. The message: I need to take the homeopathic black walnut for my digestive system. At this point the jury is still out whether that will help, but once I started taking it, the walnut-dropping stopped except for an occasional late jumper. A reminder to keep taking my medicine?

My garden is full of signs about what is going on in my life. I just need to look and listen.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Digestive disorder, Gardening health benefits, Healing through gardening, Health, Horticultural Therapy, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford

Only child goes out into the garden

Only Child and her late Mom in the backyard garden. Mom is sitting in a Muskoka chair.

This morning before starting work I went out into the garden. I do this every day to relieve the stress before it gets to me. The plan was to transplant some basil, nasturtium and a coleus, and put the hose away because we are supposed to finally get some rain. Then I planned to sit out on the patio and eat breakfast.

Instead I stared at some of the many weeds and started yanking them. I know weeding is therapeutic (especially when you pretend the weeds are your problems and/or the problematic people in your life). However, weeding is turning into a routine almost every time I head out into the garden. This helps with decreasing the weed population – for now. But there is more to gardening than pulling weeds.

I am enjoying the lush early display of roses thanks to our early hot weather and snapped a few photos this morning. I do “tour” the garden (and snatch up weeds as I walk around) and I do sit out in the garden and actually do nothing but drink wine or water and read a book. And eat my meals out on the patio or on the veranda while sitting in my new Muskoka chair (a holdover from my childhood when that’s what you sat on in the backyard or on the veranda).  Maybe the weed yanking is also a family holdover. My mother was a gardener and she did a lot of weeding. She also grew beautiful rose bushes, including red roses climbing around an archway.

Still, I can’t help thinking that I need an attitude change here. I need to go into the garden to enjoy it – whether I am weeding or reading or planting or touring. This is my escape from the harsh realities of my life. Heck, most of the time I don’t even take the cordless phone outside. If anyone wants me they can leave a message – unless they are telemarketers – they can go, to put it politely, where the sun doesn’t shine.

And speaking of gardening and reading. A study at Wageningen University and Research Center, The Netherlands featuring people spending time in the garden and spending time reading shows that gardening relieves stress more than reading. I wonder if reading in the garden would relieve stress even more. Check out the study published in 2010 at http://hpq.sagepub.com/content/16/1/3.abstract

I did transplant the nasturtium and basil but left the hose lying in the driveway. We’ve had so many wrong forecasts of rain in the past two weeks. I’ll believe it’s raining today, when it actually rains.

Cheers.

Sharon Crawford

Only Child Writes

Only Child’s late Dad under Mom’s rose archway

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Filed under Gardening, Gardening health benefits, Healing through gardening, Home first memoir, Mom and Dad, Muskoka Chair, Only child memoir, Problems, Reading, Roses, Shopping