Of Sprigs and Twigs

Of  Sprigs and Twigs

Weaving Love into Christmas

Heart Strings and Sisterly Love

Making a swag for the holiday

Grandmother and Grandson

Family participates in Horticulture Therapy wreath-making party

Weaving Love into a Wreath

greenery and red berries for the Christmas wreath

Wishing You Peace and Love

In gratitude and special thanks to the volunteers in Horticulture Therapy who donated the awesome twigs and sprigs, prepared delicious food and homemade cider, and brought special people together, including a warm visit from my mother and sister, who joined us in making wreaths and swags. 

My son and I are staying home for Christmas this year, mostly caring for our sweet dog, Tiny, who has stomach cancer.  Our days with Tiny are limited.  I can feel the approaching time.  Some days, like today, I feel it in enormous waves of sadness.  I cry, which helps a little.  Crying is good for you when you feel sad. 

Christmas isn’t always happy.  I pray for the grieving families in Connecticut.  I pray for people who are hurting, hungry or without a door to hang a wreath. 

I’m grateful for the time I have with my son and our dogs, healthy food, and the special time we had with family.  I love the wreath my son and mother made and simply adore the little swag of sprigs and twigs hanging over my kitchen sink window.

The Spirit of Christmas is in my heart, even though there is sadness too.  The Horticulture Therapy group is such a gift to me, and a special part of our lives.  Who would have thought that Santa would show up in a Green Healing Day, but ‘he’ did.

Green Healing in Horticulture

I like to call this garden the Therapy Bed.  These are some of the Fall greens growing.  Yummy and Gorgeous growing together!

This garden is very special, which I’ve probably said here before.  A healing energy surrounds it.  I can feel it in the food that grows there.

The Therapy Bed was home to the Summer Tithonia Garden and brought many species of beautiful butterflies!  I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to spend time there and to the woman who planted them because they are by far one of my very favorite flowers.

You can see an interesting piece of art from this year’s Sculpture in the Garden show in the background of the photo (above).  The white curves remind me of the old-time soft-serve ice cream we used to get in the small town I grew up in.

I’ve missed several group meetings (as a volunteer in Horticulture Therapy) over the past couple of months, due to health issues and stressful circumstances, but am so glad that my son has been able to attend and bring home the greens!

I look forward to participating in the colder weather horticultural activities, like when they make Christmas wreaths and aromatic herb bags. 

Oddly, when I’ve been unable to attend the group gatherings, I’ve found myself piddling around in my yard or more often, taking care of the container plants still living on my decks.

The big Terracotta filled with Chives, Thyme and the most wonderful ground cover called Carpet Mint are still quite nice.  The Mint isn’t visible, but I hope it comes back next year. 

I must admit, although I get a lot from being with my plants or walking through the woods, it isn’t a replacement for being with a group of people in Horticulture Therapy (HT).  Healing really does happen in HT and I love it!

Thanks for visiting Green Healing Notes!

Healthy Greens Growing Together

 

Between Summer and Fall

HORTICULTURAL HEALING

2012, 25 August

August is almost over.  The days of 100 degree temperatures in North Carolina are most likely gone for the year.  A few leaves are falling.  Pale yellows and a few red ones have blown with the light winds landing on my small front porch, where my little Green Healing garden grows.  Amazing how time goes by when you reach a certain age.

Fall planting has begun in Horticulture Therapy.  We planted Kale and Radish seeds.  The soil is still warm, so these will be good plants to start with.  Both are of a variety that will make for a pretty garden.  The Radish are ‘White Ice Cicle’ and the Kale will have wide leaves that are rather pale in color compared to the more common green varieties.  We’ll enjoy a lovely white (and nutritious) garden if it grows well and I sure hope it does.  The garden always offers hope.

Hand and Seeds for Fall planting

Planting seeds is one of my favorite things to do in a garden.  I think it is also one of the most hopeful tasks, because there are many events that could cause the seeds not to germinate.  The first evidence of germination makes a horticulture heart a happy one!  (Click on an image to view Gallery)

Sunflowers, Plant People, Big Color

Well, I’m back sooner than expected to share more Sunflower photos.  I really can’t help myself.  If I wasn’t tired, which I am, I’d give fun names to the ones I saw today!  I guess some folks might think if you’ve seen one Sunflower, then you’ve seen them all, but today only strengthened my personal observation that each one is unique.

Note:  Click on images to see the original size.

Drop Dead Red Sunflower, Green Healing Notes Blog Images

My friend and I had gone to the gardens to have lunch under the naturally vine-crafted Gazebo by the herb garden.  I thought it would be cool spot to sit, but I used all except one napkin for wiping the out-pour of sweat on my body, and I had on a summer dress! 

I may be a mountain woman in my heart, but I’m not sure.  We lived in the mountains when I was a toddler, but soon moved to the Piedmont area of North Carolina, which is where I’ve spent most of my life.  We’ve always had rather hot and humid summers in NC, but they’re hotter now than they were twenty (or so) years ago.  I later moved to the mountains with my teenage son.  After living there for several years, I learned that I like temperatures around 72 degrees.  We had to move back to the Piedmont area for medical reasons, but I’ve never forgotten those beautiful blue hills.  I’ve regressed.  Back to Sunflowers…

Sunflower Green Healing Images, Drop Dead Red

My friend, Camila, who is also a volunteer in Horticulture Therapy at the Botanical gardens, was watering the Sunflowers when my friend and I arrived for our lunch outing. 

Camila likes the heat.  I salute her for enduring it because she is now solely responsible for tending the Horticulture Therapy gardens, which includes the Sunflowers.  Yay for Plant People, especially ones who volunteer their time.

As much as I love the ‘Drop Dead Red’ variety of sunflowers, an amazingly large yellow one in the back of the garden overlooking the hill and the woods where the nature trails are was most worthy of our attention.

Camila had earlier tied the plant’s thick stem to a bamboo pole.  “That one is so big it was falling down,” she said with a loving little laugh.  We’re a lot alike in our love for the Sunflowers, as for all plants.

Yellow Sunflower and Woman

SUNFLOWER SMILES

Green Healing Sunflower Images in Yellow

Is that a hummingbird hovering above? 

I think perhaps the big bloom (above) is prepared for a special event.  I mean who knows what goes on in that garden when the humans are sleeping and the Moon is shining.  For all I know they have parties and beauty contests!  I especially like the blown petals with fashionably curled tips on the big one with a very heavy head (above), but I must say, they were all beautiful!

Below is the tallest flower in the garden, not yet blooming, and Camila, a special one of the Plant People.

Beautiful woman standing in Garden of Sunflowers

The Horticulture Therapy group is harvesting Watermelons today, so I gotta go!

Thanks for viewing my Sunflower and Plant People images!

Gardener Will Return

ImageToday was filled with Mother Nature’s gifts. I’m super tired as I write or I’d tell you more about this Green Healing Day.  Sometimes, these awesome days wear me out, but my spirit is always very much alive after going to the gardens.

Not so good is that I was bitten by more ticks.  Some people might question my intelligence.  I live with chronic pain and fatigue, as a result of tick-borne infections.  Maybe I should find another interest besides Nature.  I’m getting a little tired of the ticks, but I love being outdoors and gardening.

In one way I look at it, there are lessons for me to learn.  I could be more diligent about the type of clothes I wear, as well as changing them as soon as I can after being outdoors.  I could pay closer attention to some things. 

For example,  I spilled water on the counter top while filling the container. to water some small plants today.  I did it several times in a row.  I had let my mind and the many thoughts swirling around in my head have all my attention. 

The Horticulture Therapist just happened to be there today.  She helped me water the gardens, and noticed when I spilled the water.  She’s very nice, and so I tole her that I knew I needed to pay better attention. 

“That’s how accidents happen,” she remarked in her gentle and kind way.  I recalled falling on my bicycle in 2009.  I could have prevented that ‘accident’ I thought to myself.  It’s true.

Sometimes if I have so many thoughts in my head at once, I focus on my breathing.  I don’t try to control it, but I watch it.  I also count backwards, while watching my breath.  I watch it as I breathe in, and then as I breathe out.  It’s a simple and easy technique.  This is a way to bring attention back to the moment.  It helps to quiet a racing mind.

Signing off today, as I head towards the Great Blue Mountains in our state. I hope you too will have your own Green Healing moments. 

Please feel free to share your thoughts here and thanks for visiting Green Healing Notes.

Flora, Fauna and Notes in Carolina

A good strong rain finally came.  We needed it and personally, I’m glad because my heart-strings have been pulled around a bit lately and I’m tired.  Rain and mist go well with a melancholic mood or a time for quiet reflection.

Art in the Garden, Very cool Nature-Person

My most recent time in the horticulture therapy gardens was several days ago and already,  I miss them.  I wonder how the lettuce is doing.  I bet the garden where they accidentally planted flowers with leaf vegetables is blooming and making good food too.

Although the gardens are not mine, nor on my property, my heart has a place in it especially for them.

Synchronistically, while traveling to the country over the past week, I’ve continued having ‘Green Healing’ experiences.  Healing has been the subject of conversation with people whom I met and a continuous metaphor in events that occurred.  Each event had to do with land and nature, and many times, for different reasons, I had to talk about why green is important.

Note:  Green Healing isn’t always easy or pleasant.  My week has challenged me, to say the least, but I also saw beautiful places, spent time with my mother, and met some nice folks.

We traveled near my hometown, which is a beautiful part of our state.  I love the land in North Carolina, particularly that which hasn’t been developed.  We have beautiful rolling hills of green and relatively, there are still many trees.  I’ve lived in other places for short periods, and each time I returned, it was the trees I was first glad to see again. 

Green Healing Land

My mother’s backyard (above) always lifts my spirit and without a doubt, offers me delightful views. 

Carolina in Springtime

She doesn’t particularly care for the view and would rather be around people.  I understand that.  I’ve lived in spectacular places full of natural beauty, but without other people, life gets too lonely.  Nature, like dogs, has a lot to offer us, but neither replaces our need for friends and companionship. 

A few weeks ago after my son and I watered the therapy gardens, we took a walk along a habitat trail displaying native plants and trees from the Sandhills, which is where the Piedmont ends and the Coastal region begins.

We stopped at a bog, where I later discovered I had received about four ticks.

Green Healing ~ Wetland

Along the trail, we saw the most awesome Ferns ever,

inner life

and learned that our state tree is the Long-leaf Pine.

Green Healing ~ Visual Learning

Our Stately Tree

North Carolina State Tree

Our Beloved Trees

My son isn’t usually interested in taking pictures, but when he saw a little lizard with an orange throat sliding along the edge of the bog’s viewing deck, he was immediately engaged with Nature.

A cute little guy with an orange throat!

Another Green Healing happening!

Thanks for visiting Green Healing Notes!