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

 

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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)

Moments in Thyme

hands dirt Thyme

Planting Thyme

Things didn’t work out at the farm for my son.  I was disappointed and I guess he was too.  I think we’re both feeling better as I write.

He has a job interview tomorrow.  He’s excited and I’m hopeful.  Sometimes you gotta go with the flow. 

I’m sure we’ll both miss getting to know the animals.  The goats were so sweet! 

Click on images for a more intimate view.

Goats on the Farm

The cows were beautiful.  I like cows.

Cows hanging around the farm

We decided to do a little horticultural healing at home.  My son planted a few Marigolds in two planter boxes.  He also fixed them so they fit perfectly on the deck’s side-rail.  I think men like fixing things.

We both planted Thyme.  I love this plant for several reasons.  It’s hardy, grows fast, smells nice and makes pretty blooms.  It has medicinal value and of course, we can use it for cooking. 

We tended to our containers of Chamomile, Chives, Lavender and a wonderful ground cover called Carpet Mint.  I really like that Mint.  It feels like soft carpet and is spreading quickly.

Carpet Mint in container

We planted Black Mammoth Sunflower seeds in a large container, a few in our front garden and some in the ground along the walkway from the back door. 

The dirt is dry where I live and the trees are many, so it’s pretty hard to grow anything other than moss.  We also have moles, and they ate all my plants when I first moved here.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the Sunflowers.

I’m looking forward to a move in the near future.  I do not know where we’ll go yet, but I sure hope I can find a place with a sunny spot for a garden.  I’d also like to have a small greenhouse and enough space for some critters. 

For now, we live in the moment, taking each day as it comes.  When you don’t have much money and you have health issues, as far as I can tell, the moment is where to live.

Thanks for visiting Green Healing Notes!


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! 

Green Healing ~ Good Greens!

gotta go cook!

Beautiful Bok Choy! 

Lettuce ready to eat!

harvest time!

A Green Healing Happening!

Good Green Chard!

This green is good, easy to cook, and full of nutrients!

Harvesting the good greens was an exciting and definitely a Green Healing day.  I’d love to tell you more about our most recent horticultural gatherings, but today, I get to be with my family.

I’ll leave you with the images and a great recipe that a Horticulture Therapy Intern, whom I am deeply grateful to have met and know, gave to me.  I hope you’ll try it!  If you do and can, please come back and tell me if you liked it.  Also, if you have any ‘Green Healing’ recipes to share, I would love that.

A delightful and easy recipe for Chard:

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)

1 tbsp minced garlic (or more)

1 bunch of Swiss Chard

stems and leaves separated

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

pinch of salt

Parmesan cheese

Melt butter and Olive oil

Stir in garlic and onion (30 seconds)

add stems ’til soft (5 minutes)

add leaves ’til tender

add lemon juice

sprinkle with Parmesan

Thanks for visiting Green Healing Notes!  Have a Blessed Day.