“Nature-al” Therapy

Is there too much stress in your life?  Hard as you try, you can’t seem to find that one thing to alleviate it?  Tried yoga, and other therapies, found them very helpful, but still have more stress than you can handle?  The answer may surprise you…get into nature.

Next weekend we turn out clocks up one hour.  for some of us, me included, this is the most dreaded weekend of the year.  It’s only one hour, but it feels like months!  Yet, when you can push past the “loss,” an amazing time is opened up to us.  We can actually get home in time to get into nature, and there are several ways to go about it!

Walking in the park or neighborhood is good exercise, helping us feel better all over, and walking after dinner can help your digestion!  There are all kinds of things and colors to see in nature.  Haven’t you noticed that even the greens are not all the same color!  And, noting that, the trees are different, too.  Different shaped leaves, different heights and overall shapes and, even the bark is different on the different trees!  Birds, butterflies, bees, moths, many with intricate patterns and colorings.  Deer, so majestic in nature.  There are other animals, too, depending on where you live.  Take a camera and enjoy the sights and sounds!

There is something so invigorating about gardening…dare I say it is even spiritual!?!  Getting your hands dirty, digging in the earth, watching as the little seedlings emerge from the turned soil.  It is exciting every year, and I know it’s going to happen!  The earth returns a blessing to us, but it is more than that.  Gardening is good exercise and you get something tangible in return…flowers and food…grown right in front of you.  Not only that, but you can grow many things that are real treat to your eyes as well as your body.  Vibrant red and yellow tomatoes in different shapes and sizes, some heirloom varieties of which have some really neat patterns.  Mixed salad greens, which have differing colors from light green to burgundy reds, not to mention the shapes of the different green leaves!  Garlic chives have a beautiful purple (some are white and some lean towards pink!) tuft on top of their long, slender stalks.  Swiss Chard, the stalks and leaves of which are an array of multicolored wonder.  Peppers…oh the peppers!  Red, green, orange, yellow, “black,” hot, mild, sweet…there is almost no end!  And that is just what you see above the ground!

There are red, yellow, russet and purple potatoes.  Red, yellow and white onions.  Carrots come in orange,  but also yellow, purple, red and even black and white!  And beets, you may ask?  There are red, yellow and white, and some beets are unbelievably patterned inside!  And that is just a FEW of the incr-“edible” things you can grow!

And this doesn’t even take into account the multitude of different grasses, trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs that can be grown.  There are so many different varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers, green plants, grasses…plants that come in so many different colors and textures and smells and patterns, there truly is something for everyone!  There are even plants that are drought tolerant for those who are forgetful!

Sooo…if you are looking for something that will truly lift your spirits and help sooth your mind…Try communing with nature…There is something to do for everyone and benefits are unlimited!

Trying Something New

Looking forward to Spring at the end of Winter is usually a great time for me, as I start planning my garden.  This year, though, I will be moving in June, so I will not get to have my normal garden.  To the rescue comes restaurant sized pickle barrels.  Thanks to a friend, I can get as many as I want…So I am thinking of dual planting…Barrels with tomatoes or peppers and herbs.  That way, I can grow lovely produce and take it with me…

Yes, I agree, my portable garden will be quite interesting, but at least I will still be able to enjoy the “fruits” of my labor…(hehehehe!)  Plus, with the cost of produce and the looks of it, you KNOW I am NOT going to want to miss my produce!

I have actually never grown a garden this way before, but my grandfather-in-law did all the time, so I know it can be done.  Put a few holes in the bottoms and sides, rocks in the very bottom, good soil, get a good organic fertilizer and  water diligently…check, check, and check!

The best thing about gardening is it is really good for my mind, body and soul!  The time spent on the land, in the dirt and with the plants is SO therapeutic!  That will change a bit, as I will not actually be “digging in the earth,” but being with my plants…I am getting giddy just thinking about it!   This should be a breeze!

And for the gardeners…

I subscribe to Garden Design Magazine, as much for the beautiful photos as for the information inside.  I currently reside in the city but am a true country girl at heart.  Recently, they posted an interesting idea…an “edible house.”  Take a look for your self here.  This is not the first time I have seen a wall of plants, but the first time I have seen it on this scale…and it is AMAZING!

Another article they had pointed out “winter sowing.”  I have actually never heard of this, but since I live where it snows a lot in the winter, and sometimes it is still too cold into the growing season, this fascinates me.  The article states that winter sowing was invented by Trudi Davidoff (her site is here) and uses little to no equipment…just recyclable plastic containers!  Who wouldn’t want to try that!

With the gardening season on the horizon, we need all the help we can get!  I don’t know about you, but the produce in my local grocery stores is sad, even during the peak gardening season.  Think of the money you could save by growing at least part of the food you eat yourself!  Not only that, but the food would be more alive, hence more nutritious!

My mother lives in the country in the South and she already has plants up.  Of course, they don’t get the kind of winter we get in other parts of the country, but that is all the more reason to think about winter sowing!

If you live in the city and have little to nowhere to garden, you might want to consider an AeroGarden.  My sister bought one for me as a gift and it works wonders!  OR, if you prefer to have a little garden, you might give a hay bale gardening a try.  There are several sites out there that talk about it, but here is a good one

However you decide to get going…get out there and have some fun!

 

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Disclaimer:

By suggesting reading and alternative therapies, we are not attempting to diagnose or treat any illness. Our suggestions are merely that, based on personal experience and research and should, in no way, be a substitute for medical advice.