Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Hope Grows in the Garden

Horticultural healing

Horticultural Healing

Green Healing Days

I hope the little Squash grows well.  I believe it will.  With that said, I must tell you that I am so tired, I can’t write much of a post, but I simply had to share something about yet another, Green Healing Day!  I’m actually quite amazed at the opportunity I have in my volunteer work.  I had no idea that my time in the gardens, and with the people I’ve met, would offer me so many blessings, but it most certainly has! 

When I have more energy, I’ll tell you more about what makes this Squash special to me.  Perhaps by the time I can write another post, the Squash will have grown a lot more. 

Today, while I was taking a photo of it, the petals on the flower were a little wilted from just having been watered.  Just before I snapped this photo, the wind blew gently and the petal opened for me.  It was like that flower posed just for my camera.  I’m quite sure I’ve turned into one of those people who talk to plants. 

That’s all for today.  Thanks for visiting Dogkisses’s blog.  I hope that you too have some ‘Green Healing’ days!

One Green Healing Day!

Today, I’m practicing accepting the moment.  My other options don’t look good.  I have a lot on my mind, some of which I simply don’t know what to do about.  I’m taking a break from trying to come up with solutions, at least for a little while.

I’ll take another break in a few minutes, with my pretty, insect-hunting four-legged companion, Ruthie Mae.  She needs me, and I need her. She let me know today how much she loves me, and how she misses us spending more outside time together. 

She walked over to me, as I was rubbing Tiny’s belly, which he loves of course, and put her paw in my hand in the sweet way she has always done,ever since the first time she introduced herself to me.  Ruthie does have good manners, even though, she doesn’t use them a lot of the time.  She looked me in the eyes, as if to say, hey thanks for loving us, and then she gave me a soft little kiss on my hand!  I promise you she is one of the sweetest dogs in the whole wide world!

I’ve regressed.  I meant to talk about butterflies.

I’d like to share a photo of the beautiful butterfly that I was friends with today. 

Beautiful Butterfly

A Green Healing Moment!

I make a lot of garden friends in Horticulture Therapy.  First it was the lizard, then the ladybug, and recently my son spotted a lizard by the bog that had an orange throat, and of course, butterflies!  I love the butterflies, but I’ve noticed that I do love all my garden friends.

I must go check my books of butterflies, my favorite of which is, BUTTERFLY GARDENING, FOR THE SOUTH, by GEYATA AJILVSGI, if I can find it.  I have nature guide books, but let’s find out what Geyata has to say about this amazing and beautiful creature.  

ZEBRA SWALLOWTAIL (Eurytides marcellus) 

Family: Papilionidae

Size: 2 3/8- 3 1/2 inches

Range: All 

 Flight Time: March-October 

Broods: 3, possibly more  

Overwinters: Pupa

Though the Zebra Swallowtail has bright striking colors, when it goes to rest in the shade, it gets a little darker and blends in with the environment. 

I know one thing this butterfly likes, and that’s drinking from Asclepias Tuberosa, commonly known as Milkweed, which is a nectar producing flower, but is also the plant that Monarchs lay their eggs on.  Milkweed is the only plant Monarchs use to lay their eggs on.  Something in the plant makes the Monarch poisonous to prey.

I once dreamed I was a Milkweed plant.  I was happy and lived in a great large field with many others like me.  But, that’s a story I’ve told in this blog.  Ruthie Mae says I don’t have time to give you the link.

That’s it for today.  The sun has gone down, and my girl needs a walk.

Thank you for visiting Dogkisses’s Blog! 

Green Healing ~ Imagining Nature

the white flower shines

If I could be a plant, I’d fancy being a ‘May flower’ that surprises people walking by my home.  I would most enjoy living under the shade of the great green leaves.  I could have a private life, having just enough neighbors to chat with after a light rain.  I’m quite sure that if I was a May flower, then the other Mays and I would sing our stories and have a wonderfully cheery life!

nature strikes white

If I wanted the sky to see more of me,

under the sun

a pretty Pitcher plant I’d like to be.

quite cheery

How wonderful life would be if I was medicine to make people feel better!

healing hearts and lifting spirits

If I was a Lavender plant, people would say ooh and aah and, how lovely you smell.  I’d take pride in soothing minds and spirits.  And Sage!  I would cleanse their homes and make the turkey taste good! I could be a Pineapple Sage and people would make me into tea.  I’d live best by the doorsteps where my fragrance and delicate red flowers would remind my people that I await their return.

for what ails you

There’s so many choices of flowers I’d like to be!

plant people

look there!

I know of a garden that has a good life.  It isn’t very large, but it’s medicine is big.  People gather ’round the rolling mounds of rich dirt to learn and grow.  If ever I was a garden, then that’s the one I’d surely be.  I’d grow yummy green Chard and pretty purple Cabbage, make friends out of strangers and whisper sweet secrets to the good kind humans who come to take care of me.

is such a special place to be

Thank you for visiting Dogkisses’s blog.  Please feel free to leave a comment and I hope you too have some ‘Green Healing’ days!

Green Healing ~ Over and Over

in the garden, over and over

Crimson and Clover

A short day in the garden continues to be rather taxing for my body, including my brain, but is still very much worth it!

We start a new project each week.  We’re growing beds of Bok Choy, Lettuce, Carrots, a container of Sweet Peas, and we each have a potted assortment of Cacti that we took home.

We take care of the gardens planted last year; the beautiful robust Chard, Thyme, Parsley, Sage and I do believe, some Rosemary too, along with a spontaneous flower garden.

We harvested the wonderful Cabbage plants and next week are going to share a meal together.

after the harvest, we nourish our bodies

Cabbage ready to eat!

I love being in the open air, seeing smiles evoked by simple little things, like a bug or a bloom.  I also love seeing my son engaged, smiling and enjoying nature.

Being around people who are kind, understanding and who don’t put others in a box or see them as diagnoses, but instead as individual human beings with something unique to offer is a blessing.  I wish it was the norm, but I don’t think it is.

Even though I feel great fatigue after the class, I’m able to experience the ‘Green Healing’ as I sit quietly recalling the beauty of the flowers or interesting plants we saw, my son’s smiles and the often moving interactions with the other volunteers while we worked together.

Our visits to the greenhouse are always exciting as well.  Plants change from week to week and there’s usually something new along the path during our walk.  I love that!

people and plants

in the greenhouse

The patch of Crimson Clover (above) where the ladybugs live is thriving with beautiful blooms.  In honor of these awesome blooms, I’m sharing the song via YouTube.

This is an original short version, by Tommy James And The Shondells, as heard on WABC AM radio when it was a hit in 1968.

Thanks for visiting Dogkisses’s Blog!

‘Green Healing Days’ feed from Flickr

Green Healing ~ Heart and Soul

Image of pretty lilac woodland Phlox blooming

Woodland Phlox

I saw my son’s heart while we were working together in the gardens yesterday.  It was beautiful!  Some people have a green thumb, which I believe my son has, but he also has a green heart.

I saw it when he watered the beds where we planted tiny carrot and lettuce seeds last week.  And of course in the bed of Bok Choy.

in horticulture we thrive

BoK Choy coming along

I saw it when he pulled a few weeds from our special bed where the little lizard used to live.  (I guess my cute little friend went on to some greens without gardeners).

one spot so powerful!

Our Special Therapy Garden

I saw his spirit shining when I later looked at the photos I took during class, which included the potted Cacti he made during the first class.  That pot continues to show me his spirit.  It grows on it’s own.  It’s easy for him to have this potted plant, which isn’t the case for all of us.  Some of us have a hard time keeping them alive, much less seeing them thrive without effort.

in horticulture, we thrive

Easy does it...

The horticulture therapist and I had a chance to chat a bit after the earlier week’s class.  My son didn’t feel like going that day and I had gone alone.  “He has so much heart and soul,”  she remarked.

People often say that about my son.  I often forget to remember what is right, when sometimes it feels like a lot is wrong.  It’s easy, I guess, to focus on what I can help change or make better, than it is to spend time being grateful and enjoying all that is okay and good.

working in the beautiful Mother of the therapy gardens

Heart and Soul in the Garden

My son is a quiet person now.  He doesn’t engage in conversation the way he did growing up, which was enthusiastically with almost everyone he met.   This change has been very difficult for me to accept.

Psychiatry suggests that his frequent silence is a symptom and I must admit that ever since he was diagnosed with a mental illness, I believed this was true.  I’ve believed many things that today I am seriously questioning.

I believe my son has a lot to say.  I believe he has been silenced for a long time.  I believe in the right environment he could and would thrive.

Times are changing in the mental healthcare arena.   There is a new language used to talk about madness.  We are finally starting to acknowledge that matters of the heart matter.  The spirit and soul of a person matters.

I’m glad to be alive and a part of the conversation.  Honestly, I didn’t think I would be.

I dream of access to healing and rehabilitation centers, and organizations created to help people who live to a different beat have meaningful work and be able to make valuable contributions in community.

I don’t know if my dreams and hopes will be realized in my life, but a new conversation has begun!

Thanks for visiting Dogkisses’s blog.  Feel free to leave a comment and I hope you also have some ‘Green Healing’ days.

smiling at you

Green Healing and Lizard

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Another Awesome Green Healing!

I always imagined that a horticulture therapy class would be fun and healing and I was right! I love the class.  I’m also in-love with a lizard!  Who would have thought that my springtime heartstrings would be drawn in by such a creature.

He (or she) lives in a small Cabbage patch, along with some Brussel sprouts and Rainbow Chard.  I’m not sure about the gender.  Perhaps Deb, from DorkeyDeb.com can tell me, but for now, I’ll refer to little lizard as a male.  I think he has a mate or a sibling, because the first time he appeared, another one was following him about.

Gardening has always captured my full attention.  Time passes easily and way too fast for me when I’m working with plants and dirt.  I’ve found myself in gardens all day many times in my life.

I haven’t been able to do more than have a few potted plants in several years, due to muscle and joint pain.  It’s too hard to bend over.  Fatigue slowly took my stamina and my time in the garden lessened with each passing year.  I later moved to the woods and enjoy what I am able to grow in pots, but it isn’t the same as working with a garden in the ground.

One garden I grew was such a part of me that I grieved for the best of a year after I had to leave it behind.  I dreamed of it for a long time.  I finally wrote the new tenant who moved to the house where my garden was.  I included a sketch, with a description of the flowers and which butterflies would be visiting.  I received two of the most wonderful long letters in return the next summer.  One was from the mother and the other from her six-year-old daughter.  They were wonderfully surprised when the garden bloomed and the little girl loved the butterflies as much as I did.  I stopped having the dreams after that.  My garden was loved.

The raised beds where I’m taking the horticulture therapy class are high enough that I don’t have to bend over too far and can even sit on the wooden frame.  Because of this, I am again altogether involved with the garden.  It’s a good thing the class ends at a specific time or I’d be there all day.

During class, I focus my attention on the task at hand and not too much thinking is going on.  I try to listen well when my classmates or the coordinator talks, because I learn so much, which is very cool.

There is so much I could say about each class, which is good, but a little tiring to my brain.  I’d really like to tell you all about what I’ve learned and have become aware of after only attending three classes, and maybe I will in time.

Having been taking photos too, I’m aware of a lot going on at once, and more than just my cute little lizard friend who turns from green to brown right before my eyes.  He’s cute and smart!

I notice a lot about myself.  Of course, I notice how good I feel while I’m there and after I leave.  I also notice how I try to fix things.  It seems I want to save the world.  Apparently, a part of me thinks I’m capable of this, I guess.  Why would I try if I didn’t think I could?

For my birthday last year, my mother and son brought me home a gift.  It was a miniature sculpture of a little girl, on a bicycle inside of a glass bulb.  It reads, “Given the right cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world!”  I can see now why they both thought it fitting for me.

A shovel got away with a young man during class yesterday and dirt went flying across the garden, landing directly on a female classmate.  We were preparing the bed for our tender young Bok Choy plants that we transplanted two weeks earlier.  The young man felt very badly and apologized.  The woman who was blasted with dirt jumped back in surprise and concern, as she wasn’t sure what had happened.  Then, she looked at her shoes and remarked about the dirt on them.

“They look like good gardening shoes,” I told her.  “I bet that dirt will come right off.”

I wanted to fix the situation.  I wanted to make him feel better and help her to let go of her worry over the dirt.  I also wanted her to know he was sorry.

As with the other classes, each time I have seen these particular traits in me.  They are heavy traits, and likely a part of what makes me sad and tired.

I hope the ‘Green Healing’ helps me to realize that I can only do so much.  I am not  responsible for the world.  I can’t make everything right.

Thank you for visiting Dogkisses’s blog!

Green Healing

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Horticulture therapy is truly rewarding.  Working with plants has always been a healing experience for me, but this is my first time in a formal class.  It’s amazing how much insight I gain from being with people in this setting.

“That was the best time I’ve ever had,” my son told me after the second class.

While working with the Cacti, separating plants and each of us making a potted arrangement to take home, I realized how hard it was for me.  Everyone else seemed to be having an easy time, but I struggled.

I found a small piece of Thyme in the potting soil and I couldn’t let it go.  I wanted to save it.  I tried and tried to get it in my pot, but it kept falling over.  I also had a hard time with the Seeds of Pearl, as the plant’s roots are tender.

The group coordinator finally came over to help me.  She didn’t know, or maybe she did, how hard of a time I was having.  Trying to save the Thyme filled me with anxiety and a feeling of failure.  My experience reflected the way I feel most of the time.

Pondering on the anxiety after I returned home, I realized how hard I try to save people or fix situations that most people would walk away from.  I try so hard to get everything just right and that isn’t really the way life ought to be.  I need to simply let go.