Posts Tagged ‘horticulture therapy’

Green Healing ~ Plant People and a Bucket of Beets

“That’s a picture right there,” a staff member remarked today when she saw the red bucket of beets. 

Beets in a Bucket!

Green Healing Happening!

She was right and it’s a wonderful image, but the best part is that we each took home a beet or two.  I’ve already eaten a little orange one.  I’ve never seen one that color and wanted to try it right away.  It was great!

We also ate our first carrot today. Yum!  Fresh vegetables taste better than ones that traveled thousands of miles, and it sure feels good to eat food that I helped grow.  It also feels good to see and experience the gift of life from nature.

It seems like most days I meet a garden friend.  I saw a few butterflies and many bees today.  My friend and co-volunteer touches bees and said she once kissed a bee! 

Bee Kisser and Milkweed

She kisses Bees!

The creatures of the gardens always captures the heart of Plant People.  I met the little green guy, pictured below, in a garden behind a restaurant where I had lunch with two friends after group today. 

Garden Friends in Nature

A Green Healing Garden Friend

Today was another good Green Healing day in the Horticulture Therapy gardens.  We were blessed with good food, each of us had something to offer and as always, we shared a mutual kindness and empathy that soothes my spirit and makes me feel a little lighter. 

We ended our day with hope that the newly planted sunflowers will grow big and tall, which will bring smiles to many different faces.  We also planted Loofah seeds!  Isn’t that exciting? 

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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!

Green Healing ~ Horticultural Notes

And the beat goes on…

life in the gardens

Quietly and Softly

soft and cheery, from Mother Nature.

Colorful Communications

We always begin Horticulture Therapy by gathering in a circle to share plant news.  This time together is good, interesting and takes us in many directions.  We often visit our past of garden or plant memories and look to the future with hopeful or creative garden dreams and ideas.

Last week I arrived just in time to hear another participant sharing his idea for a creative planting container.  The young man was more engaged than usual and when he smiled and became excited about what plants to choose and where he would put his new container, I felt like I saw the heart of horticulture therapy.

I like to call these times Healing Happenings, which are moments in time when hope or happiness fills my heart and mind.  I’m not talking about everything being right or all problems being fixed.  I’m talking about a little piece of time when worry and stress take a back seat and the beauty of life emerges.

healing horticulture

Sweet Peas make Smiles

Personally, ‘healing happenings’ include moments when I enjoy what I imagine most Mothers do, which is seeing our children, no matter what age they are, smile and be happy.  They’re also moments when I feel that my family will be okay.

a view of the big picture helps us stay hopeful

Therapeutic Gardening

“Drop by drop would make a lake.” (Azerbaijani proverb)

there is hope

The Intern in an early Garden

And then, there is faith.

We hope the garden grows and have faith in a plentiful harvest.

new lettuce and a few sprouted carrots

our garden grows

lettuce and carrots growing

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 ~ 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 ~ from lizards to ladybugs

lucky little lady

Beautiful Lady and Morning Dew

How brave a ladybug must be!
Each drop of rain is big as she.
Can you imagine what you’d do,
If raindrops fell as big as you?
~Aileen Fisher

The little lizard who captured my heart a few weeks ago didn’t make an appearance in the gardens this week.  I missed him but on our way to the greenhouse we spotted the pretty little ladybug living in the patch of clover. 

I’m a volunteer in the horticulture program, but I sure do get a lot out of the class.  I feel good when I can help someone, even in the smallest way.  It makes me feel useful.

I took photos of the students working yesterday, and although I’m not a photographer, the abundant sunlight and pretty gardens naturally make good pictures.  The images depict what may only be known by those of us participating.  I hope they will serve as a reminder to the students of the good times and ‘green healing’ we’ve had together.

I feel a bond forming in my heart for the students.  I care about them.  They are very special people. 

Something happens while we work together in the gardens.  Something that I don’t feel like I have the right words for yet.  Personally, my heart and spirit is lifted and nourished.  Based solely on my observations, I believe this good energy flows through the other students as well.  I hope so. 

I am most grateful for this opportunity.  It is a blessing.

Thank you for visiting Dogkisses’s blog!

Ladybug on Clover, All rights reserved

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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!