Gardening as therapy.

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It's become clear to me through posts and PMs that there are some gardeners here just waiting for the chance to discuss gardening!

So, I was thinking... how do you use gardening, or how does it affect you if you need a break, need some respite, need to relax, need inspiration....how do you use it as a therapy tool in caregiving?

What are your activities: Do you go out and pull weeds, read a magazine, design new beds? Look through garden catalogues? Go to garden stores?
And what interests have you added to your gardening? Visit estate or garden displays? Do you go to garden shows?

Does anyone design and plant Knot Gardens? Raised bed planters? Assistive gardens? Pollinator gardens (and have you thought of ways to help the bees and butterflies?)

Are your gardens primarily for pleasure or food, or a mix of both? Do you grow plants for medicinal purposes? Which ones, how do you harvest and process them? Any suggestions?

Do you grow plants that can be used in crafts, such as grapevines for wreaths and lavender for lavender wands? Do you make herbal products such as creams, lotions, chapstick?

What else can you share about gardening and the means in which it nurtures your soul?

1400 Comments

Adding a few more categories:

Do you use recycling of objects in your garden, and if so, how and what kind of objects? Cement blocks, cement chunks, glass, etc.

Do you ever make your own containers, such as in the hypertufa process? Do you use specialized techniques such as espaliering? Do you make your own fences, including such historical fences as wattle fences? Have you ever tried a "living fence?"
GardenArtist, how I use to enjoy going out and keeping my property looking neat and clean... my OCD would kick in so every weed found a new home in the bottom of the plant recycling paper bag, and every bush/hedge would be balanced out. I would be tired after a full day of being outdoors but it was a good tired.

Now a days I have to hire someone to do that work for me... the fellow I hire twice a year and his crew do an outstanding job.... this guy is an "artist" when it comes to trimming anything green. His OCD kick in :) Well worth every penny spent, and makes me smile whenever I drive up to my house.

If my sig other had his way, everything would be grass, dried up grass with the lack of good rains here. Thank goodness not everyone thinks that way !!
All of it, at least once upon a time I did all of it. Now I have a little home on a small lot and my gardening is limited. I used to wish I could find a way to actually make a living being a gardener because playing in the dirt is my passion! And it's the digging, tilling, planting and weeding that I love the most, the sheer joy of transforming sod or weeds into something else, the physical exertion, the communing with nature and imposing my will on the environment in a pleasing way. I could go on for hours about gardening LOL
After so many years of the rat race and awful stress one way or another I now live on 2 acres in the middle of nowhere, renovating a tiny 85 year old house and getting into a simpler lifestyle. Pots of flowers and herbs on the deck and raised veggie beds ... this year green beans, carrots, beets, spinach and tomatoes. Putting a lot down for winter. Asparagus that came with the house was harvested in spring and blackberries I planted 2 years ago are fruiting now. Rhubarb comes up each year but so far I've given it away - maybe try to make a chutney next year when I'm more organized. This is year 3. Next year I'll add more trees, some fruit trees, more berry bushes and chickens. In the meantime I buy free range eggs on the next road.

Takes me about 3 hours to mow with the tractor and I weed whack to some degree but I'm killing off the weeds/grass around the deck, raised beds and outbuildings with a salt and vinegar mixture ... I will NOT use chemicals.
Big harvest of tomatoes and I'm picking every day. I've given a lot away, along with some beets. Beets seeded again for a fall harvest. Too hot to can right now so freezing until it gets cooler. Big pot of tomatoes simmering on the stove and chicken bones, meat & veggie scraps been on low in the crockpot for 24 hours to make stock. This tiny house smells wonderful.
Bumping this to the top for Colorescue who's having trouble accessing via the link.
Whoops. Sorry I misspelled your screen name, Sue.
I sure wish I knew more about growing veggies in my west central Fl. location near the beach (salt air). The soil has to be amended just for gardening, let alone edibles. I don't really LIKE veggie gardening, but I think it's going to be necessary more and more. Right now we have 90% of what we eat, and what the animal meats we eat having consumed GMOs and that's really bothersome. I don't want to be eating that way. I'd rather grow non-GMO veggies and fruits.
I can relate to each post on here. I feel an attachment to the land and plants. I love getting my hands into the soil, handling the plants, trimming, and creating a work of art sometimes by the way I plant and trim and combine elements in the gardens. I love using color, especially plants that are colorful year round without blooming. That's my and my husband's latest fun pursuit. Cordylines (Hawaiian ti plants) are great for this. So are certain crotons. We can get soft, similar shades or brilliant dissimilar combined colors in specific heights that we want or control.

I can empathize with fregflyer in that we must hire help due to our own health limitations. I remember not so long ago spending long days in the yard. I'd even work into the night using our outside lighting to finish up a job. I didn't need to see perfectly because I knew my plants and beds well.


Ash, 3 hours to mow??? Hope you enjoy your time on the mower, I used to whip through in hight gear with the blades raised as high as possible except for the bit right around the house, I never could see the point in enterprise lawns. LOL
Sounds like you are living my fantasy, but I made the decision that I don't want a place where I have to work so hard to keep it going as I get older, and of course I have my mom to look after for now. I never did get to keep any farmyard chickens, be sure to pick some pretty ones!
Dang spellcheck, where the heck did enterprise come from?? pristine lawns

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