Many of us in the United States are looking out the window and seeing ice and snow, but spring is around the corner. There is no better way to indulge in the fresh new energy spring provides than by creating a garden. Winter is the perfect time to plan a garden. Even if you grew up in the city and may have never even touched dirt, yes, I've coached some people in this category; you too can cultivate a green thumb.
Some of the biggest fears novice, want to be gardeners have expressed to me is that they don't have a clue where to begin, and they are afraid they are going to kill the plants. Taking on a new challenge often feels daunting, and anxiety provoking, for all of us. However, if we arm ourselves with the proper information and support, we can take one step at a time, to achieve our goals.
The Healthy Green Thumbs™ campaign, created by The Nature Nurse™, and The Nurse Farmer™, offers tutorials, guidance, and resources to help even the brownest thumbs grow plants successfully. Learn where to start with our first newsletter: Link. Keep growing, season-by-season, with the other newsletters. Link.
Millions of American's enjoy gardening. Each one of us gardeners, will admit, no matter how much experience we have, some plants die. Some seeds don't sprout. It's a lot like life. At the same time, some seeds grow into magnificent flowers or delicious vegetables and the joy of this is unexplainable, and worth the effort.
So don't miss out. Get started today planning and dreaming about what you might grow this year. Don't be surprised if you get whisked away by all the options. Nature has a way of seducing you into a wonderful relationship.
Garden centers are bringing in pallets of soil and compost, setting up seed racks with brightly colored veggies and colorful flower packets; all while our fruit trees lie dormant outside, restoring themselves so they will be ready to burst into spring once Mother Nature turns the thermometer up. The exciting, anticipatory energy reminds me of being a kid on Christmas Eve.
Note: This fig tree produced nearly 10,000 figs last year! Get inspired and hear more about this trees story in this youtube video.
It is during these grey-skied, cold, darker months, that we have the perfect opportunity to dream and plan for a bountiful garden later this year. Let's take a look at some ideas on how to do this, shall we?
1. First, we need to decide where we want this garden-a planter on an apartment terrace, a section of the backyard or maybe as part of a community garden we would like to join.
2. For those who are novices, it is important to identify the amount of light we have to grow a garden and what growing zone we are in. Knowing our growing zone will allow us to identify plants that best grow where we live. It also helps to identify a watering source. Keeping your garden near water, whether it is from a hose, watering can or water barrel, will make it easier to nurture your garden on hot days.
3. Start dreaming. What would you most enjoy growing this year? Would you love to grow flowers that you can cut and create floral arrangements with? Or, would you prefer to grow a variety of herbs to add to culinary delightful meals or to make teas with? Perhaps growing some of your own food is on your list; juicy, sweet tomatoes picked right from the vine, snap peas that crunch in your mouth, or maybe a variety of leafy greens to create healthy salads with? The possibilities are endless!
4. Identify the supplies you will need. Do you need something to plant in, or wood to make a raised bed? Gloves, shovels, and maybe a garden apron or old, comfy shirt you don't mind getting dirty. Soil, compost and mulch are on many gardeners’ lists.
5. Create a garden journal. This can be as simple as a notebook or maybe you want to purchase a pretty, flower-covered journal, to write down your ideas, wish list, and eventually jot down what you plant and where. I found this last tip helpful, as I tend to get exuberant with seed planting, but then forget what I planted, where, LOL.
No matter how seasoned a gardener you are, even those with brown thumbs, we all can grow something. In fact, we created a year-long series of plant growing tips, information and resources, in partnership with The Nurse Farmer™, LLC, to help everyone discover the joy of plant growing and help them do it successfully. It's free, check it out: Healthy Green Thumbs™.
What are you excited to grow this year? Do you have questions? We would love to try and help you. Let us know in the comments below.
A new year is upon us. Many of us will use this change in the calendar year as a fresh start to improve our health and well-being.
If you are looking for support to achieve a weight loss goal, a more enlightened spirit or to add more joy into your life, then you will want to include nature in your healthy lifestyle toolbox.
I have asked my friend, Diane, to share how nature has enhanced her wellness. Diane has lost over 190 pounds, and kept it off, for several years. This is her story.
Outdoors is my go to for relief. Fresh air clears my head of the “clutter” from all the blather on TV. It wasn’t always that way.
190 pounds ago, my “joy” was a stack of cookbooks, bag of tortilla chips, cookies and a LazyBoy with the TV on.
Oh, I loved the crunch of those chips, and had, for too many yrs. I was soothed by food for 55 years and it was taking a “heavy” toll on me physically, and emotionally. I withdrew because I couldn’t keep up.
That began to change after I rejoined WW. It was sooo gradual, I didn’t even notice it until I looked back.
I met wonderful people. We would walk a bit after our WW meeting. Sometimes just in the parking lot. Later as my confidence, and strength grew, we met at different parks. The beautiful scenery, the warm humid air of North Carolina became “gifts” as we walked more and more.
One day, alone on an awesome gravel road, I heard from the crunch under my shoes. It gave me soooo much more “joy” than any bag of chips ever could. The sound, the smells and,oh, those awesome endorphins surging, what a reward.
It’s out there just the other side of the door...it’s free for ALL...and away from those same four walls!!!
I’ll see you outside
Living a healthy lifestyle can be as simple as taking that first step. Step outside and let nature invite you to explore all her wonder.
Want to learn more about how nature can enhance your health, well-being and add more joy into your life? Explore the many resources at www.TheNatureNurse.com. Be sure to sign up for the free e-newsletter that goes out intermittently. You can also follow us on social media @TheNatureNurse .
The holiday season is upon us after what has been a really challenging year. Understanding this, we wanted to focus our gift recommendations on the theme of connection and joy. Connecting with nature is the soothing balm everyone can use this year.
So, what are we recommending? Take a look, and order early as shipping may be delayed this year.
Number One: Books
We love books at The Nature Nurse™. One of our favorite nature journalists, Richard Louv, takes us on a journey to our wild nature in his latest book, Our Wild Calling. It's perfect for all the animal lovers on your list!
Number Two: Bird Feeders
Did you know that watching birds helps us feel calm? It can also be a wonderful way to get to know your local bird life. Connecting with nature can be harder when days are dark and cold. It is also a challenge for many who live alone or are in nursing homes. Here are a couple types we recommend (and don't forget some bird seed):
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Number Three: Wind Chimes
Ahhh....that soothing sound that draws us to the outdoors as a gentle breeze passes by. They come in many different notes. Here is one of our favorite companies. We have had ours for years!
Number Four: Twin Currents Apparel
New this year, hand-drawn, unique, authentic images available on several types of comfy shirts and hoodies. This line helps remind us all that we have a lot of different friends living under the waves. The beachy images can also take us to that calm, tranquil feel that we all love. Take a look: Link.
Number Five: Camping Gear
Looking for a way to help get your family to not only connect better with nature, but each other? Why not take up camping? Young kids love to camp in the backyard, teens and young adults love to go with their friends. Plan a trip to a local, state or national park for a family adventure. This tent pops into place in just 90 seconds, you can stand in it, and it folds back up quickly and easily. Oh, and did we tell you that research shows camping helps us sleep better too?
Number Six: Discover The Joy Of Nature Online Workshop
Knowledge is power, but awareness is life changing. We all "know" we should do certain things-eat healthier, exercise more, and meditate. Many people, however, either don't know that nature can invoke the joy in us, and/or they are not aware of why our relationship with nature is essential to our health and well-being. Our one-hour online course discusses the research supporting this, and provides resources and tools to evaluate one's relationship with nature. The perfect gift, as we all know what happens January First. This may be the gift you want the most for yourself. LINK
We wish you all a very happy, healthy holiday season!