“Gardens are not meant to be competitive, they are meant to be shared.”
I was recently reminded of one of my favorite pictures that hangs on the corkboard of our office at Naturescapes when a customer came in to our garden shop to share a story. Kathy beamed as she told me how she cut a few of the flowers from the pot of ranunculus she recently bought. “I put them in a little vase and gave them to my elderly neighbor. You should have seen her face. She was so glad to see a sign of spring!”
The picture in our office is of two girls, friends, around the age of ten, standing close together each with a huge bouquet of just picked daffodils in their arms. Their heads-one with long dark hair, the other a short blond bob, poked out above the flowers. It’s the story behind that picture that always makes me smile.
Several years ago, my husband a landscape designer, was consulting with a client. While he meandered with the client around her yard discussing design ideas, the girls disappeared.
“Look!” the girls shouted with joy as they showed off their loot.
“Oh no! You picked all my daffodils!” the girl’s mom said as she threw her hands up to her cheeks.
My husband said the smiles on the girls faces scattered and were replaced with clenched lips of fear.
Always the calming force in a storm, my husband said, “Wait, what an awesome picture!” He asked the girls to smile and pulled out his camera. The mother stood back, still stewing a bit, but looked at the scene through my husband’s eyes.
The girls’ smiles returned proudly.
Do you have a flower story you would like to share? Please feel free to comment below or contact me to discuss being a guest-blogger.
#flowers #friends #community #healing
What if I told you that there is a simple way to improve your health, that doesn’t cost a penny? Would you take advantage of it? Here is the tip; get outside.
Last week I discussed some of the barriers that are preventing us from getting outdoors and reaping the enormous health benefits of doing so. This week, I will be discussing some ways that may help us overcome these challenges. Here we go:
-Have play clothes available. Schools collect outdoor wear; maybe make a ‘mudroom’.
-Campaign to teachers, kids, parents, churches, public policy makers, and government on the health benefits of outdoor activities.
-Community and school gardens-require a dedicated team. To learn more about these types of gardens, check out Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in Raleigh or The Grow Zone Willow Springs Elementary Garden. Looking for more kids gardening resources?
-Vacation at National Parks
-Check out your local Parks and Recreation Department for outdoor programs.
-Develop transportation to local parks, organized hikes with groups of kids. Urban, poor kids are particularly at risk.
-Garden Centers can hold more planting events, giveaway seeds and tree seedlings on Earth Day to kids, post the health benefits of gardening in retail stores.
-Richard Louv, the author of best-selling book, Last Child In The Woods, has a new book coming out called Vitamin N. It is due to be released April 12, 2016 and provides an extensive list of ideas to promote engagement in Nature. If you would like to listen to a preview of what the book is about, check out the interview with Richard Louv and others on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR.
It is an exciting time to recapture what many of us took for granted in our youth. The ease of getting outside to play, the thrill of exploring, the uncalculated calories burned off just by playing in nature. Sometimes it is the simple things that bring the greatest benefits.
Please feel free to join the conversation and comment below with your thoughts, questions, ideas.
#Nature #NatureHeals #Health #Wellness #VitaminN
When you look at this photo above, do you think, "fun!" or "ew, messy"? The answer to this question may be one of the reasons why so many children are not reaping the health benefits of nature. (1, 2, 3, 4)
I recently attended a conference exploring urban agriculture, community gardens and edible gardens in school and child care settings, and family garden fun, called Dig In. During the lunch hour, each table was asked to discuss a specific topic. My table’s topic was ‘Encouraging Outdoor Activities’ hosted by a landscape designer who served as moderator.
Our table was diverse group-urban pre-school teachers, suburban grade school teachers, a mother, landscape designers and myself. When asked to suggest ideas for our topic, our table went silent. It was a bit awkward, I must admit. I chose that table because I thought they would be bustling with ideas that I could use. What we talked about was exactly the opposite.
“Well, I will tell you why the kids don’t want to go outside,” one of the teachers started. The door was open and quickly our table became engaged in a lively discussion of the barriers to getting kids outside. Here are some of the items on that list:
It is essential that today’s youth connect with nature. No only is it good for their physical and mental health, but this younger generation will need to be aware of the changing outdoor environment. If predictions are to be believed, today’s youth will have to be creative to combat a warming climate and all the environmental and health implications that will bring. (1, 2 ,3, 4)
Are you surprised by this list? Do you have any other barriers to add?
Coming Soon: Ideas and Suggestions To Get Kids Outside. Be sure to sign up for my blog so you don't miss it!