Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gardening ... therapeutic and yard work is rewarding. 

I'm soooo late today, sorry.  It's almost tomorrow (well, it is now) and I've yet to post today's card.  I was busy doing some rewarding therapy.  My lawns were in need of mowing and my gardens in need of trimming so I thought it would be very therapeutic and rewarding to go outside on yet another spectacular day and become one with the earth, or something like that. 

I found this article that I want to share with you and then give you my spin on what it has to say.

Gardening is perhaps one of the oldest healing arts; yet as a science, it is very new among
the therapeutic professions. Humans are physically dependent on plants for food and for
much of their shelter, clothing, and energy. We evolved with plants in our environment. It
has only been in recent years that we have spent many hours of the day in buildings
devoid of plants. It is not unreasonable to theorize that the environment that has had a
significant impact on our physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development as a
species would be one with which we would continue to respond. David Suzuki notes
“Reconnecting our children with nature in their everyday lives is the first step in an
environmental education.” Horticultural therapy is the means by which we can provide
programs that enhance self-esteem and establish a greater quality of life. As the Spiral
Garden and Cosmic Bird Feeder programs in Toronto state “Through the metaphor of the
garden, we celebrate our interdependence with the natural world as a context for healing
our children, our communities, the earth and ourselves” In fact, anecdotal and empirical
evidence clearly illustrate that therapeutic gardening has a profound effect on individuals’
physical, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning.

By design therapeutic gardening is filled with challenging yet attainable goals such as:
providing intellectual stimulation, improving physical functioning, supplying a release
from depression and pain, enhancing emotional well being, fostering a sense of
community and providing a venue for creativity and productivity.
According to Charles Lewis of the Morton Arboretum, the plant world is non-threatening
and nondiscriminatory. In a study by Rachel Kaplan, a majority of the respondents gave
"peacefulness and tranquility" as the most important satisfactions gained from gardening.
Ira Stamm and Andy Barber of the Menninger Clinic report a reduction in tension and
anxiety in horticultural programs that enhance participants’ receptiveness to being
approached by another person. Thus, it appears that working in a horticultural setting
provides an atmosphere in which it is easier for people to relate to one another.

So, let me break it down for you as I see it ....

“Reconnecting our children with nature in their everyday lives is the first step in an
environmental education.”
This means after all the outdoor chores are done by mom, it allows children (20 somethings) to go out and enjoy the outdoor patio's,  BBQ's and whatever else they do to reconnect with nature.  Throw empty cans in the garbage and the recyclables in the blue box.

Enhance self-esteem
Chores once again - done by mom therefore allowing for more mirror time/primping.

Establish a greater quality of life
My children?  Yard work?, no, no!  They have more important things to do.  They say, "I can't right now, I have to ........blah, blah, blah.  Thus allowing for more quality time for the important things in life.  Refer to above two points.

Supplying a release from depression and pain
Ya,, I don't think so.  No..... not quite - on either of the above.  Actually, it releases some kind of something to my brain to let me know that I'm that much older than last year (depressing) and there's a lot of (pain) that goes straight to my back, knees and many other parts of my body that I didn't know I had prior to the therapeutic yard work. 

"Peacefulness and tranquility"
I go outside to get away from all those phone calls, people selling me things I never wanted in the first place.  Those calls telling me how much money I can save if I switch to some stupid product.  Companies wanting to clean my carpets when all I have is hardwood.  Suck my "Ducts" clean of impurities.  It's nice to just get out and go outside, away from the dust, laundry and dirty dishes that no matter how hard I try, continue to appear! 

Receptiveness to being approached by another person.
I have some amazing neighbours,  but sometimes I just want to go outside and do what I want to do and not talk to anyone.  I don't want to have to turn the lawnmower off because a neighbour wants to know "what's new" or "can I borrow your wheelbarrow?".  Am I the only one that likes a bit of peace and quiet?  Am I turning into an anti social neighbour or am I just looking for a little escape?

So that's my take on this whole therapeutic gardening thing.  I hope I'm not alone here and there are plenty of you who feel the same way I do.  If so, please leave me a comment below so I know I'm not alone. 

Before I share my card with you today I would like to let you know a little something (don't laugh - please) that gives me the most pleasure of all, when doing yard work.  Call me crazy, but it totally relaxes me and I don't know why. 

After I cut my lawn, I like to go around the edges of my lawn and hand trim.  I have this maflickie thing with a 7" blade and it trims the edges of my grass perfectly.  You're probably asking why I don't use a edge trimmer, we have one.  It's heavy and it ruins the edges.  It always cuts way too close and ends up burning the grass.  I   do   not   like   it!  I only like my clipper maflickie cause it makes my lawn look so neat and tidy when I'm done, nicely trimmed and well manicured.  You're probably thinking this chick needs help.  Maybe....but it makes me happy and there are no pills or doctors involved.  How good is that?  A little stretching and a warm up before hand may help though.  This is my piece of outdoor therapy and I find it extremely rewarding!  There I am, on my hands and knees going around the perimeter of my lawn with these little clippers cutting the edges to complete perfection.  I had to laugh though, my neighbour, who I think is super (also our dentist) asked me if he could get a quick trim when I was done.  He said he needed a little off the top and a bit off the sides pointing to his hair.  My response to him, after a little chuckle, was that I must have been a hairdresser in a previous life.  You can laugh but the truth is, my Grandfather was a barber turned "Hair Salon" owner and I began working for him at the age of 13.  So, I guess I come by it honestly.  Who has this kind of time when there are cards to make and blogs to post?  I scare me!

Here's to the end of another week of summer and the start to the weekend.

Surprise, another House Mouse image.  I thought I'd mix it up a bit this time and instead of Christmas, I've made a Birthday card.  There's no denying that these guys are just too darn cute!

The image is Birthday Cupcake by House Mouse, coloured with Copics.  An EK Success candle border punch was used on blue and pink cardstock, cupcake ribbon, buttons, party hats, and birthday embellishments were added to finish the card. 

Wherever you are in your day, I hope you're enjoying it!
Wishing you many wonderful creations.



  1. My garden is looking reasonably tidy at the moment but our weather patterns and working full-time make it so hard to get stuff done out there at the time they need it - when I have time it rains, when it's fine I'm at work.

    Love your house mouse card and thank you so much for your lovely comments.

    Toni xx

  2. So funny - I love your take on gardening! And the HM card is wonderful - perhaps that's more therapeutic than gardening? Just sayin' Di xx

  3. I am so happy to hear your lawn is manicured. If you have a chance to swing by this way, bring your clipper maflickie with you. I'll make a pitcher of what ever beverage you desire and we can start working on mine.


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