You are wondering what gardening, meditation, and exercise have in common. I’m here to tell you. Those who enjoy gardening can tell you…..if they do it correctly. Too many people think of gardening as a “chore”, just another stress. This is the wrong approach. You first have to think of creativity, beauty, and enjoyment. Both the beautiful sights and smells. It doesn’t matter how small or large an area you have to work with.
I was never one that could get into meditation. It just seemed to boring to me. I knew there are great benefits to reduce stress and I led a stressful life. I first “got into it” when faced with a half acre of backyard baron land except for grass. Some people think a big grass area is a sign of achievement. I found it boring. Hubby hated cutting it and we hated paying someone stupid money to show up when they wanted to do it. They either waited too long and it looked overgrown or cut too often and it looked half dead. We consulted with a true landscape designer and decided we did not want to pay tens of thousands of dollars for an ultimately uninspiring look.
We were forced to do something when we put in a pool and the entire backyard ended up being just dirt. Designing and created our own gardens continues to bring us constant joy. I’ll do a series of blogs about the process. For now, I’ll get back to the title of this piece.
In thinking and planning, then in doing, then changing and maintaining, and then just looking and walking, I found that in fact I was getting the benefits of meditation without being bored or having to study a method. Whether it be sitting or planting, in pots or in the earth, there is a serenity that is tough to find in one’s own home doing other activities. The sense of accomplishment is a big bonus. It is a combination of instant gratification and patience in seeing a transformation.
Then the bonus came…….you burn so many calories gardening that it is better than a diet. I’m not talking about farm hand hard work. In fact, I had spinal injury problems that prevented me from doing too strenuous work and found the slow and easy still was easy great exercise that kept me healthy and thin.
For this first post on this topic, I am not showing any photos of what I’ve done, but show one of what NOT to aspire to. We’ve experimented with topiary, but it’s not an easy things to do and damage to the bush can ruin years of work in an instant. We have gone with a mixture of hardscape and small area outdoor “rooms”. It’s been exciting to do it all ourselves. We’ve made changes and had some failures. We adjust. You have to. Your land and climate are not the same as anyone else’s. Big hint here…….try to avoid annuals. You will have to keep planting and removing. Perennials are the way to go.