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Welcome To Summer
July 06, 2015

Praise God.


And even a Happy Face icon.

Gallbladder, Cardiac Arrest, Bowel Obstruction, Respiratory issues (lungs filling with liquids), Various infections, and the latest was Bacterial Spinal Meningitis.

The meningitis and surgeries from it kept her in the hospital and rehabbing for more than two months.

Yes we give God all the Glory.

We thank all of you for your continued prayer and support.

Won't you partner with us as we stand firm in the word of God, as we dress ourselves in his armor (Ephesians 6: 10-18).

(Chipmunk Ciesta)

I'm not going to get political here.

However, if our nations continue to thumb our noses at the 'All Mighty', we surely will be spanked as nations.

More accurately, God will totally remove his blessings and what is left of his protective blanket.

One only has to read the bible to find out what happened Israel, and other nations in general when they ignored God.

(Full Moon in clouds this past week.)

Young birds continue to fill our yard and feeder areas.

Fireflies fill the night landscape with their on and off light show.

It is a good time of year, though the weather could be more summer like in the Great lakes State.

I suppose this writing comes at a good time, as everyone in this house needs some healing of one sort or another.

This is where Healing Gardens play a subtle to a huge role in many peoples live.

Healing Gardens, not medicinal herbs and such, but a Garden that can sooth the soul, and awakens your senses.

A garden that puts a smile on your face.

It helps you to heal physically and spiritually as well as emotionally, and mentally.


Since ancient times, many civilizations have realized the healing qualities of gardens with their fruit trees, flowers, water, and songbirds.

The earliest hospitals in the Western world were infirmaries in monastic communities, where herbs and prayer were the focus of healing and gardens were an essential part of the environment.

Restorative gardens for the
sick, which were a vital part of the healing process from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century.

They provided order and beautiful settings where patients could begin to heal, both physically and mentally.

These were often part of hospitals prior to the mid-twentieth century and once again are regaining popularity.

For the home gardener, I think of a healing garden as a place that “heals” us in all ways.

Physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

(This past year has shown me just how important gardens are.)

But, it doesn't just heal our souls by bringing joy, peace, balance, and wholeness.

It also has the added benefit of helping our physical self as we work to maintain this oasis of beauty.

With the pace and the stress of modern life, it's hard to find such a place.

Your garden can be your own place of refuge and recuperation.

A restorative landscape that’s a place for contemplation and a place that offers the chance to revive in the peace, serenity and beauty of nature.

No matter how large or small, it’s easy to transform your own yard, patio, or garden into a personal and meaningful garden for your soul by using the elements of planting schemes, water, scent, color, and sound to create a “sensory” healing garden.

Sensory gardens use plants, water, art, windchimes, and other design elements (bird feeders, seating, lighting, pathways, etc.) to provide experiences to awaken all five of your senses giving you new ways to enjoy the garden.

For Karen and me, yard art plays a very big role in our yard and gardens as you will see by some of these pictures.

(Special signs and steppings stones offer special verses and sayings for us.)

But the bottom line is this is your own special place, so think of what appeals to you.

The key when designing is to remember that simplicity is essential in designing a soothing healing garden,
because the point of having one is to deal with stress.

It's important that your space not have too much going on to add any additional stress.

You also want to design for interaction between people and plants.

Here are some easy tips to help you do this.

(A birdbath, Cranes and foliage greet guests.)

Choose plants that engage all of the senses.

Use a variety of textures, scents, colors, and plants that make pleasant sounds as wind rustles their leaves.

I like plants that aren't so common.

Last week I pictured my Cup plant.

Today at the bottom, you will see a Chocolate Eupatorium, and a Chocolate Cimicifuga (Actea).

Both Bloom late summer into early fall, and are both natives.

Plants with interesting visual texture add to the sensory garden experience.

Excellent additions for sensory gardens include smooth, rough, ruffled, fuzzy, or lacey-textured plants.

Don’t forget, providing seasonal varieties will let you connect with the cycle of nature.

(This sign says it all.)

Color provides a visual stimulus while adding focal points, accents, and definition to a garden.

Warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow enliven the emotions and promote activity.

Cool colors, such as blue, purple, and white tend to be soothing, and promote tranquility.

Scent is one of our most powerful senses so think about adding fragrant plants alongside garden seating, along the edges of paths and outside windows.

Creeping herbs like thyme, planted right in pathways will release their aroma when they are walked on.

Incense and scented oils in garden torches can add additional scents, if you so choose.

Don’t forget the sense of touch.

Choose plants that are durable enough to withstand frequent brushing or handling.

You may want things like soft flowers, fuzzy leaves, springy moss, rough bark, succulent leaves, and prickly seed pods.

For both fragrance and texture include scented geraniums, basils, and peppermints.

One of the most overlooked senses in the garden is sound, but it broadens the garden experience.

Many plants make sounds with a small amount of wind or jostling: grasses rustle, palm fronds sway.

(Share a bench with some friends.)

Seed pods of some plants make natural sound shakers.

Have grasses outside of windows so when it rains you hear the sound of the movement.

For us, it is the gentle brush against a window screen.

Sounds of animals enliven the senses so incorporate elements that will attract songbirds.

Include berry-producing shrubs, birdbaths and bird feeders.

Hummingbirds and other winged marvels like butterflies.

Accessories for bringing soothing sounds to the garden include waterfalls, wind chimes and fountains.

(A Meerkat keeps a watchful eye the surroundings.)

In a sensory garden, the taste buds can tingle from edible fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

Include plants that can produce a large number of edible parts over time such as mint leaves, strawberries, or edible flowers.

Make sure there is shade available or you won’t use your garden.

You can do this using sunscreens, trellises, fences, walls, and even certain plants.

These also provide shelter from the wind.

Provide quiet places to sit and contemplate by adding comfortable seating with back support and arm rests.

Kick back with your favorite beverage.

Spend time in your healing garden with a loved one, or maybe a furkid.

Breathe in your surroundings.

Breathe in the God of all creation.

Now listen to the sounds, and soak in the sights.

Now that my friend, is a healing garden.

Well , it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made
while learning to see things from the plant's point of view.

H. Fred

We all make mistakes or bad choices.

Jesus shows us that the faith of a mustard seed can grow when cared for.

Often this means wrong choices we must correct to grow.

Just like learning from our garden.

"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,
which a man took and planted in his field.

Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows,
it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree,
so that the birds come and perch in its branches."

Matthew 13:32

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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