Back to Back Issues Page
'Healing Gardens'
May 29, 2012

I hope you enjoyed your Holiday weekend.

More important, I hope you took some time to remember our heroes, past and present.

Freedom comes at a great cost.

Though a day late from a holiday stand point, it is Never To Late, Or Improper To Say, "Thank You."

This Northern Cardinal is enjoying a bath as the sprinkler is running and he is enjoying the fresh water drops and leaf rubbing (leafing).

Karen's mom spent most of last week in the hospital.

It seems that part of her feeble ways was due to a bacteria in her stomach.

Mom continued getting worse with not eating, drinking liquids and moving around.

She would complain about filling like she always had to throw-up, yet never did.

Finally some tests were run, from a CT scan and MRI, to a tissue and culture sample of her stomach that ultimately, was how the bacteria was found.

Still a week or more later, Karen had to bring her to the hospital as she continued to decline.

Dehydration, kidneys beginning to fail from lack of water and so on.

Mom in Law gets confused at times and is forgetful as well.

What we all thought was age catching up with her (88 in July), was actually an airborne bacteria that found a good host.

Mom is back home, still weak and feeble, and may end up in a long care facility one day, but we sure want to keep her around as long as possible.

My Karen is emotional spent, and looks like she has been run through the ringer as well.

I mention this as more of a guy thing and male bonding time than anything else.

We don't get to the movies very often (mostly because the stuff they show isn't worth it to us), but this past Friday was movie night.

Karen and daughters went to their chick flick (I have no clue what they watched), while grandsons, a boy we mentor, and I went to see 'The Avengers'.

Great guy flick, especially if you are familiar with the 'Marvel' comic books, like I was growing up.

A bit long for the 4 and 1/2 year old, but the other guys were glued to the screen.

Dads and grandads, it is a fun time to be had.

A little Super Hero time never hurts:-)

Summer seems to have arrived here in SW. Michigan.

At least for a couple of days.

Heat, humidity and the lack of rain, has forced me to water, water, and water some more.

Transplants stress out rather quick and need a fresh drink daily until they can get established.

Bird activity remains at a fevered pitch.

A House wren destroys my chickadee nest and no sooner, a robin builds a nest and is sitting in a young Red maple about 15 feet from my window.

I don't know if this would classify as the circle of life, but so it seems.

I had a reader ask if I would write an article on 'Healing Gardens'.

It has been about five years since I last wrote on that topic, so why not.

'Healing Gardens' can be many things to many people, I know in my younger days, simply working in the yard and gardens I would work off stress.

Now, it has gone beyond that, for me and for so many others.


Take a seat (my little bench). and take your time reading.

Have you noticed how more hospitals and other institutes have what are called healing gardens?

Must be they finally realized that sanitary and sterile conditions aren't always healthy.

What took them so long,?

Anyone that gardens knows the healing and calming effects of gardens and gardening.

Not to mention the physical positives as well.

Grants and other moneys costing hundreds of thousands of dollars go into researching such things.

They could have saved time and money if they would've taken the time to ask gardeners.

People like you and me, that have known the healing powers of gardens.

(I'm not talking herb gardens, though some do call them healing gardens.)

Gardens and Nature have long been known to have calming effects and other healing powers on people.

Physically, mentally and emotionally.

Gardens are good for the soul.

'God' looked at all of his creations, from fish, birds, animals, plant life, etc. and called it good (Genesis, Chapter 1).

So why is it such a huge revelation to the medical field ?

Did we have to wait for them to tell us that?

I find that 'Gardening For Wildlife' is even better yet.

Do you visit your yard and gardens often?

Do you notice the calming effect on you?

Your blood pressure lowers.

Worries seem to fade away.

You start to breathe a bit easier.

For some, attitude is everything.

Positive thinking has healing powers, and you can get that from our gardens.

Everyone needs a sanctuary hey can call their own.

A place you can go to hide from the madness and stress of the world.

You can create such a sanctuary with your very own healing garden.

A garden that nurtures your soul, delights your senses, releases your stress, connects with you, and you to nature.

It doesn't have to be a large garden.

You don't want to add more stress by using every bit of available space.

In fact, what you may need to have is a little intimate corner of the earth that is just for you.

A smile appears on your face as you watch the wildlife around you.

Maybe you have the sight and sound of water ...... now that is healing.

How does this sound to you?

You know which colors make you feel a certain way.

Choose plants, flowers, containers and yard art with you in mind.

If you are low on energy, you might choose bright colors that brighten you up.

If you are stressed, then calming, soothing tones may be the way to go.

Your garden should be uniquely yours.

If you want it whimsical, make it whimsical.

If you want it bold, make it bold.

If you want a theme, or if you want it to be spontaneous and wild, make it wild.

For me, it is a natural look that attracts nature (wildlife).

You may want, or need something that calls to your sense of smell as well as vision.

Sounds are always important.

Well constructed wind chimes that play a tune in the breeze that passes through.

The soothing sounds of trickling water and a water garden may be in order.

However you design your garden, tend it well.

It is there to heal and nurture you, and that healing and nurturing goes both ways.

Yes, part of the healing is tending to your garden's needs.

Your plants depend on your loving care.

It's been said that gardening is one of the most therapeutic pastimes and/or passions.

You don't have to be a Master Gardener, or Certified Naturalist, choose plants that are easy to care for.

The overall feeling for optimal healing (physical, emotional and mental) of your garden should be happiness and joy.

From the moment you enter to long after you leave your garden, you should be glad that you were there.

Having a special place to sit and meditate among your plants will bring an added element of serenity and unity to your meditation practice.

Let the healing energy of God's creations, (plants and animals) permeate you.

Let your garden be an expression of your peace and joy.

I think I'll go outside and heal some.

Maybe I'll go out back and visit my personal doctor.

Could it be the healing powers of God, as we lower the personal walls that surround us, and let him in?

Anyone that has a yard or garden can have their personal healing garden.

Any place you feel comforted and can relax.

Maybe you have a bench or other place to sit.

A wind chime could add to the soothing and calming after a long day.

Maybe you simply need to be still and feel "Nature".

There isn't a special layout or design for a healing garden.

Each one is different, yet the results can be the same.

Any place in your yard or gardens that makes you feel at ease or special can be your healing garden.

Walk outside and feel yourself relax.

Feel yourself as you energize.

Gardens, any garden can be a healing garden.

For me, birds, butterflies and other wildlife make it more special.

Yes, Gardening For Wildlife (Healing Gardens) has many benefits.

Be sure to add something special to your garden.

Add your personality.

It may be a favorite color.

Maybe special plants or flowers, memorial marker, yard art, anything that is you.

A special gift or memory can be a special addition to any garden.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

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

The best portion of a good man's life is the little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) English poet

A verse I have used before, but still holds true everyday of our lives.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

John 13:34

"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.

Back to Back Issues Page