The Spirit Garden – An examination of life through flowers and plants

When one tends a garden, one tends to contemplate life. It’s very simple. Sometimes this examination is purely on a physical level; i.e. the plants right in front of our face. Other times it’s a more of a philosophical nature, one that reaches beyond the border of our property, nurturing our senses towards self introspection, leading to the creation of a spiritual garden.

If nothing else, gardening has taught me much. Not just about myself, but many life lessons have been transferred from plants to this person.

When  one views the world as a garden, one is more apt to engage nature with all the senses, as well as the mind and heart. Simply by observing and engaging in what nature has to offer, people have the ability to grow, not unlike a garden.

  • Equate weeds to negativity and flowers to the good things in your life. Take some time and pull the weeds out or they’ll spread, choking out all the flowers you wish to flourish.
  • Equate flowers to human beings. A diverse garden with many types of plants is worth celebrating and exploring. Can anyone, gardener or not, imagine a plot consisting of only one type of flower? How utterly boring.
  • Equate your garden to where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. A garden never stays the same and like life, change is inevitable.
  • Some plants wither and die. Chuck ’em in the compost and move on. Sometimes nothing will keep them alive. That goes for some relationships, too. People are really like flowers and will add joy and happiness to your garden, and not take it away.
  •  Corporate gardens are easy to spot. Usually heavily manicured, clipped, and planted overnight with annuals for instant gratification, they reside in front of many a sterile building, appearing like oppressive backdrops touting perfection, which is not possible in reality. They lack creativity and offer little or no benefit to local wildlife or sustenance for pollinators. What does bloom is dead-headed, discarded, and never allowed to set seeds for next year. They devolve in to a barren environment for most of the year, and tall poppies need not apply.
  • Cutting back taller flowers will not make the smaller ones look better.
  • Stay connected to your roots. Many a plant in my garden can be traced to a memory, a friend, a family member who may no longer alive, or a beloved place I can no longer visit. Nurturing those plants keeps those memories alive!
  • Every plant has its season. Enjoy them as they bloom. Live in the moment, as does each plant. Know that when it has finished blooming for the time being, it will be back next year to enjoy all over again.
  • Spending time in nature is healing. Don’t just work in the garden. Take the time to sit and enjoy the effort you’ve put in to it.
  • A garden won’t grow without water. Sometimes in life it rains, but this is good for the garden, and the sun will shine again.
  • Some people will not like your garden. That’s okay! Each garden offers the personality of the gardener. If they were all the same, the world would be a very boring place indeed.
  • The power of contemplation originates in abandonment of self. For example, if I’m feeling down or dwelling on something, I go to the garden. My thoughts stop inserting themselves and my focus is on what’s in front of me instead of what was troubling me. Gardening really is like burying your troubles in the dirt!
  • Gardening is a living canvas. As an artist who could not paint for several years, I found another way to be creative by designing my garden, and others, which offered an alternative outlet to explore all kinds of ideas, colours, textures, all the while offering inspiration to get back to painting when the time was right!

Shall add to this as I go along!

Would love to hear your garden thoughts.

Thanks for visiting!

 

Sharing some spring #daffodils on #WordlessWednesday

Poinsettia – Not my favorite holiday plant, but they do get a bum rap.

 Having worked at flower shop for many years in Toronto, I’ve had my fill of poinsettias. 
(Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Having said that, even though they’re not my favourite plant, (I’m more keen on other varieties in the euphorbia family), they do get a bum rap every holiday season.

Why the bad reputation?

Because contrary to popular opinion, Poinsettias can be irritating, but they’re not fatal.

Your pets & children might get a rash or an upset tummy if they eat a leaf, but it won’t kill them. That’s a fact. But I still don’t suggest eating them in any case!

I have other reasons for not liking them.  First of all they’re susceptible to white fly which is practically impossible to eradicate. The little buggers spread to other plants too, especially hibiscus, but that’s another story for another post.

They also wilt at the drop of a hat. A cold draft will knock them unconscious, so don’t place them near a front door or heat vent, even if they look good on your hall table. Put some greens and branches in a vase instead.

Also, they’re rarely watered properly – People kill with kindness. Waterlogged soil lacks sufficient air, which drowns roots. These plants, when exposed to high light and low humidity, require more frequent watering, but never water if the soil feels wet. Too much water will cause leaves to curl and fall off.

So in my humble opinion, the poor things never look as good as they do in the flower shop… Obviously I won’t be popular with any florists/growers out there, but that’s okay.

So, even though I don’t particularly like poinsettias, one does have to defend something one’s not exactly thrilled about when truth has been turned into a false myth.

Still keen on a poinsettia? Go for it! I wish you success!

However I’d suggest choosing an alternative plant for the holidays … azaleas and cyclamens are gorgeous this time of year. Succulents are perfect for any occasion, especially if you’re going away. They like to be neglected any time of year!

And, doesn’t it just feel good to go against the grain sometimes?


Happy Holidays!