Category Archives: Gardening

National Rose Month

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June is National Rose Month. The rose is commonly known as the symbol of love but the true meaning of a rose is dependent on its color. I thought it might be a fun exercise to see look up the symbolic meaning of each rose associated with the chakra colors.

Root chakra (muladhara) – red – love, beauty, courage, respect, passion

Sacral chakra (svadhisthana) – orange – desire, enthusiasm, creativity, fascination

Solar plexus chakra (manipura) – yellow – joy, friendship, welcome back, new beginnings

Heart chakra (anahata) – green – vitality, healing, self-respect, well-being

Throat chakra (vishudda) – blue – the unattainable, the impossible, mystery

Third eye chakra (ajna) – violet* – love at first sight, enchantment

Crown chakra (sahasrara) – white – purity, innocence, youthfulness, sympathy

*often indigo instead

Namaste,

Debra

 

 

Weed Your Garden Day

PhotoGrid_1497401165695Today is Weed Your Garden Day — a day to remove unwanted weeds from your garden. What defines a weed is really a matter of perspective. Any plant that is in an unwanted place is viewed as a weed and, therefore, as something negative.

But how often do we take time to notice the beauty and resilience of what we think of as a “weed”? The next time you look at a plant and are quick to label it a weed, pause for a moment and consider it from a different perspective. Does it have a lovely flower? An interesting texture? A strong fragrance? See if you can find something to appreciate about it. Plants, as with most of what we encounter in our lives, are not good or evil but simply exist.

Peace and love,

Debra

 

Gardening for Wildlife Month: Planning

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May is Gardening for Wildlife Month. Planning a wildlife garden to attract the type of wildlife you want can be fun. You can always purchase pre-planned kits from reputable sources or you can plan your own. The National Wildlife Federation has a certified habitat program and provides some great tips to get started.

To provide a balanced habitat, here are the elements you’ll need to consider.

  1. Food sources: Wildlife needs herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees that can provide food including pollen, nectar, seeds, berries, and the like. You’ll want to pick a variety of plants that will provide food throughout the year.
  2. Water: You’ll need to provide a source not only for drinking but also bathing and reproduction.
  3. Cover: Animals need and want cover plants so they can either hide or stalk their prey.
  4. Places to raise young: Many species have different habitat needs in their juvenile phase than they do as adults. Providing spaces for raising young will attract more wildlife.

Happy planting!

Debra

Gardening for Wildlife Month: Purple Coneflowers

20060715_0141When gardening for wildlife, using native plants is the best option for attracting local wildlife. One of the most useful plants in the native garden is purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). It’s benefits include:

  • Attractive, long-lasting summer blooms add beauty both on it’s own and mixed in with other flowering plants in the garden. Blooms last from summer to fall and the seed heads lend intrest to the garden in the winter
  • Butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds use the coneflower as a nectar source.
  • Caterpillars and moths use it as a food source.
  • It’s a hardy, naturalizing perennial. They self-sow, don’t need to be divided, and are drought tolerant. You’ll save time, money, and other resources .
  • After the blooms fade, birds feast on the seeds.

 

 

 

 

National Garden Meditation Day

May 3rd is National Garden Meditation Day. Whether you have a favorite garden spot, favorite plant, or even a photograph of a beautiful garden, it is a great day to take in the natural beauty of the world and fully see what’s around you.

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Take a few moments today and sit quietly in nature. If a guided meditation helps, here is a lovely one from Mike George’s 1001 Meditations: How to Discover Peace of Mind.

Garden of the Mind. Visualize yourself in a garden. The overgrown foliage of discontent blocks out the light and the weeds of worry choke the path. Armed with a fork and pruning shears you begin digging up the weeds and cutting back the shrubs. Penetrating deeper into the garden, you discover features previously unknown to you – a well of love and a fountain of creativity. Having cleared the soil you plant the seeds of joy and laughter. Each day you tend your plants, watching as your flowers of contentment come into bloom.

Peace and joy,

Debra

Gardening for Wildlife Month

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Coming right after April as National Gardening Month, May is Gardening for Wildlife Month. Adding elements in your garden that attract wildlife has a number of benefits:

  • A diverse landscape using native plants can support an abundance of wildlife and can especially help declining populations, like pollinators;
  • Using native plants conserves energy since they are acclimated to the local climate, requiring less water and maintenance once established;
  • Attractive plantings and the wildlife drawn to them create artistic and educational opportunities; and
  • You can share in the food abundance! Herbs like mints and parsley attract butterflies and fruit trees and shrubs attract lots of birds and mammals.

Throughout the month, I’ll be posting more info about resources and specific plants for specific wildlife. Feel free to let me know what you’d like to see here.

Peace,

Debra

 

National Gardening Month: Yoga for Gardeners, Part 3

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During this National Gardening Day, we’ve looked at poses to do before and during gardening. After a long day of bending, lifting, and working against gravity in the garden, a few poses to counteract the day’s activities are in order. Reclined poses allow gravity to work with the body rather than against, twists help tone the spine and loosen up the back, and elevating the feet helps release the stress of the day.

May all your flowers bloom,

Debra

 

National Gardening Month: Yoga for Gardeners, Part 2

PhotoGrid_1492565619518As National Gardening Month continues and gardeners get outside more and more, it’s important to remember to honor the body. Moving the body before going to work is important. So, too, is taking breaks to stretch out the spine and legs. Occasional breaks will, in the long run, allow for more time to be spent gardening.

Here are some suggestions for some simple yoga poses that can be done in the garden.

Enjoy your time outside!

Debra

 

National Gardening Month: Yoga for Gardeners, Part 1

PhotoGrid_1492214436739Yoga and gardening, aside from being two activities I enjoy, have a lot in common.

  • A garden only thrives when we tend to it. The same can be said for our health. A yoga practice can help us maintain our physical and mental well-being.
  • In gardening, you quickly learn that there is a connection between all systems. A plant only does well in the right soil, with the right amount of water, with the right sun exposure, and so on. Our bodies are the same way. An injury or imbalance in the hips may lead to back and/or knee pain. Stress can show up as tension in our shoulders, shortness of breath, and headaches. You have to work with more than one system to find balance.
  • Yoga and gardening can reveal something new every day. Each day in the garden brings changes to plants, both good and bad. You might have plants suddenly budding out or you might have weeds suddenly popping up everywhere. In our yoga practice, you can do the same pose every day and every day there will be something different about it; some days it may be easy and some days it may be hard. I love that.
  • If you’re a gardener, you likely know to prep your soil before starting. But do you prep your body for the physical exertion you’re about to do? A little yoga before, during, and after gardening won’t keep all aches and pains away, but it will likely help them go away faster. Click here for some gentle before-gardening poses (and watch this site for some during and after poses later this month).

Meet you in the garden,

Debra

 

 

 

National Gardening Month: April To-Dos

As the weather begins to get warmer here in north central Indiana, it’s hard to fight the temptation to get an early start in the garden. It’s important to remember, however, that there’s a right time and place for every action in the garden. Some plants can tolerate the cooler temperatures of the season and even some light frost, while others will not survive being put out too early.

There are lots of resources to help guide you through the whens and whys of gardening. Two of my favorite sources for info on the web are the Chicago Botanical Garden and the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and they are both fantastic places to visit in person. Each source has specific checklists and tips for the month here and here.

Another great source for the Midwest gardener is Possum in the Pawpaw Tree by B. Rosie Lerner and Beverly S. Netzhammer. Here are some of their tips, condensed, for April:

  • Apply to fertilizer to many houseplants. Follow recommendations for your specific plants and on the fertilizer label.
  • Finish any clean up in the yard and flower beds.
  • Complete pruning of woody plants, trees, and shrubs.
  • Plant a tree for Arbor Day (April 28, 2017).
  • Leave foliage on spring bulbs even after the flowers are gone so they can continue to collect energy for next year.
  • Prune grape vines and plant strawberries, raspberries, and other small fruit.
  • Plant seeds of cool-season crops — like peas, lettuce, beets, and Swiss chard — directly in the soil.
  • Plant transplants of other cool-season crops — like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.

Enjoy your time outside!

Debra

 

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