Garden Therapy: A Journey of Faith

Cheaper than Therapy

There is something therapeutic about tending a garden. Getting on your knees for weeding. Watching new plants sprout before your eyes. Removing old plants to make room for new ones. Testing your body’s strength with hard work. Eating veggies from the garden that you tended, labored over, waited for patiently. Yes, the garden is a good place to be. Over the last two months we have transformed my garden space. We had two raised beds, and black solar pool panels spread between them to kill the grass.

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Before: mid-February

A couple days after Faith’s delivery, I wandered into the garden and started watering again. A couple weeks later, I started weeding. The next week I ordered some seeds. The next week I planted. I watched things grow. I harvested some vegetables. When the sun started to shine hot on the panels and started to burn our feet, I declared I was ready to order mulch and get the area cleaned up. While we were at it, we decided to add a couple more garden beds since I had maxed out what space I had, with plans to plant more. The project continued to develop.

We have spent many hours in the garden working side by side to pull it together. The girls have helped. Little Monster even helped me with my vertical garden trellis prototype, which ended up being a disaster. But we worked really well together to give it a shot!

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Some projects just need two adults, no matter how hard you try.

There have been times when I was overcome with anger, guilt, frustration, or determination that I went out during nap times to work alone. With no distractions. And it helped me feel accomplished. Ready for the next step. At peace once again.

Horticulture Therapy is actually a thing. Research has shown gardening to help in a variety of ways, my favorites listed here:
– Improves strength, stamina and mobility
– Improves coping skills and motivation
– Reduces anxiety, stress, and tension
– Increases confidence and hopefulness
(source: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep145)

Is it really any wonder then that man’s first occupation was gardening? A place to find rest, healing, strength, confidence. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15) God knew that it was the perfect place for us to be. A place where all our needs could be met.

Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Hope. It’s what it’s all about. To hope for the life of tomorrow. To hope for a brighter future. We finished the garden and I couldn’t be happier with such a space in which to work, to grow, to watch the girls run and learn. And because it’s a garden, the work is never really finished. New seasons come, weeds need to be pulled, seeds need to be planted, fertilizer needs to be added. I still don’t know what I’m doing out there, what with my black thumb and all, but whatever I’m doing, it’s working, both for me and the plants.IMG_2291

 

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