People go to the spa, movies, and even thrill themselves with hiking trips to get that relaxing, therapeutic feeling. However, a lot of people overlook the calming and relaxing power of their gardens, which we’ll be discussing.
From yummy recipes and diy garden projects to crafty goodness, here’s a rundown of garden therapy diy garden projects yummy recipes crafty goodness.
We’re starting with garden therapy
What exactly is garden therapy? Garden therapy is a time proven practice that has been talked about since ancient times. Dr Benjamin Rush, the father of American psychiatry was one of the first persons to document just how psychologically effective a garden can be, and how much positive effects it had on individuals suffering from mental illnesses.
This practice would gain global recognition after it was discovered to have played a role in the rehabilitative care of hospitalized war veterans in the 1940s. With time, garden therapy would no longer be exclusively reserved for treating mental illnesses and would also be used for a wider range of diagnoses.
Today, garden therapy has been embraced as an effective therapeutic option and has been widely used within a very broad range of vocational and community settings.
Garden (horticultural) therapy techniques are used to (not limited to) help enthusiasts learn new skills as well as bring back those that were lost either through trauma or disuse. It helps improve cognitive ability, language skills, socialization, improve memory, task initiation, as well as many others.
On a more physical level, garden therapy helps to make muscles stronger and improve balance as well as coordination. With regard to vocation, garden therapy teaches people how to solve problems, work independently and become more financially stable.
What is a therapeutic garden?
A therapeutic garden is an environment dominated by plants which are designed with the purposeful intentions of having the people interact with the therapeutic and healing power of nature. The interaction could either be on a passive level or an active level, depending on the preferences of the user.
What are the features that make a garden therapeutic?
Some of the basic features that make a garden therapeutic could include something as simple as having wide and gently graded accessible paths and entrances. It also includes raised planting beds and containers, as well as a plant section that’s focused on texture, fragrance, and color, in an attempt to appeal to the senses.
How do you get started with garden therapy?
If you want to start your own therapeutic garden, here are some things to take note of
Decide which kind of therapeutic garden you want to start?
There are two types of therapeutic gardens, restorative and enabling garden. If you’re starting a restorative garden, you’ll get the needed benefits from just walking or sitting in it, you’ll be playing a more passive role.
However, if you’re looking to start an enabling garden, you’ll get the required benefits from actively participating in the gardening activities.
To help you decide the best one to create, you could make a list of the top health concerns for you and your family. For example
- Avoid unhealthy foods (eat healthy)
- Avoid unnecessary stress
- Garden as long as possible.
In order to achieve all of these, the best kind to create would be a restorative garden to help with the stress reduction as well as an active and enabling one that’ll provide healthy foods like fresh vegetables. It also should be visually appealing.
Consider sound, lighting, and water when you’re planning
There’s just something so relaxing about water, or at least, a water feature. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, you don’t have to build a huge, artificial waterfall, a simple rock bubbler would work. However, if you have a larger space, and the money, you could opt in for a waterfall or a pond.
You shouldn’t overlook auditory stimulations because they’re very important. The sound of water flowing encourages deep reflection and contemplation. For good measure, you could also add a wind-chime to the entrance of your garden as a veil to go through when you’re entering your sanctuary.
If you spend time in the night, you could use LED lights to set off plants to their best advantage. You could also place a string of lights over a tree. Strategically and discreetly positioned lights create nice shadows which draw attention to textures in the garden.
It’s time to attract the wildlife
Relax, you’re not getting a tiger. The entire point is to encourage smaller wildlife to the garden to harness their mental healing abilities. Attract insects, birds and butterflies by providing birdbaths, bird feeders, bird houses, and plants that produce nectar in order to attract some insects, if you wouldn’t mind, that is.
Some plants that work great for attracting wildlife include
- Chaste tree
There should be some sort of center of attention. Therapy gardens should have a focal point which could be a nice sculpture, interesting rocks, water fountains, a type of plant, anything that’ll attract the gaze of the users for reflection and meditation. Make sure it’s not too bright and that it doesn’t look too artificial because it could take away the healing effects due to it being too distracting.
Think about the seating
Position benches and chairs at strategic positions so that people can sit and observe nature. Do ensure they’re easy to move around though.
Think of your garden as a room, but outside. In order to fully unify the areas in your garden, include patios and paths with which your planting bed will surround. Your path surface has to be smooth and firm.
Consider shade structures and privacy walls, as well as natural elements like large stones. If you want to accommodate the use of wheel chairs, ensure your paths are very wide, like a minimum of 5 feet.
Choose plants with really good fragrance
People in the garden may decide to explore their olfactory senses by smelling some of the plants and flowers. This is a very good opportunity to make a great impression because the parts of our brains linked to emotions and memory are also closely attached to our sense of smell.
Some of the plants you could try include
- Lemon balm,
- Lemon varbena,
- Pine trees,
- Chocolate cosmos
Go for ornamental grasses
Ornamental grasses frequently provide gentle sounds and textures to a garden by adapting to the air. Grasses that have been planted in pots that are waist high are very popular with toddlers because they give them a place to hide and stimulate their fantasies that they’re a tiger watching and waiting.
You could choose to plant stuff in your garden which you’ll harvest and eat. Not only does it give you a healthy option, it also gives the gardener the sense of satisfaction that comes with working hard and reaping the fruits of their labor.
Some of the fruits you can plant that’ll be good for eating include
What are some DIY projects that’ll make your home look really great
Whether or not you’re a green thumb, these DIY projects are sure to bring some magic and life to your home’s exterior.
1. A small tree house:
A small tree house is very fashionable and can be used to display whatever you want. If it’s properly crafted, it could also be some sort of a safe haven to detach yourself from your stressful everyday life.
2. A flower bed:
A flower bed is the best idea to have fresh flowers handy all year round. It’s great for adding some color to large areas.
A green roof is a layer of vegetation that’s planted over a waterproof system, and installed on a slightly sloped or flat roof. They’re very eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
The following are one of the most popular garden recipes out there
- Shrimp scampi,
- Grilled huli huli chicken,
- Baked tilapia,
- Flavorful chicken fajitas,
- Smothered chicken breasts,
- Chicken and dumplings,
- Red tilapia and parmesan tilapia,
- Skillet shepherd’s pie
Conclusion: Garden Therapy DIY Garden Projects Yummy Recipes Crafty Goodness
Gardening is a nice way to relax, feel the cool breeze, and get your hands soiled. It can also help with your mental health by relieving you of stress and helping you relax.
Getting started could be quite overwhelming, which is why this guide was carefully curated just for you. We hope you found it very helpful.