|Winter Garden, Phillips County Fairgrounds, Photo Credit: Linda Langelo|
My second holiday wish is as ardent as the first. I wish people take some time and visit a garden. Gardens, no matter what type, are by nature designed for healing on many levels. Here are just a few uses created by gardens:
- You can seek a garden in solitude.
- You can seek a garden for meditation and/or prayer.
- You can seek a garden for safety.
- You can seek a garden for mentally and physically releasing stress.
- You can seek a garden for calming effect.
- You can seek a garden for a happy place.
- You can seek a garden for nourishment for body and soul.
- You can seek a garden for a thousand other needs. There is a garden for every need.
For the holidays, put your IPad away, your cell phone down, your computer off and be face-to-face with whomever is in your life. Maybe take a walk, especially in a garden. Just get technically "unplugged" from any device you use to communicate. Enjoy the moment or the experience of the moment in a garden of your choice, even if it is your own garden.
My next holiday wish is to keep building gardens and helping other build gardens. When I lived on the east coast, there was a movement to create a National Peace Garden. In 1985, Elizabeth Ratcliff, a former English teacher from California, proposed a national monument to peace. The proposed site for the garden was Hains Point which was approved by Congress. In 1989, there was a design competition put forth by the Peace Garden Project Committee. The committee selected Eduardo Catalano's olive branch plan seen below:
|Photo Credit: Histories of the National Mall/National Peace Garden.|
Their motto is "Connecting People to Place." Gardens bring people into them to discover a new experience. That new experience isn't just finding a new plant; it is the plants connecting the people to a shared passion- the garden. This last type of garden leads me to my final wish: peace. Gardens are meant to be peaceful places.
Over the holidays, take a walk in a park and go meet a new friend. Go enjoy a garden and the experience it brings to you. The quiet solitude of a garden covered in snow has a calming effect. Totally unplugging from every type of communicative device you have brings about a new experience. Whatever place you chose and with whoever you chose, enjoy the moment. Then share the experience.
By Linda Langelo, CSU Horticulture Agent, Golden Plains Area Extension