Flower Therapy – An Approach to the “Art of Healing”

Exercise, fresh air and watching plants grow are only a few of the relaxing healthy benefits of gardening. And with flower gardening you have the beautiful colors and aroma that is relaxing after a stressful day.

For me the challenge of laying out gardens and combining color, shape and textures add to the enjoyment. Throw in different and unusual plants and garden art pieces and a trip to the garden becomes an adventure. By bringing in plants or having a small greenhouse or sun room you can enjoy nature all the time.

All aspects of gardening have relaxing qualities, but many will agree flowers seem to bring instant peace and contentment. Is it the fragrance? Color? Texture? More than likely the combination

Flower Therapy in healing is becoming more important in many hospitals and therapy center. Many are incorporating gardens, greenhouses and floral arrangements scattered in hallways and rooms.

A study called “The Art of Healing” is being studied and practiced around the world. The concept was started by Dr. Edward Bach in England. Through his observations and study of homeopathy he studied the effects of flowers on health.

As stated in the article, “Flower Therapy acts on man as a whole, awakening his inner healing force, stimulating a change of conscience and, indirectly, a change in the energetic structure that acts over pathologic processes, modifying them. “

If you would like to know more about his studies and how he used this information check out this link, Dr. Edward Bach, 38 Flowers that heal.

Healing with Art – Reno Gazette Article – Art and Garden Therapy

Its proven that art acts as a therapy and has a relaxing healing effect on many people. Hospitals and therapy center are incorporating art in their building and garden areas to help relax patients and their families that visit.

Maggie O’Neill wrote the article Healing with Art which was in the Reno Gazette October 30, 2007. It covers the art that is being hung this week and is on exibit at the new Tahoe Tower in the Renown Regional Center in Nevada.

The article covers the topics of art and its relaxing effects. The Renown Regional Center has a “Healing Arts” program that they have used since the 1990’s.

The article is interesting in the fact that is also talks about the hanging of the various art styles, art media and the work involved in hanging a show.

Healing Garden

Plans will start in a year at the Renown Center for an outdoor healing garden that will be located between 3 of their buildings. It was called a “Central Park” in the article. The outdoor healing garden will have a water theme and one piece by David Kessler called the “Sunrise Shimmer” which is located in the Tahoe Tower will be the link between the indoor art and outdoor healing gardens.

The Tahoe Tower will be the introduction to therapy that relaxes both patients and their families with the addition of the gardens as a place to relax and enjoy family.

Making Paper Pots for Transplanting -Creative Garden Techniques

If you are transplanting seedlings or outdoor plants you can save money and practice environmental friendly techniques by making your own newspaper pots . They will hold up for quite some time. If you use them for transplanting seedlings and small plants into the soil they will break down rather quickly and just add to the soil.

For environmental reasons, don’t use newspaper with colored ink. The ink leaches strong chemicals into the ground.

To Make a NewsPaper Pot

I find a tin can the size of the pot I want. Soup cans work well for small transplants and coffee cans work for bigger transplants. Fold several layers of newspaper together and fold in half. Fold one more time if you are making a small pot. I place the folded newspaper on the can with a small amount hanging over the bottom of the can. Wrap the paper around the can and temporarily hold it in place with masking tape. (You can also fold the paper end into the other end so you don’t have to use tape. This is a little tricky the first time you do it)

I don’t like to use tape because if I plant the pot in the ground it does not break down as well. I solve this by removing the tape. You can also purchase biodegradable tape.

I will then fold the  paper that hangs over the bottom  of the can down and tape in place. Pull the can out and you have a pot! It may need a few adjustments and tweeks to stand straight and firm. You are now ready to plant!

Most of my pots are made to place transplants into the ground so I don’t like to use tape. I may use it at first to hold the pot together. I also have used string to hold the pot together.

When getting ready to place the pot into the ground remove any tape or string. I also loosen the bottom of the pot a little to make sure the roots will quickly enter the soil.

Using this methods I do not have to disturb plant roots, a practice that shocks the plants and slows their growth down for a week or so.

I also use newspaper pots to repot transplants such as tomatoes, peppers, gourds and cucumbers into bigger pots so that the roots can spread and grow but I can control the climate temperatures.

My tomato and gourd plants are often two foot tall before I set them out and by using paper pots they do not suffer any transplanting shock.

Creative Gourd Gardening – Grow Them On Swingsets

I’m not sure where I came up with the idea to grow gourds on a swing set frame. It may have been from a few attempts on building fences that could not hold the weight of gourds.

It’s actually very easy to use a swing set to grow gourds on, very secure for the gourds and makes a great ornamental garden.

First I prepare the ground where the swing set will set. I prepare the ground on both sides of the set and on the ends. Knowing gourds are heavy feeder and that I want large gourds I mix a lot of fertilizer and compost into the ground and work it deeply into the soil. To control grass in the center of the set I cover the ground with paper and composted leaves.

I take my pre-started gourd seeds outside. They were started indoors in Styrofoam cups using a paper towel method then transplanted into homemade paper pots. By using paper pots that will break down in the soil means there will be one less shock for the seedlings.

Most swing sets have hooks at the top where the swings hung. I use these to string my heavy rope. I am using heavy rope for this project as this will hold my heaviest gourds.

I attach the rope to stakes that line up with the outer swing set base and pound them into the ground. The soil has been prepared for the seedlings so I will transplant them near the stakes and rope. After they are planted I water them well and cover the ground with thick mulch. I don’t place the mulch too close to the plants at this time until I know they are stronger and that I don’t have any insects that will hide in the mulch. After two weeks I feel the plants will not be attacked by any bugs.

Since the seedlings are tender I keep old plastic milk jugs nearby and will cover them, particularly at night when Beetles and Cutworms will attack.

At the end of the swing set I plant a few sunflowers for fun and color and to attract bees. I also plant a few Rattail Radishes for insect control and a few flowering vines. My swing set garden is now ready to grow.

When the gourds take off the set quickly becomes a mass of gourds and vines, I will trim the ends of the vines off to promote larger gourds. I also have a few night blooming flowers nearby to encourage pollination.

Tip: I Use Plastic pop bottles turned upside down and buried into the ground to make sure the gourds are getting enough water.

Old abandoned swing sets are fairly easy to find too. A Sunday drive will usually help you locate one and its amazing how people will give them away. Mine is from my brothers house. They were thrilled when I asked to get it.

GardenTip: Swing sets also make great temporary greenhouses or cold frames. I also use them to harden off seedling in the spring.

I usually harvest 100 gourds off my swing set. It’s more than enough for my gourding projects and I share a few too.

The only gourd I don’t grow vertically is the bushel gourd. I like to grow them too large  and they have to rest on the ground. Usually they rest on a tin and I rotate them a small amount every few days. Bushel gourds are fun to grow and craft with but they weight a ton!

Gourd TIP: When the gourds get larger they will need a soft swing to hold them in place so that they will not damage the vine or stem. I use old pantyhose that I pick up at rummage sales.

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