I’ve known for years about the power of healing from growing plants. I used to stand shoulder to shoulder with my grandparents in their small farm. I would share their toiling and fussing over our fruits and vegetables. The life lessons I learned then, I try and pass on to my children and someday, to my grandchildren.
It would more than give my relatives purpose. It would also give them hope and joy. Yes, growing has healing powers. Only recently did I discover that there is a professional practice called “horticulture therapy.”
It is a professional practice that uses plants and gardening to improve mental and physical health. A horticultural therapist works with groups that can benefit from interaction with plants. This including veterans, children, seniors, PTSD victims and those dealing with addiction and mental health problems.
At our local senior center (before covid), the volunteers there would spend hours tending to the gardens. I’m not sure if it qualified as therapy or not. But, what I do know is that it brought these folks such joy. Instead, of being home isolated, they were gardening and having purpose. Gardening at the senior center generates socializing, exercise and relaxation. At least, that’s what I’ve seen.
I can tell you first hand the calming effect of growing herbs: planting, watering and even weeding has on me. When I am tending to my herbs, I feel this certain serenity. I felt it today, when my girls and I “played herbs.” Watching them toil and fuss - just like my grand parents did with me - certainly filled my heart.
I’m blessed to have trees and nature. Not every one is so blessed. My parents live in the city. Like many of us, they moved for their careers. They are surrounded by a different kind of jungle, a concrete jungle, if you will.
For folks like them, a home herb garden provides them a connection with nature. It’s their connection with growing. This has been part of my inspiration with Stand With Nature.To bring nature to those in the city. To bring nature into homes, kitchen’s, bedrooms, dorms and offices. So everyone can experience the joy that my girls and I feel when we grow our herbs. So no matter where you live or how much room you have - you can experience the benefits of horticulture therapy. Or at least, the satisfied feeling of watching what you help create, grow and thrive. So, everyone can stand with