It is easy to pass along the stereotypes of aging. We should, however, look at the facts. This article in the Wall Street Journal helps dispel many of the myths about aging. http://online.wsj.com/articles/why-everything-you-think-about-aging-may-be-wrong-1417408057
It is true – trees add value to our gardens and yards. This can be measured in the value of a property as well as in our health and well-being. To read more – check out the article in the Wall Street Journal, “When money grows on trees.”
We all too often take nature – more specifically – plants for granted. There is a research study that examines the causes of ‘plant blindness’. many people just see evergreens and deciduous trees.
Some botanists are helping people to look closer at the natural world around us. A You Tube serires looks at the ways plants positively influence our lives – youtube.com/plantsarecooltoo
A recent article by Virginia A. Smith in the Phil. Inquirer “Botanists Battle Plant Blindness with Seeds of Knowledge” highlights the fact that plants are an integral part of our survival. http://articles.philly.com/2014-09-13/news/53855438_1_plants-botanists-blindness
This is one aspect of how plants and nature in general influences our lives on a daily basis. Stop for a minutes, wherever you are, and focus on the natural world
around you. This could be on your way to work, during a lunch time stroll with friends or maybe walking the god. Wherever you are – take a closer look at nature. It will help reduce stress and improve your health. A nice side benefit!
Originally Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 12, 2013 at 4:23 p.m.
Getting up close and personal with Mother Nature yields big mind-body benefits. A walk in the park is a great lunchtime activity, but new reports reveal that even desk jockeys and folks with little time (or no great love for the great outdoors) can reap the rewards of a green environment with only a few plants around their workplace and in their home. But you can’t pack all your green-time into a one-week vacation or a weekend excursion to the mountains; that’s like having seven drinks on Saturday night. No way it’s the same as having one glass of beer or wine per day! You need a little green-time every — or almost every — day to reap its amazing benefits for your brain and body.
Stronger immunity: In a Japanese study, levels of protective natural killer cells that battle viruses and some forms of cancer rose 40 percent when businessmen spent time walking in the woods. But you can get a similar immune boost from sniffing forest scents indoors. Who says you can’t fool Mother Nature? (Well, really, your brain or your immune system!)
A break from worry: Getting outside when you’re feeling stressed improves mood and boosts short-term memory. And if you’re depressed, getting out and about makes it five times more likely you’ll feel better than if you stay indoors. Combine natural scenery with exercise and you’re really going to amp up your mood boosters.
More energy: Office workers feel more energetic with a green plant or two nearby, and they become more productive. Your smart move: Place some greenery where you can see it when you look up from your computer.
Higher creativity: Brain scans suggest immersing yourself in a natural scene, whether 3-D or in a picture, turns up brain activity in areas that govern pleasure and emotion. You’ll feel more relaxed and balanced and improve your creativity by as much as 50 percent.
Ready to go green? Here’s how: visit http://www.ocala.com/article/20130813/COLUMNISTS/130819943?template=printpicart
I was asked recently about red colored leaves and how they make chlorophyll. The article offers a good explanation of how nature has this all figured out.
Instinctively we know that the nature accepts us for who we are as residents of this planet. It does not judge us for what we wear or for the type of car we drive. Special garden settings can help us heal at our own pace and in our own unique way. In a garden people can come together to understand the difficult things that happen in life and are not easily explained or understood.
Involvement in a garden can help us heal. This is a story that we hear time and again. The garden created after the shootings in Tucson in 2011 is one of those stories. The story on NPR (Jan. 6th) highlights how we can turn to nature for respite and answers. A link to the story is at: http://www.npr.org/2013/01/06/168619054/how-a-community-created-a-garden-from-sadness
“I love the garden in winter just always as much I do in the summer. I find it very satisfactory walking through and then each month, there’s something slightly different.” This quote from Rosemary Verey is one that we can take to heart on this Winter Solstice day. The days may be shorter, however, it is rewarding to get outside and explore all that the (winter) garden has to offer.
“One of her lessons is for everyone, not just gardening people, and that is her example coming to something quite late in her life and being self-taught and self-made and at the end of her life,” Robinson told Here and Now. “She is world famous. Now, we might not all achieve that, but it is an inspiration that we can have an important chapter later in our lives”
To listen to the full story about Rosemary Verey, her gardening activities, how she influenced many lives, and the book on Rosemary by Barbara Paul Robinson – follow the link to the NPR story at: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/12/21/garden-advisor-verey
How about taking your work outside to sit at a table, under a tree, the birds singing, a gentle breeze and the gentle sound of a water fountain – while you are at the office? This is not a dream – it is a reality. Businesses are providing gardens for people to work. The research validates the importance of incorporating the natural environment for productivity and restoration.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Going outside for short breaks – or stimulating the outdoors with foliage or images of nature – can reduce worker stress and list moods…Taking a nature walk can increase short-term memory capacity by some 20%.” To read more about the benefits of creating gardens in the workplace, refer to the 11-21-12 article “Bringing Work to the Great Outdoors”:
I have been bringing some of my herbs inside for the winter. This is a great way to extend the growing season and have fresh herbs to use in cooking during the winter months. It is also a nice way to bring some of those great fragrances inside. Lemon balm in a pot by the window helps bring back memories of a great garden this past summer.
If you did not act quickly enough before the frost, there are a few stores that carry potted herbs. I have seen rosemary, thyme, chives and other herbs for sale. There are some things to consider when finding the right location and exposure for these plants. Sunlight, watering, temperature and other factors need to be taken into consideration. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal has some great tips on transitioning herbs indoors. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204712904578094731197090020.html
Richard Louv, author of Last Child in Woods, has published a new book that further defines the importance of our connection with nature. His new book The Nature Principle combines the research with day to day examples of how people are connected to nature. The book is a must read for anyone looking to incorporate nature into their everyday lives.
The Nature Principle explores our dependence upon nature and the ways we interact with the natural environment that surrounds us. The benefits affect our individual and collective health, happiness and quality of life. I encourage you to pick up a copy today and begin to explore the ways to incorporate more of the natural world into our respective lives. A link to the Nature Principle web site is at http://richardlouv.com/books/nature-principle/