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Therapeutic Gardens Newsletter – JUNE 2010


British researchers looked at ten various studies on the effects of activities performed outside in nature. Activities such as walking, cycling and gardening had positive effects on the 1,200 people surveyed. According to Jo Barton, co-author of the study, “There would be a large potential benefit if people were to selfmedicate more with green exercise.” The largest positive health changes occurred when people exercised in the outdoors.

Planting in containers makes it easier to garden, especially if space is limited. You can grow most all of the same vegetables, flowers and herbs in containers that grow in the ground. Be sure to use a light weight soil that is specifically created for containers. You may have to water more often, as containers can dry out faster. The height of the containers allows you to garden while sitting and makes it easier to reach. Another advantage is that you can bring them indoors for the winter.

A great way to share the fun is to make gardening a group effort. Have other gardeners plant companion plants that can be used to create a meal. You can swap some of your produce with other gardeners.

Gardening, like many things, can be stylish. You can stay ahead of the curve and even be the first on your block. One way is to become a ’locivore’. Start growing your own organic vegetables. Rather that ship lettuce, tomatoes and other produce across the country, start growing it in your own garden. Trading lawns for vegetable gardens has become popular. In fact, people are replacing their lawns with perennial gardens and raised vegetable planters. More than three-fourths of people are motivated to grown their own, because the vegetables will have better taste and nutrition (Garden Writers Survey-Spring 2010).

Basil brings fragrance, beauty and flavor to any garden and may be one of the most essential plants to grow. One of it’s most important properties is to be used in cooking. Try planting Lemon Basil which adds a tangy flavor to recipes. Lime Basil can be used where you need a hint of lime. Or try growing Thai Basil for a licorice flavor. Basils like sunny well drained soils. They also grow well in containers.

“Gardening is an exercise in optimism. Sometimes it is the triumph of hope over
-Marina Schinz

Certain plants work well together. Planting garlic among the roses will help keep away aphids and Japanese beetles. Planting mint with cabbage and tomatoes will repel aphids and fleas and even attract earthworms. Marigolds are the best to plant because they help keep away bad insects from most vegetables.

We have often heard about the beneficial properties of using herbs. The herb, Lemon Balm, has been shown to have many positive effects. It is said to dispel anxiety and improve mood. It has a lemony flavor and can be used in teas. This herb is easy to grow and be sure to give it lots of space.

Removing the dead flowers from flowering plants will encourage new flowers. This is called ‘deadheading’ and should be done as soon as they look brown or wilted. Pinch the stalk right above the bud or set of leaves for perennials and annuals. This also applies for flowering shrubs, such as roses. You will need a pair of hand pruners to remove the spent flowers on woody plants.

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