I love making beautiful gardens for people, but lately I’ve felt like I want to create gardens that are not just lovely to look at but that also include a healing, soulful component as well.
Many of the people I work with live in cities like New York, where one of their only connections to nature on a regular basis is this garden that I’m working with them to create.
I believe that people are missing a sense of connection to each other and to the earth. Our brains evolved over millions of years of us living most of our days outdoors. We have a complex interdependency with nature that we’re not even aware of that affects us in profound ways.
Our eyes developed with these fractal images alongside us of the way bark looks on trees, the way moss and lichens and grasses and ferns grow, or the way waves crash on the shore.
When we no longer have the visual, auditory, and olfactory cues from nature, what it does is create a deficit in our brains, a disconnect that can result in a myriad of problems. Things like depression, anxiety, insomnia, and lethargy can be alleviated through a greater connection to the natural world. Even the smell of the earth, of dirt, is being shown now in studies to have an effect on our serotonin levels, which effects our everyday moods.
Feelings of loneliness, lacking a sense of purpose, and wanting more depth or soulfulness in our lives are all normal and the way to address these problems is unplugging the computer or the television and getting outside more. Social media often makes us feel more isolated even though we feel like we’re surrounded by all these friends – why is that?
I don’t think our brains are meant to look into a computer screen for so many hours a day, it’s fundamentally unnatural, which is why you can sometimes feel less alone surrounded by trees and plants than you might feel on Facebook.
I have decided to help address the disconnect I see between people and the natural world by opening up a new branch of my business that will be specifically devoted to healing gardens. A healing garden is one that engages the senses on multiple levels – through sight, touch, fragrance, and sound. It’s a garden that encourages interaction, whether it be relaxing and listening to the sound of leaves rustling or water running through a fountain, or the smell of flowers at dusk, or being visually very beautiful and soothing, or something that calls to be touched either because the leaves are incredibly soft and fur-like or flowers that need to be pruned back.
We will start with a consultation where we take a deeper look at you and what it is your looking to create in your life and through your connection to your garden. I can recommend specific herbs that will be useful to you that can be used to make teas or baths that can soothe and heal your body and mind.
These sessions are designed to help strengthen the powerful connection to the earth and to yourself that is our birthright. It’s the first step to healing, not only ourselves, but the entire planet. When we lived in tribal societies, every tribe had its medicine man or woman who helped people heal through a combination of spirit work and plant medicine. I think the reason why there is so much interest now in herbal remedies is that we are coming full-circle back to our roots to discover why it is we are here, our connection to the earth and to each other, and this is something we’ve been needing and wanting for a very long time now.
Thank you for taking this journey with me!