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The healing power of gardens....your thoughts and experiences please!

82 comments


Over the Christmas period, a friend of mine who is experiencing difficulties in her life remarked to a mutual friend, that being in my garden was like being in heaven. I ignored her remark because it was embarrassing…well no, I didn’t ignore it, I thanked her and changed the subject! But today I have been thinking about my love of gardens as places of tranquility and meditation, and I have been thinking that if my garden could bring that kind of healing to someone, then creating gardens is definitely something I want to continue to do!

So, as I sit here making plans for my new garden in Scotland, enjoying the birdsong and sound of the fountain in a special little courtyard in a lovely hotel in Tenerife I am wondering what you all think about the power of a garden to heal…and whether you have direct experiences of such healing which you might like to share.

today’s ‘healing space’

my last garden…

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Comments

 

gardening is extra good when looking at the plants grow when i have stopped for coffee cake and a well made rollie made with old holborn bliss. and one of the jack russel,s on me knee

11 Jan, 2014

 

Hi Karen ... good thoughts ..
yes... a garden can be very healing ...

but not easy to make it so when next to another garden which is full of unwelcome noise and nasty bullies ...
... neighbours who intrude into your own garden, and do damage and steal items ....

Sorry ... you did ask for recent experiences ...
I'm doing my best to have a healing garden under very difficult circumstances ..

11 Jan, 2014

 

I find I can 'sort' my thoughts when I'm weeding. A friend who suffers mental health issues finds that his garden helps him a lot.

11 Jan, 2014

 

When my dad died nearly 6 years ago, to help my mum I took over the 'gardening'. My idea of gardening at the time was to just keep the garden tidy, there were no plans to plant anything! Before this I took no interest in gardens at all, didn't even really notice them and certainly didn't know anything about gardening.

As I watched the garden for the first year, I was absolutely amazed at how plants appeared in the Spring, came into bud and opened up and enjoyed watching the wildlife. Before, I would have ran from a bee waving my arms around like a lunatic. Now, I stop and enjoy watching them and working alongside them. I can still remember the initial feeling of awe in watching flowers open.

Yes, I had caught the gardening bug, but I wouldn't call myself a gardener, as I just dig a hole, put the plant in and hope for the best. I also just buy plants I like without any thought to how they will fit in, but somehow they all do gel. Even so, I get so much enjoyment from gardening and over the past 6 years the garden has bought me a lot of comfort and I still feel very close to my dad when I'm working in the garden, especially in the border that I have dedicated to him.

So yes my garden has helped heal my grief and I find myself talking and laughing with my dad (in spirit), when I am out in the garden.

I'm not the only one, as a passerby walking past my front garden commented on how peaceful she found the garden every time she walked past. Whilst, I don't live on a main road, we do get a fair share of cars whizzing down the road using it as a short cut and planes overhead, so I found this quite amazing that you could find a peaceful spot even in the SE suburbs of London!

11 Jan, 2014

 

How awful Terratoonie. Unfortunately, you can't choose your neighbours, it makes me realise how lucky I have been with all my neighbours. I hope that things can be resolved.

11 Jan, 2014

 

I hope that you are having a relaxing time , Karen , after your busy year .
The garden is a place for contemplation , creativity , and wonder ; not unusual then that we feel better there .
Public gardens are also a joy .

11 Jan, 2014

 

Like being in heaven is just right for me, on a clear sunny day with blue sky and a robin singing. It makes me feel completely at one with nature . There is still inner joy to be had even when there's grief as well. Not a bit embarrassing!
Terra your patch is a little bit of heaven in spite of neighbours.

11 Jan, 2014

 

I'm feeling guilty for having explained my experiences on this blog, sorry Karen .. but, as some of you know there was a new incident over Christmastime which unsettled me...

Thanks for your kind words, and, Karen, I hope I haven't spoiled your blog ... there's so much joy and peace to be had from gardening ...

... and much of the time I can work outside happily in my 'pretend world' where I try to believe that everyone is kind .. and I'm safe, with the gnomes for protection, and my pets as helpers :o) x

11 Jan, 2014

 

I have found the garden is my great stress release CK...as life throws 'stuff' at me i seem to work it all out while being close with nature.
Terra I had no idea.... your garden is such a beautiful space. Don't let the buggers get you down...x

11 Jan, 2014

 

Firstly Terra, I'm sorry about your continuing problems. It sounds like your oasis of light and love is bordered by some very dark spaces. I hope that they get their come-uppance very soon, and your light is left to shine...but if you need to move your light elsewhere, then I hope that happens. It is very difficult for light to shine in dark places....the darkness cannot see it. Under the circumstances, I hope those who are trying to invade you will be stopped, and you will be protected. Xx we are all rooting for you. Xx

Snoop, SBG and Driad..you have all described some of our shared experiences of 'communing' with nature and the satisfaction of enjoying a job well done and the sense of achievement that brings.

Lijemc, thank you for sharing that lovely experience of becoming a gardener and also finding a way to 'be' with your Dad after he went from you and your Mum.

When I was working as a counsellor, I often worked with people who had no access to garden of their own, and so had never felt the peace and calm that working in the soil with living things can bring. I often wondered if one day I would create a 'therapeutic Garden' to help people find healing from grief and trauma. So far, that idea has drifted from me, but you never know what the future holds.

Steragram and Sandra..I agree! Terra...don't be embarrassed, I am glad you had an opportunity to express your feeling with us...that way, hopefully, we can encourage you a little and help in some little way. I feel troubled by your situation...you seem to be under attack, which most likely means you are doing a lot of good, for some people, and the darkness doesn't like it....but I hope the attack is over very soon...you don't deserve it. Things can change!! :)

11 Jan, 2014

 

If we analyze what heaven is in our minds (and I'm sure we all hope and pray that we will all end up in a 'heaven' ) then when we see a beautiful garden or a space, some trees even little ones running in the park then we all hope that this image will always stay with us, for ever. It is hard to put into words, even a green lawn is a beautiful sight, isn't it? Imagine never seeing any of this anymore..................and if someone is suffering with an illness then these sights and thoughts surely must egg them on to keep well, also think of Japanese gardens, how tranquil they are, even stones, rocks and the sea are places where we can find inner peace. (sorry I have gone a bit!) and cannot get out what I want to say. x

11 Jan, 2014

 

I think you said it clearly GG! For myself I don't try to imagine heaven, as I think it must be beyond my imagining...but I think I understand what you are saying. Sometimes the sound of birdsong in a garden, or the humming of the bees, is enough to bring such a wonderful sense of perfection and well-being, that I hope heaven is just like that! :)

11 Jan, 2014

 

Sorry to hear you've had trouble Terra, such a shame.

I can vouch for the healing power of gardens. When I was struggling with severe anxiety and panic attacks last year, I found the garden very healing and it helped me to deal with a very difficult time in my life.

11 Jan, 2014

 

The warmth of the sunshine on my face is very healing to me. Today was a very pleasant, sunny day and to sit outside in a sheltered spot was just wonderful. I am sure Karen that you too are benefitting from the 'warmth of the sun!!'

I love to be out in the garden and to smell the earth as I am planting something and to smell the grass when I am mowing the lawn and to hear bird song all around me.
Any neighbour who tries to spoil this special place for all of us is very unkind and thoughtless and I am sorry that it happens from time to time.

11 Jan, 2014

 

Gardening has long been used to help people cope with life. This link takes you to a remarkable garden set up by GPs in Edinburgh. They were prepared to share their garden and their love of plants with friends and patients who felt the benefit of being out in the open amid beautiful surroundings. http://www.drneilsgarden.co.uk/history.html

The poem we all know a little of may explain why we have an inbuilt sense of security, peace, calm when in the garden. The last verse is believed to be about the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus overcame his last temptation to set us all free.

God's Garden

THE Lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world,
And He set there an angel warden
In a garment of light enfurled.

So near to the peace of Heaven,
That the hawk might nest with the wren,
For there in the cool of the even
God walked with the first of men.

And I dream that these garden-closes
With their shade and their sun-flecked sod
And their lilies and bowers of roses,
Were laid by the hand of God.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,--
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

For He broke it for us in a garden
Under the olive-trees
Where the angel of strength was the warden
And the soul of the world found ease.

Dorothy Frances Gurney

11 Jan, 2014

 

Thanks Karen and everyone ...

Previously I've never thought of situations as having light and dark aspects .... I'll remember your words ... that you say things can change ... xxx

12 Jan, 2014

 

I always remember to smile when my neighbours appear.
Dont chat because my hearing aids are upstairs.
A smile helps them to understand thats where I
am at peace.
Might help.
I would love to live next door to you, - and the dogs !

12 Jan, 2014

 

Scotsg. I didnt know where that verse came from but I have my grandmas bird bath and on it it has the four lines 'The kiss of the sun for pardon etc'. I am so glad I now know its origin.
TT. do not feel guilty either for it is here that we can get the most powerful help from many a friend. :)

12 Jan, 2014

 

Thanks G'mage I do remember she had visited a garden in England (she was English) and these verses were the result. I just googled it. The garden was Hammerfield Penhurst in Kent. We keep coming back to the feelings we get in a garden. I think Cottagekarens idea of a healing garden is a lovely one. Maybe you could do something at Glamis Karen. Set up a group of volunteers under the umbrella of a healing group. You have the listening skills if those are needed and they have the gardens.

12 Jan, 2014

 

Certainly very true that gardening is a healer.
I can remember the sense of being alone, after the last of the children went to school. I started to garden and what was an empty field slowly but surely has changed into a lovely place to sit, work and play in. Somehow I stopped worrying what everyone else was doing and started to do something for me. I have always loved flowers and plants but to then be able to transfer that love into producing a special place to enjoy, (not just for me for us all) was really therapeutic. I shall never regret starting my garden. It was hard work, it still is hard work, but oh boy the pleasure it gives out is well worth all the effort.
Of course it all makes it worth while when someone walks into your special place and appreciates what you have made. It is very special too when as you say someone else appreciates all your hard work. Do not be embarassed, it is great that others appreciate what you have done and take pleasure from it.
I think gardening is one of the special tasks which should be used, I am sure it is in some places, to help people with mental health issues.
Keep up the good work, you have lots to do in your new spot it will be amazing when you finally get to grips with it this summer. I look forward to the progress.

12 Jan, 2014

 

I agree, Karen. Whatever problems I or my husband have had, the minute I'm in our garden, everything seems right with the world ! I did feel it more in Willow Cottage and do miss the amount of land we had there, but being realistic, know that the move was the right thing to do and the challenge of a new garden has been so good for us both.
Just to sit in the sun , listening to the birds and the sound of the water feature is enough to make us feel content and all the worries of the world disappear. A garden, whether it be small or very large and whoever it belongs to, is their little piece of paradise, I'm sure you all would agree with this. Also a "senses" garden with the perfume of different herbs are supposed to have a good effect too.
I too have the bird bath with the verse on and didn't know where it came from. Thanks Scotsgran for telling us that poem.
Terra , I'm so sorry you have had more troubles again. I thought it had all quietened down.

12 Jan, 2014

 

I started gardening since the age of ten, now in my early fifties I am still gardening. Since that age the fascination I have had with gardening has always been to connect with the earth and the plants which grow in it. I have never totally taken control of the garden but grew up along side of it. We have always worked together. The garden to me has always been more than that, it is my soul mate, my friend, there isn't a day that I do not look at the garden, my connection with it is very very strong. I never feel alone as long as I can look at the garden either from inside the house or out, even in the coldest and darkest of winter we communicate. It has a supernatural pulling power on me. When I think of my garden my heart beat so fast in love that It feels like a marriage between the garden and I. I feel so strongly about my garden that nothing else matters to me. Every time I think of my garden my eyes fill with tears of joy, peace, happiness, fulfilment and contentment with self. My garden is so personal to me that I have created seven rooms, like in a house each room has a different feel and atmosphere. When I am working in one of the rooms, I communicate differently to each one. I am in my own supernatural world when I am in the garden. I love my garden and I am married to it...:))))

12 Jan, 2014

 

@Olive.....my brother & his wife both had massive nervous breakdowns at the same time and when they were able they put everything into making their new garden an amazing space, they even open their garden now under the NGS scheme. (I have a photo on here about it). :)

12 Jan, 2014

 

I agree with Scotsgran that Karen's healing garden is a great idea, and Karen could add her listening skills to that.

Diane ... please move in next door ... my dogs are very quiet. They will fetch your slippers and your gardening tools for you ;o)

Thank you Lijemc, Stera, Sandra, Louisa, Grandmage and Rose ... very friendly, helpful people on GoY ... a lovely gardening family .. xxx

12 Jan, 2014

 

Wow! I am actually very close to tears here now! What beautiful things you have all written! This is exactly what I was hoping for when I raised the subject.

Michaella....I will never delete this blog after what you have shared with us. That is true love! Absolutely wonderful. I know that your garden loves you in return...it is clear from the flowers you nurture that they are loving being with you. Special lady x :)

I do like your ideas about me having a healing garden in the future. Do you know, last night, a dear friend in Australia said she wants me to go out there and make a garden of remembrance for her late father! How about that! I am so touched. She is hoping to come 'home' in 2015, and we will talk about it then.

One of the things I lay dreaming about last night was the new wildflower meadow project that the Countess has instigated at the castle, just south of the walled garden, between it and the arboretum. I can't wait to see how that is going to come to life this year! They are even hoping to bring colonies of bees in hives to the area there!

I think this year is going to be about my own new garden mostly, as I get to grips with that. I am full of my first ideas now, and feel ready to get started. sadly, Rachel informs me it has now become very cold and frosty at home....sigh....still! that won't stop me building that arch will it!

Now, I want to go and investigate that link to dr Neil's garden! Thank you scots gran!

12 Jan, 2014

 

The healing power doesn't only work when in the garden, when I joined Goy I was at a very low ebb, my dear Mum was at the stage whereby she cried because she had woken up and felt her life was a living hell, confined to either a chair or her bed unless someone helped her move and a lot of the time refusing her food and drinks, my Dad was struggling 24/7 with ill health and caring for her as much as he could, resenting having to sometimes ask for help, you can imagine what that was like, it went on for a very long time and I used to come away crying as I walked down home and work in the garden to calm myself down.
I spent years not being able to sleep, many people know what thats like and how long the nights can be when your mind will not allow itself to rest, you cannot really lose yourself in the garden all the time, in Oct 2008 I joined Goy, I'd spent a long time browsing the pages during those times and eventually plucked up the courage to join in, it helped me to know that it didn't matter if I sat sobbing my heart out and not even realising, a complete wreck making things worse with all the cigarettes I was having to calm my nerves, the people I was sharing my bad moments with could not see me...
I have for all that time called it my armchair gardening and often heard others say the same thing, so you see the healing power of my garden often goes on indoors as well as actually outside, helped along the way by others whom I've never met...

12 Jan, 2014

 

That is so right Sue ...
the healing power does go indoors too ...
You've had some incredibly tough times ...
Participating in GoY has helped many of us xxx

12 Jan, 2014

 

I second that, Terra! xxx

12 Jan, 2014

 

Me 3rd it. x Goy is a very special place, even if we don't have the time to plough through all the blogs & photos, no one seems to mind because we all seem to understand. :)

12 Jan, 2014

 

Even reading the heartfelt comments has been uplifting - knowing that each and everyone of us, for whatever reason, cherish our gardening time.
Whether it's pulling a weed, looking out the window planning or watching the birds, bees and butterflies we each have our own little corner of heaven.

12 Jan, 2014

 

I will go as far as saying it definitely stopped me having a complete breakdown a few times during those years, even though it took a long time to let people know of my turmoil, I didn't feel so alone, in a way it also helped my family as it gave me something to participate in and gain enjoyment from, thereby giving them less to worry about, my youngest always says I'm her rock and she definitely would not have coped if I had gone to pieces......

12 Jan, 2014

 

Hi Karen, I can empathize with all the above, twenty odd years ago, I dreamt I met my late wife in heaven, it was rolling meadows, but absolutely crammed full of the most beautiful flowers, and not a weed in sight, also a warm day, but no effort was needed to go up and down the hills without perspiring, I don't know if it was just wishful thinking, because my wife had only been dead a few years then, but that was my impression of heaven, and I hope and pray that when my time comes, that this is what I go to, thank you, Derek.

12 Jan, 2014

 

Well , Karen , what have you released ?
Everyone has such lovely , heartfelt comments ; it's all very touching .
Thank you .
What a marvellous group of people GoYs are .
Love you all .

12 Jan, 2014

 

Research shows the therapeutic benefits of gardens.
It works for me . Walking through the old forest on our land does lift my spirits. I admire the old (and new)growth .....it makes me feel safe, confortable and invigorated.
I have a habit to talk to my plants, birds and all critters around.

enjoyed reading everybody's comments here.
Happy gardening.

12 Jan, 2014

 

My dad was my gardening chum......when he died I missed all the chat we shared but GoY filled that space. I do get a bit stressed out when I am working on a portrait commission so that is when the garden comes in. I go out and work for an hour or two and all the tension disappears. I can go back into the studio and continue painting. :0)

12 Jan, 2014

 

What a lovely blog, Karen, and what beautiful thoughts we've all been able to share. Being outside in nature is definitely good for our spirits, but even more when we are in our own space, surrounded by our own chosen trees, flowers and scents. Those of us with a peaceful garden know how lucky we are - just to sit out there (especially in the sunshine) brings a smile!

I can see you creating a garden for someone else sometime in the future too :)) x

12 Jan, 2014

 

Such moving comments. I'm sure most of us have had troubled times and GOY has been a refuge, a place to play and put sorrow aside. I too find weeding a stress reliever although I often put it off (lazy) and once I start hours pass. I think we all need beauty in our lives, like music, it hath charms to soothe the savage breast, and what could be more beautiful than nature, whether all we have is a few feet in which to admire it, or acres. The garden gives us something to look forward to, who isn't longing for spring?:-))

12 Jan, 2014

 

Touching the ground with your bare hands is very good for any kind of nervous trouble.
An hour in the fresh air refreshes the blood stream and the brain.
Roll on Spring.

13 Jan, 2014

 

Can only echo the sentiments here: Nature, whether it's in the form of a garden, or a wooded glade, or a valley sheltered by mountains: all these make me feel exalted, glad to be alive.

Rachel Carson put this feeling into words much better than mine:

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."

13 Jan, 2014

 

Yup, that's what I meant to say lol:-))

13 Jan, 2014

 

Yes, 'armchair' gardening on Goy is therapeutic in itself, as well as inspiring and funny, and beautiful! And we have all found encouragement and friendship here, even though we may never be able to meet up in person, face-to-face. I find it a very safe and supportive space, and I love it!

I doubt that many lives are untouched by grief and pain..it is part of life, for everyone at some time. And yet it is sometimes so hard to let people close know what we are going through. At times, it is a real blessing to have a space like Goy to 'dip your toe in' to sharing things at a 'safe distance' as well as just finding some fun, away from the troubles of day-to-day living.

Finding a way to commemorate life, or losses can be good in my experience. I have been known to fling stones in to the sea as an act of 'letting go' of pain, or false guilt etc.....it's like the opposite of planting something in memory of somebody special....and on a similar level, I find that pruning and clearing out old overgrown plants, or weeds, or just digging a border can be a tremendous way of using physical effort to let go of stress of many kinds. I know it's easy to get a bit out of control sometimes...especially when tears start to flow...but really..what's the worst you can do? Most plants respond by growing back even better!

Thank you all again for being so open...it has been really quite special reading all your comments! :) here's to a year filled with healing, letting go, restoration, renewal and above all....GROWTH! :))

13 Jan, 2014

 

I feel so privileged to be part of such a wonderful community. thank you everybody for being so open - a sign we all feel safe here.
Derek, you contribution really moved me especially. Bless you, and all of you.

13 Jan, 2014

 

Beautifully expressed Karen and Stera . . . gardeners are such lovely people too! I feel very lucky to belong to this site: belonging and gardening - nothing better :))

13 Jan, 2014

 

Sheila, well said, I totally agree :-)

There is a genuine sense of warmth and friendship and caring on here which is almost tangible.

13 Jan, 2014

 

Very thoughtful and special comments on here ..
from Karen ..
... and from others above such as Chris, Sheila, Stera, and those higher up on the comment thread.

Wonderful to realise that GoY offers so much friendship and support to other members.

14 Jan, 2014

 

Hi, I too feel priveledged to be a member of this lovely site, and have so many "virtual riends".
Thank you Sue, and thank you Karen for writing this blog, Derek.

14 Jan, 2014

 

Peace, balance and pleasure.
How can a garden not heal? :-)

15 Jan, 2014

 

Tt let me say I am so sorry that you are having problems with the neighbours again, stay positive, don't let them get to you, remember what goes around comes around.
Karen, I think having a garden is important for one's soul, whatever the size, a humble courtyard, rolling acres, it is your sanctuary to do as you please,.
What is more enjoyable than a family BBQ, a wedding, an anniversary, a picnic, an early morning cup of something, a glass of wine, picking your first fruit, waiting for that snowdrop to appear.
A garden is full of memories the majority good,some frustrating and some glorious.
It may not be heaven, but it aint far off❕❗❗

15 Jan, 2014

 

Thanks Dotty ...
the problems never really went away ...
I've been trying to not mention the situation, and just get on with things ..

A very wise, understanding GoYer wrote these words for me this week ...
'ignoring such ignorance and hooliganism must take it out of you and make you feel quite unsettled'

That's the truth .. but I still love my gardens :o)

15 Jan, 2014

 

Oh dear TT I must admit I was under the impression all was well, any chance of them moving on? must be hard for you to stay cheerful, so lucky to have your beautiful boys and lovely garden, that has to be a bonus...xx

15 Jan, 2014

 

Thank you Dotty ...
I'm always hoping things will improve. xxx

15 Jan, 2014

 

Thanks DD, well put :) We are all hoping and praying and sending positive thoughts toward Terra!

15 Jan, 2014

 

Thanks Karen ..
I'm hoping with plenty of GoYers doing positive thinking, something good MUST happen ! xxx

15 Jan, 2014

 

Definitely healing Karen. I have a cd The serenity Garden, with calming, healing music and that's how I find the feeling to most gardens, being at one with nature. I wasn't going to mention this but thinking about it I am.

About three days after losing Ian, I couldn't sleep and made a mug of tea and went down the garden. It was very early, just breaking dawn and the air really cold, I had his coat on over my PJs and stood by the buddleia tree, very upset. From somewhere came a Hummingbird moth and started to feed on the flowers, I was so surprised as it was really chilly and after watching it quietly for a few minutes, it took off circled round me then flew over the wall. Ian knew I loved seeing them especially when we lived away in Spain, and I like to think he sent this one for me. I felt so much better after seeing it and felt that even though he had gone, he had just gone on ahead of me. The old saying "You are closest to God in a garden", I do think is true.

15 Jan, 2014

 

That hummingbird moth was definitely him Janey...I believe that for sure. It reminds me of Gloria Hunniford's experiences after her daughter Karen died. For her it was white feathers floating down (which had special meaning for them both). He will always love you, and be with you. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It's an amazing experience. I am so glad you did write about it. Xx

15 Jan, 2014

 

:))XX

15 Jan, 2014

 

What a gift Janey - a memory to treasure.

16 Jan, 2014

 

Thanks Stera....it was so moving and a moment specially for us, I'll always remember it.......

16 Jan, 2014

 

That's extraordinary, Janey, to feel that Ian wanted to comfort you and sent the lovely moth . . . exactly what you needed at that moment. So moving.

16 Jan, 2014

 

That's wonderful, Janey ...
a very special memory ...

Does anyone recall an overseas GoY member, a few years ago, who wrote about the traditional belief in their country/island of butterflies coming to visit after a death. It was a very comforting story.

16 Jan, 2014

 

I'm so glad you had such an affirming and healing experience, Janey.

19 Jan, 2014

 

It was Sheila....we had only seen them here a couple of times and always after midday on an especially warm afternoon mid summer. They were the one moth I loved with their tiny bird like face. Like butterflies they need the warmth of the sun to pump the blood through the veins on their wings, so on this very chilly hardly light morning it was a wonder, especially when it circled round me.

Thanks Tt and Laithe58 I'll never forget it......I'm afraid I can't remember the member Tt......maybe you could ask through the questions section?

21 Jan, 2014

 

That's a really lovely sentiment, too Janey, that your Ian had just "gone on ahead". It seems a good comforting thought to hang on to, especially when there are no Hummingbird moths around :) x

21 Jan, 2014

 

Terra and Janey ... I was so intrigued re the butterflies visiting after death that I did some searching.

The GoY member is Panther - from the Fiji Islands - in her blog of 9 November 2008 she wrote:

From my Mother's Fijian side, we believe when a Butterfly flutters in a proximity to where we are, it symbolises a visitation of a loved family member who had passed on.

Conversation would come to a standstill when whoever notices the beautiful visitor first would announce its arrival with a welcoming greeting.

The rest of us will join in the same, then continue with whatever we were doing after seeing it flutter off on its journey.

How wonderful is that?

21 Jan, 2014

 

Thanks so much Shirley for finding that ..
I'd done some searching through GoY myself...
but didn't realise I was remembering a blog as far back as 2008 !

It's a wonderful belief...
.. and wonderful that you found it ..

thank you ! :o) x

http://www.growsonyou.com/panther/blog/2215-superstitions-and-old-wive-s-tales-fiji-style

21 Jan, 2014

 

I just typed in the search box on here for Butterflies and trawled through blogs ... do you think I need to get out more ... lol!

21 Jan, 2014

 

What a wonderful Fijian belief Shirley...we haven't heard from Panther for a long while have we......these old beliefs really touch a chord don't they.....butterflies are such a joy to see come late spring,.......a friend has another amazing story.

When her mother was very ill, Anne had her Mums bed brought downstairs and placed in the room with a lovely view of their garden. It was during the summer and she would spend most of her time when not asleep looking out at the garden she created and loved. As the days passed at a certain time of the day when the sun lighted on the windowsill, a butterfly would land and rest in the warm light, it's wings were quite ragged and it looked tired and weary. A few days later a different butterfly came and rested on the same spot, perfect wings and vivid colours,
Anne was so excited to tell her mum but before she could, it flew off high into the air. When she turned round, her Mum had passed away.

21 Jan, 2014

 

To be honest Janey, I had not heard of that member until this evening!

What a touching tale ... I find events like that quite unexplainable ... and shall probably never know why they occur ... :o)

21 Jan, 2014

 

Wow! What an amazing and moving story Janey. I have...as many people do...a real 'feeling' for butterflies. Whenever they are near me I feel blessed, really deeply blessed. as you all know, their transformation from cocoon is a real mystery...the caterpillar totally deteriorates inside the cocoon, becoming nothing more than chemical soup...or so it seems...and from that 'death' the beautiful butterfly emerges....a miracle. I believe with all my heart that it is a message to us about life, death, and rebirth, and I am not at all cynical about these stories. I believe that they are meant as reassurances for us. Perhaps the blessing I feel when they appear is because they are my dead grandparents who I never knew...who knows...but the Fijians might think so! Thanks for finding that story Shirley. it's very beautiful. Funnily enough, we were looking at pics of Fiji today...what a fantastic place!

21 Jan, 2014

 

Fiji ... how I would love to be there right now ... away from this 'orrible weather!

27 Jan, 2014

 

I just came across this little poem

Digging in the garden,
Digging like a mole,
Hopeless for the manicure,
Wonderful for the soul!
Anon

Seen on this website
http://www.overthegardengate.net/default.asp

2 Feb, 2014

 

:)) I like that! Very true!

2 Feb, 2014

 

It seems to sum up what everyone has been saying very nicely. Maybe you could have it on a plaque when you get around to having your therapeutic garden sessions.

2 Feb, 2014

 

;) lol!

2 Feb, 2014

 

I am so very glad you guided me to this absolutely beautiful blog Karen..I have tears in my eyes reading so many wonderful experiences and how healing everyone finds their garden.
I know personally I had always struggled to just sit down and relax as was always on the go, but when I started to create our garden, something absolutely amazing happened..I found the one place that I could just stop and just breathe..

Gardens are so healing, nature really can nurse you back to health again..
Whenever I have been working hard in the garden, when I stop, I always take time to just sit out there with a glass of well deserved wine, and just unwind..Is there anything better than just listening to the birds singing and admiring the amazing beauty around you in our plants? It is just taking time out and putting the world on hold for a little while, while nature helps us heal within.

Lovely, lovely blog Karen with some wonderful input from treasured gardening friends. \0/xxx

4 Feb, 2014

 

:)) x thank you for your input Flori!

4 Feb, 2014

 

Thank you for letting so many of us explain what a garden means to us Karen..It was an absolutely inspired blog sweetheart.\0/xxx

4 Feb, 2014

 

This link might be of interest to you Karen. Trellis help and give advice and also support projects involved in therapeutic gardening. http://www.trellisscotland.org.uk

9 Feb, 2014

 

Thanks Scotsgran..you are so good at research!

10 Feb, 2014

 

Not really Karen, Trellis were involved at Suntrap. I thought it might be of interest because of your work at Glamis possibly fitting in with their ethos that gardening is good for so many people from the mildly depressed or lonely through to others with greater needs.

10 Feb, 2014

 

Good thinking! I shall look them up...thanks!

11 Feb, 2014

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