Gardening as Mindfulness
Fast Faster Fastest
We are living in fast times. We have instant access to everything the world has to offer: The 24-hour news cycle, the latest fashion trends and the loudest opinions. We want stuff, and we want it now. That pizza, that work project, those results, those rewards…We scurry like ants from trend to trend, we run like rats from deadline to deadline, we shout at the traffic for making us late and we can’t remember the last time we took a proper breath.
No wonder everyone is so stressed all the time. When was the last time you just stopped? Looked around you and exhaled? And where were you? There is a big chance that the picture that pops into your mind is one of nature. Maybe you were at the beach or on a lake or perhaps in a forest? More powerful than Xanax, nature is the true ‘relaxer’. The perfect place to come back to yourself, to your body, to your breath. The place that feeds not only our stomachs, but also our souls.
The Mindful Garden
One of the best antidotes against stress and anxiety is mindfulness: Being in the here and now, truly connecting to what you are doing, letting things be what they are. And when you think about it, gardening ticks all of these boxes: You are surrounded by nature, looking at all the plants around you, touching the soil and connecting to the earth. You can’t push your plants into growing and you can’t rush your flower bulbs into blooming. They will simply take the time they take, and you will have to trust that no matter how cold the winter is, spring will come eventually, as will the rewards of your hard work. And once your flower bulbs finally start to show, you may realize that delayed gratification can actually be sweeter than the instant variety, and that waiting and trusting the process can lead to incredibly satisfying results.
No More Schedule
Imagine yourself now, letting your bare hands touching the earth still warm from the summer sun, smelling all the wonderful aromas around you, hearing the birds…Slowly you feel the tension leave your body. And as you are digging and planting and breathing you also feel your mind letting go of its favorite drug: control. Yes, you do need schedules and planning to make your life work, but wouldn’t it be great to take a little break from your regimented systems, and see what would happen if you just let go? A great first step would be to give the following a try:
Flowers in nature aren’t neatly arranged according to variety or color, and definitely not lined up in rows. And it’s that crazy mix that makes them look so attractive. Now is the time to let chaos work for you instead of against you. Choose a mixture of varieties, colors and shapes, and plant them all together. Ideal flower bulbs for this are small-flowering varieties such as small-flowered daffodils, Siberian Squill (Scilla Siberica) and botanical tulips (small, short-stemmed tulip species). An additional benefit of planting a large variety of flower bulbs is that you create a garden with a lot of biodiversity, which in turn will attract more life to your garden. And what could be more relaxing than the sound of bees buzzing and the sight of butterflies flitting from flower to flower?
Another great way to let go of control and to trust in the process is to use the scattering method. Buy a variety of flower bulbs, mix them all up, and just scatter them around nonchalantly over your grass or in a border. Next you use a trowel to plant the bulbs exactly where they landed and come spring you’ll be reminded every day of the beauty of unregimented things.
Taking It Inside
The best way to keep a mindful practice going is by surrounding yourself with reminders: a motivational quote, a tiny statue or a vase of flowers that will take you back to that connection to nature you felt when planting them. Some varieties that do great in a vases are tulips, daffodils and ornamental onions (Allium). Add some flowering sprigs for extra prettiness.
No StressDutchGrown delivers your flower bulbs straight to your door, at the perfect planting time. Take some time for yourself to browse our easy to use website and order the flower bulbs you like the look of. Try to be truly present when planting them this fall and come spring you senses and soul will thank you for it!