Saturday, May 31, 2008

Garden Therapy: Defining Our Terms

We went to Ikea to get our new outdoor table and chairs this afternoon, but they only had the table (marked down from a whopping $49.00 to $39.00). No chairs until next year. I'm trying to persuade the husband that making (temporary) benches from the remains of the picnic table is a good idea.

Here's what we had this morning:

And now:

I should have "planned" the look further than I have--but after all--I just got the books out of the library a few hours ago! For example, I'm not as enthused about blue as I used to be. So, I too am doing things "out of order" but it doesn't matter. "Gardening Therapy" like WT and AT is a way to think about and, if time, budget and interest permit, execute a plan for living well in whatever outdoor space you have.

So, in this post, I'm going to begin by explaining what will be meant by the breath, bones, heart and head distinctions.

Bones: The hardscaping. Paths, structures, fencing, and necessary bits (like sheds and composters). I've even seen these items referred to as the "bones" of the garden.

Ailments: Paths are cracked or dysfunctional, sheds or other structures are falling apart. The soil is in poor shape.

Breath: The positioning of the objects as well as the plants should encourage health. Weeds and pests are akin to clutter. Things should be arranged so that these are kept to a minimum.

Ailments: Weeds have taken over. Structures block activities or don't exist where they should. Certain parts of the garden aren't used or are boring beyond belief.

Heart: This is defined as "style." Colour, texture, materials. Will the landscape be welcoming? Will it be peaceful? Will it be interesting and full of something interesting each season?

Ailments: Too many plantings of one type, or not enough. There's too much colour or not enough. Everything is concrete. The privacy fence clashes with the house.

Head: What is the purpose of the landscape? Does it support all the activities you want to do in it? Is it a living, welcoming part of your home? Does it welcome wildlife (if that's a goal)?

Ailments: It cannot be used the way you want it to be used.

Will planning and planting a garden change my relationships and make them healthier, the way apartment therapy does? We'll have to see.

If you choose to accept an assignment, answer the following:


1. What is the problem with your yard/garden/balcony/potted plant?

2. What would your garden/landscape say?

3. What is lacking that you would like to do?

4. How would you like your garden/landscape to be described?

Stay tuned.

1 comment :

lorijo said...

I am all in for this- but this week I am focusing on the garage sale so forgive me if I am a bit late!

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