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Posts from the ‘flower photography’ Category

Stop and smell the roses

Yes, stop and smell the roses and other flowers.

When was the last time you decided to do so?

Just yesterday? Today? Congratulations. It’s not true that you don’t have time for that. Believe or not, there is time enough for anything: even with long commute (which is most often our choice), even with small kids and no grandparents or nannies, even when studying or being a workaholic.

Having no time is a habit and lack of focus. Having no time for smelling flowers and recharging is a bad habit.

Are you saying: yah, right? I would like to repeat that it is a bad habit and it comes from chaotic and scattered attention management, or rather, attention non-management.

Being and feeling rushed with everything causes nervousness, unplanned actions and loss of time. We have to pretty much stick with our daily routine, and that means: if you can spend just 1 hour in front of TV, do not make it 4 hours at the expense of your sleep, or if it’s responding to an e-mail, we cannot make it scrolling through all Instagram or Facebook feeds and new posts. We have to stay on the path.

We don’t do that always, do we?

I am convinced that we are experiencing a chronic feeling of always lacking time. Realistically, we should have more time because there is so much help with housework, shopping and lots of other daily chores; there is automation and so many devices are replacing manual work.

Where does the time disappear?

It evaporates with unexpected, unplanned and also forgotten things. There are so many distractions with anything we just were about to start doing. Time over-consumption is also caused by unreliable and chaotic people who we have to be in touch with. Therefore, I am very convinced that it makes a lot of sense not to deal with people who never have time: either for you, for responding to you or for anything in their life; who cancel things because they never intended to do something in the first place, who are always late, who love talking too much or texting too much, or who do not even listen to what you are saying.

Having time for stopping and smelling roses eventually comes down to discipline. First of all: that is self-discipline. It’s not the case that we are always perfect and we never get lost in our good intentions. No human is 100% perfect, and life is never perfect. So, whether we have time for ourselves and whether we can make it for smelling flowers also requires some flexibility in executing our daily tasks, even small ones, and it requires so much more flexibility in tackling the big ones.

Late autumn, but everything in full bloom

Gentle, delicate, beautiful

When my daughter was just 8 months old, her father passed away. So, I was alone. I got German language teaching job at a countryside school because they provided with a free apartment. However, the free apartment had absolutely no conveniences. I needed wood for heating the stove on which I had to cook and also the heating oven in the other room. I had to take to a high second floor every bucket of water and afterwards I had to take it out. We didn’t have easy to use diapers or formulas these times yet, therefore, I had to manually wash everything since I did not have a laundry machine and I had to cook for daughter something she could consume, which was liquid porridge type of thing most often. There was no heating, so every time when I needed to warm up her food I had to get stove going.

My teaching job was full-time. That happened in the ancient soviet times, so, we didn’t have any nannies. There was no free spot in the kindergarten either if somebody would take such a small kid. I took my daughter to classroom which wasn’t far away, but just in another building. The school principal didn’t mind because they really needed a German language teacher. My daughter was either sitting or sleeping between students. She actually started to speak in full sentences extremely early and she also started to walk just at nine month.

My biggest problem was getting the wood: they showed me large logs which I was allowed to use, and before I could utilize them for heating, I had to split these large logs. I had seen my dad splitting wood, and it looked quite easy. I borrowed a huge axe and got to splitting. That was really tough, especially until I grasped how one tries to hit the right spot on the log. Next thing was to get that wood to the second floor storage. I decided to organize a help team from anybody who was around, and I was very lucky that some older teens and a few other teachers assisted in taking the wood to the second floor.

Salaries were miserably small, I mean, really small. I was doing sewing for people who wanted some outfit. After daily lessons I gave at school, I was sewing wedding dresses, suits, jackets, skirts, dresses, blouses, you name it. Some people offered produce and products instead of money. Well, I didn’t refuse.

I was in the fourth year at the University; I studied foreign languages at that time. Later at night I was preparing my test works, research works, etc. It was a lot of work for one person, however, I managed to read books, go to concerts or dancing to a local club whenever there was something on, too.

I have been thinking a lot: how did I manage to get this done? Practically on my own: full-time job, studying at University, small kid, home chores: wood, water, laundry, cleaning; sewing to make some additional money? People quite frequently don’t have to do even half of that and they are saying there is no time for anything.

The answer is extremely simple: I did not have a TV. Internet wasn’t invented yet. I didn’t have any phone. Nobody was dreaming about something we call smart phone now. I mean, there were practically zero distractions.

It’s impossible to avoid from all distractions with everything going on at once nowadays, however, there is a line which we can draw. We also learn how to say “No”. We sort out priorities and start with the most difficult mandatory tasks, then we move to easier things, and then we enjoy the time we have saved. It shouldn’t be at the expense of sleep, definitely not.

So, we are now free to go and smell and enjoy flowers.

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Can gardening save your life?

I know people who have survived thanks to gardening.

So, are you the lucky one with a garden?

That could pretty much be an answer to many of your health problems and even save your life, because doing gardening will make your life so much more enjoyable and even support you financially and save money.

It just said on the news that one-third of the world’s population was obese.

That is the most recent statistics. When we imagine how many places on the Earth cannot provide people who live there with any food or clean water, it becomes very clear that so-called developed countries are the ones mostly suffering from this disaster. It’s no surprise it comes as a combo of all kinds of cancers and dementia, plus diabetes and cardio-vascular fatalities. Diseases are getting younger. We thought stroke was more likely to happen after 40-50, it’s affecting now people 16 years old and even younger.

This happens due to food production which is very distant from the way we were having food even 50-60 years ago. With every year, more newly discovered chemical combinations, supplements, taste enhancers, coloring and thickening agents, preservatives and so on and so forth, have been replacing natural food. Not to mention 90 types of artificial sweeteners which replace sugar.

When we think dairy, do we imagine pure chemicals in the container with a label organic cream? We don’t. Yet, it isn’t even a cream, but some mix of things that make this substance look and to some extent taste like cream. The whipping cream isn’t a cream, and milk that comes from powder or egg mix that doesn’t have real eggs in it: that’s all processed already. Cheese is the most affected because it’s easy to replace real ingredients with chemicals in cheese. Your breakfast flakes: they are already processed, if they were not you’d have raw grains. Natural and good fats such as organic butter have been replaced with chemically created fats for some 80 years. That refers to any margarine, oils of not organic origin and obviously all pastry includes that: bread, bread type of snacks, etc. since it really needs some fat or it goes stale the next day.

So, what difference does the produce you have grown on your own make?

Huge. If you have ever tried freshly picked cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini or peppers from the backyard, you know how much richer the taste is. At some point, it’s impossible to compare garden produce with fruits and vegetables from the grocery store. Greens and herbs such as green onion, dill, parsley, basil, thyme and sage from the grocery store wilt right away and they never feel really fresh because they soak them in water by spraying all the time at the store.

Farmer’s market is a good place, however, sometimes prices are extremely high (at least in Whitby, Ontario) and the produce does not look that great.

By growing our own vegetables and fruits we know what they contain.

I love that I know exactly how my vegetables are grown: what water I use, what soil, etc. Small gardens can be easily weeded manually; there is no need to use chemicals to conquer weeds. It’s also easier to control any pests in case they would appear with simple household supplies.

It makes an incredible difference for me: I just walk outside and choose whatever I feel like having for meal. Being in fresh air and having so much stuff for eyes to enjoy is definitely an added bonus.

Plus, one does not need any gym to stay in a good shape: thankfully garden work involves all kinds of moves, exercises and tasks.

I know that not everybody can live in a house with a decent size backyard. I live here also because we rent this place. Yet, there are millions of people who only have lawns everywhere: in the front and in the back. If we would start with lots of people growing healthy chemical-free vegetables and fruits not only for themselves, but also for a few other people, we might end the cancer, cardio-vascular, diabetes and obesity epidemic. We might just also have better mental abilities because of that; and some garden work is always useful as opposed to scrolling through screens or snoozing in front of TV.

This is how gardening will make you healthy:

You will get lots of exercise without paying fees for gym or designating specific time for it;

You will be rewarded with crops that are clean and contain many times more nutrients;

Naturally occurring minerals, vitamins and other good substances are only found in FRESH garden produce;

You will avoid harsh chemicals by using in your gardening only natural fertilizers and composted plant food;

You will have something to take care of and you’ll never feel lonely;

You will have peace of mind, place to relax and ability to clean the bad energies when being in contact with the soil;

You will save money on organic herbs, fruit and vegetables which we really need, but which are not in a good shape at grocery stores and very expensive;

Kids find gardening attractive because we can monitor the steady development and growing;

Gardening is suitable for any age or condition: we can always find ways to do things easily;

You don’t have to travel far to be surrounded by the nature;

Garden can become the most inspiring thing for writers, artists, designers and other creative folks;

By doing gardening and consuming only fresh and chemical-free produce you will literally help your body and brain fight diseases and manage easier the existing conditions.

So, gardening might save your life, especially if gardening becomes your passion.

Please enjoy the purple blossoming in my garden!

Chives in bloom

Purple iris

Close-up

Lovely faces of pansies

Isn’t it pretty?

The many shades of beauty

Easy to grow, always smiley

 

Living green means simplifying and enhancing life

So far, we have been taught that more is always better. We have known for decades that having more than anybody else is the best.

It is fairly obvious, however, that it is better to have a few good things than very many useless ones. We have to educate ourselves every single day, and do that not based on what somebody else believes, but based on facts, our and other peoples’ experience and tested, proven truth. The campaigns which claim to provide us with miracle products are just advertising trick because the real miracle of life is our ability to change the aspects affecting us. We always have a choice, would that be food or place to live.

We love excuses, we can justify any laziness or idleness of mind and body. There are diseases, there are accidents, many of which wouldn’t happen if just paid more attention and implemented some preventive measures. Accidents and diseases are quite often caused by things WHICH WE DID NOT WANT TO DO. Which we felt we were too tired or too exhausted to do.

Prevention is the best protection, both against diseases and accidents. Having everything safely placed at home and in the outdoor space, prevents plenty of childhood accidents. It is not that difficult to never place hot or boiling substance close to the table rim. It is not that difficult to fence in open water on a property. One ambulance worker said: if people didn’t try so hard to show off how brave or strong they are, many accidents wouldn’t happen.

Choosing simple things over expensive equipment and gym isn’t any worse sporting activity. In fact, we are aware now, that MODERATE physical activities are the best. That means people who already have some illness or disorder, have to be careful and choose activities which won’t harm them more.

Everybody who can, should take walks. The added bonus is doing that in tree-rich area, parks, forests, taking a path away from busy traffic routes. When we compare walk in the forest and workout in the gym, it is almost like having decent organic meal and dining at fast food restaurant.

Appearances take huge place in any area of our life. I mean, people do so much stuff not for themselves, but to show off to somebody who is “EVERYBODY”. I have noticed how TV uses “everybody”: everybody eats this and everybody watches that; everybody wears that outfit or color and everybody exercises like that. EVERYBODY is NOBODY.

Thankfully, we are also all different as our DNA proves. There are no 100% identical people on the planet because even twins due to epigenetic factors develop distinctive life styles or get different diseases in their life-time.

Epigenetic factors have strong influence, therefore, we are not only determined by our genetic potential or some genetic disorder.

The best way to keep ourselves healthy is to ALWAYS stay close to nature and natural products and environment.

We can learn a lot from the garden: how to start fresh every year, how to bloom regardless of bad weather and how to get through tough winter peacefully and being ready for new blossoming. Therefore, we can impact our destiny and genetic predisposition by returning to nature: fresh air, unpolluted water, undisturbed sunlight and clean soil will always take care about basic products, greens and herbs on our table. The beauty and tranquility of a garden is the best environment to recharge and reset one’s energy.

It was late fall, and some flowers were still blossoming. Sunflowers are beauties with a strength and surviving power of a warrior. Colors of leaves make us wonder every fall: the nature has so many shades of colors and shapes.

Therapeutic horticulture for realistic optimists: one step closer to good life

I would like to suggest instead of working hard at positive thoughts and attitude to implement some positive activities in our daily routine. Training happiness or love is sort of strange. We can certainly find happiness within ourselves, but since we are also very social creatures, our happiness, feeling of fulfillment, pride, love, satisfaction with life and desire to embrace life as is will quite often depend on relationships, appreciation of other people and interactions with them whether in a small family circle, in a larger social group or even global context.

The one person who we can always count on is we, ourselves. It can be extremely hard to make one feel happy and satisfied with the current life settings if the situation is far from brilliant. We should never envy other people because we simply don’t know what their secret struggles are and who they are fighting them with or for. From reading other blogs and from personal experience, I’d say we should

rely on ourselves for the most part;

ask for support and advice people who we trust, and

always treat the situation realistically and appropriately.

horticulture find happiness in your backyard

Plenty of people suffer from pain, severe disorders, disturbances, stress, nervousness, anxiety, sleeplessness, mental disorders, obesity, diabetes, liver or kidney diseases, cardiac and vascular illnesses, post-disease traumas and simply fear from life once they have experienced unpleasant treatment from somebody, bad situations and accidents or loss and detachment from people who they cared a lot about. That is painful, devastating and overwhelming; and although, we tell ourselves to forget and live our life as if nothing ever happened, it takes time and huge effort to either start everything from new, or correct whatever we are able still correct, change and adjust.

horticulture flower therapy

After a very bad accident about 2 decades ago, I can hardly recall any single day when there was no pain. It can be extremely bad or just irritating, but it is always with me. Multiple surgeries and long treatments were the reason I became type I diabetic. Quite honestly, it’s not a pleasure, even though nobody would notice any visible changes in me. It is tough because there is no such a thing anymore for me: do whatever you want since there will be sequences. I cannot skip any step of my strict schedule not even one day and say I’m going to take a rest now, and who cares what happens. Well, I do care and I also love life even with all its troubles, will all its restrictions and limitations. There are many. I don’t find hard the meal part or choosing the right foods. I’ve never had any excess kilogram or high blood pressure. That’s the good part, but it does not prevent me from experiencing hypoglycemia time to time because I’m very sensitive to lots of things now. The large number of previously broken joints and bones cause pain, and because of other accompanying problems, there is more or less pain all the way.

I am writing in my other blog how art can be an extremely useful tool for maximizing our potential and doing something valuable which brings in our life a lot of good things: there are many people who attend my classes, I would not met them without my love to art, all the beautiful paintings make every room very attractive, and there is always something great to do assuming I have enough energy.

horticulture treatment for mental health

Many people do gardening, love flowers, plants and nature, and that is fantastic! Gardening can mean many different things: gardening for profit, gardening to provide oneself or family with clean and nutrition-rich produce, gardening for fun and as a hobby and gardening as therapeutic horticulture. You probably have not heard that much about the latter before, but this means using your garden, balcony, backyard or any natural space for growing plants, vegetables, herbs, flowers, herbal teas and similar, and do this all for therapeutic purposes. “Hortus” means “garden” in Latin, and that’s why we call it horticulture (cultivation of a garden). Horticulture has extremely long history and it deals with multiple food growing, exploring and enriching, and non-food aspects, including psychology, design and even treatment.

One does not have to be a scientist to see how many beneficial effects gardening has on the person who loves it.

How could gardening for therapeutic purposes help somebody who is not a gardener and doesn’t want to be one, but would love to still enjoy being out in the nature?

horticulture grow your own nutritious vegetables

Beautiful and delicious

horticulture and health

We are spending enormous time in buildings and in vehicles nowadays. Huge part of our life. We have lost the connection with natural processes and we have forgotten that nature has and always had a cure for everything. The truth is, we simply walked away from it being sure that chemicals will replace anything we need and technology will make our life a dream. That did not quite happen and the easy life came at a very high price: epidemic numbers of incurable and difficult curable diseases, damaged DNA and inherited conditions from which children suffer all their life long.

Most people have forgotten or never known how that feels: to touch the soil. Well, they should try that because the Earth has incredible powers, and it can do both: cleansing and re-energizing. Therefore, people who would benefit most from growing something or participating in outdoor gardening activities are first of all small children, kids, adolescents, elderly and sick people or those who suffer from mental conditions.

horticulture healthy herbs

Contact with soil, plants and flowers can be not only of huge aesthetic value, but it also contributes to everything we so badly want emotionally and physically: get rid of stress, sleep well without pills, become more confident, happy and satisfied with life by watching the growing and life cycle in the garden.

Here is what clinical research has found: therapeutic horticulture can help with

reduction of pain and stress, improvement of attention and focusing ability, decrease in agitation and anxiety, improvement of the quality of life;

gaining new skills and regaining the lost ones, improvement of memory, sense of responsibility and social interaction and many more depending on the person who needs some relief.

horticulture use it to be healthy

My beautiful garden: there is always only good news

horticulture flowers for mental health

 

How does the therapeutic horticulture work for me, although, I do it mostly for pleasure and I simply need to have a garden? I have always had one and have made numerous new gardens anywhere I lived, always from scratch. I take care about my flowers, plants and herbs every day and every moment when I can afford to be outdoors. If I cannot walk or something else is wrong on that day, I can sit there and simply adore all shapes, colors and the natural perfection. The morning dew or afternoon heat, the mystic colors through foliage at sunset, the first berries or tomatoes: that is a source of endless calm, happiness and satisfaction. Being out in the garden re-energizes, takes away pain and cheers me up even in the worst days. I am drawing and painting my garden, flowers and vegetables, and garden becomes my art and inspiration. Well, it is an integral part of my life. It can replace so many things which I cannot do, attend or go to. I will return to this theme throughout the blog some time because it is essential for me to share with others how much such simple pleasure can give us.

horticulture beauty and health

Beauty and health plus energy

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