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Showing posts from April, 2013

What Gardeners Know

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It seems that the medical establishment is just catching up with what inner gardeners everywhere already know: Mindfulness meditation is good for us and can reduce stress-related illnesses and boost the immune system. According to Dr. Hillary Campbell, as quoted in a recent Sacramento Bee article, http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/01/5306627/medical-establishment-ponders.html , “(Mindfulness meditation) brings on a sense of peace and calmness. And it helps your attention and focus.”

Gardening done well is a moving meditation. After all, if you don’t pay close attention to what you’re doing and stay in the moment, you could destroy the very things you’re trying to grow. The repetitive movements of tasks such as weeding are familiar to every gardener as a mechanism for slowing down and looking inward.

Many gardening tasks require us to sit or kneel on, or dig in the ground, where we inhale the earthy smells and feel the texture of soils and plants. We physically reconnect to the Earth when …

Book Reviews: Orchids

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This year, my inner gardener has had to back-pedal a bit and take a break from large outdoor gardening projects since we’re focused on cleaning up more than 35 trees felled by Hurricane Sandy. Still chomping at the bit to get out there and get going, I decided to temporarily turn to an on-again, off-again indoor gardening pursuit: Orchids.

If you want a long-lasting experience, orchids flower from three weeks to three months, and can make their way into a sheltered spot in the garden during the summer months, if desired.

Among houseplants, orchids offer a bedazzling array of scent and color, with leaves and flowers that range from the ordinary to the weird. Phalaeonopsis (Moth Orchids) and Papheopedilium (Slipper Orchids) are the easiest to grow, and the heady, intoxicating fragrance of a Miltoniopsis (Pansy Orchid) will fill the entire house. The latter is well worth the expense even if you ultimately lose it.

It helps to have a few good orchid books around for reference, since dif…