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Create a therapeutic garden


Last updated 5/8/2020 at 12:14pm

Pauline Webber, a wheelchair user, plants seedlings next to the nasturtiums in her raised garden box.

Pauline Webber

Special to Village News

The routine of daily life has been interrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic. While watching television or listening to the radio about the happenings locally and around the world and dealing with the government guidelines everyone should be following, anxiety is high.  

How can people escape their anxiety when it becomes overwhelming?

Some people do yoga, some take on physical work at home and some spend time outside walking as a therapeutic avenue. What about those who have mobility-limitations or those in the high-risk category?

Many want to be physical to their best ability. Gardening has been a calming experience for them. They can go outdoors and create their own therapeutic gardens.

A garden can also be used as an outdoor learning classroom. Gardens can help engage a range of sensory activities. Gardens can be used for those who have visual challenges as a scent and touch garden.

A great way to start a garden is with raised garden boxes or container gardening. Both can be tended from standing or sitting positions. Use garden tools that are ergonomic to help someone with arthritis or physical limitations.

To create a sensory garden, plan out what container size to use and where to locate it. Choose seeds or plants for their different types of taste, smell, touch, texture, scent and visual effect. For hearing, create a beautiful sound with garden chimes. Also, birds fill the air with song while visiting a garden bird feeder.

The sensory garden is for the senses of sight, smell, touch and taste. Easy seeds to plant or plants to grow are lavender, rosemary, narcissus, peppermint, nasturtium, violet, aloe vera, basil, chives, sage, strawberries, spinach, lettuce and tomatoes.

Plants in raised garden boxes are easier to attend to than ones planted in the ground.

Include both host plants and nectar plants in the garden. Gardeners can attract a wide selection of butterflies while providing an environment that supports their entire life cycle.

Consider planting milkweed, mint, pansy, purple coneflower, sage, Shasta daisy, violet and zinnia.

For herbs, try dill, fennel and parsley.

Remember, hay fever or asthma sufferers should pick out plants that are pollinated by insects or birds rather than plants that release their seeds into the air. Be careful of the plants that attract bees for those with bee sting allergies as well.

For those with mobility-limitations or those in a high-risk category, a garden may help them refocus in a place of hope, solace and comfort, a sanctuary to escape to, to reconnect and restore the body, mind and soul.

A member of the Fallbrook Garden Club, Pauline Webber maintains the club's website and serves as its social media co-chair.


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