I think we all know we feel better when we send time outside in the garden. It doesn’t matter who’s it is, a park, a friends garden, a national park or just a field of buttercups. Time spent in nature, with the roof off, when the sky’s the limit, has a huge effect on our mental health.
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Our weekend away, which is rather a novelty having been cooped up for so long was spent soaking up the atmosphere of my mother in law’s beautiful garden and as June is in Bloom we visited her neighbour Shelia's incredible space that was open in conjunction with the National Garden Scheme. The calming effect reminded me a bit of the Japanese practice of ‘Forest Bathing’ when you spend time amongst trees absorbing their stillness and majestic steadfastness, when all around is hurried and worried. Except this was a garden.
Every area of Shelia's garden has been so well thought about with texture, swathes of colour and contrast. Also a wildlife sanctuary with bees, chickens and little woody nooks for nesting and hibernating creatures.
As a gardener in my own home there is great escapism from the pull of our phones and house, mother, daughter, wife, dog duties, when I'm out in the garden watering, and wondering around barefoot or just monitoring how things are going. In my instance I'm letting the wild things grow. And allowing them to thrive. Rather than worrying at night that they are spoiling the look of my immaculate garden. Less lawn mowing with a few strategic and photogenic paths in between the long grass and indigenous wild flowers being set free. Which at this time of year is cow parsley, buttercups, clover and poppies. (I'm planning some exciting retreats in nature so make sure you subscribe so you can be first in line!)
Our away weekend respite at my Parents in law house where a very fine garden resides was a great nature tonic. An array of different coloured David Austin roses climb the red brick walls and weatherboard cladding of this old barn, and their heady scent took me back to my childhood when roses seem to smell like this. What an enviable garden it is and great reflection of the hours working in it where Angela finds much calm and relaxation, giving her boundless energy and fitness well into her 80's. A good advert for gardening for us all! Its also where are Darling Daisy dog resides in her final favourite place.
Let me know how your gardens are getting on and if you'd like to join me for some a garden bathing, foraging, time in the country, soul enhancing women's circle with my friend cleans the water, we were in pool envy and my husbands in over drive for a new garden project! Coming back from Sydney we really do miss our daily dips in the sea. EvLet me know how your gardens are getting on and if you'd like to join me for some a bathing, foraging, time in the country, soul enhancing women's circle with my friend with happy chickenrsd.e
We all need beauty, tranquility and inspiration right now. As we’ve never needed it before. Let’s sow beauty and reap happiness. Or just park up a deckchair and make a daisy chain, plant a rug on in the park and picnic like it's going out of fashion. Shelia's garden was open to the public and raising money for National Garden Scheme charities, The Dog Trust and Children with Cancer. So I was also so thrilled to buy a few bits of pretty pottery from Laura Barlett who pots on the side as well as many other creative outlets and helps keep Shelia's garden extra ordinary.
Let me know how your gardens are getting on and if you'd like to join me for some forest bathing, foraging, time in the country, soul enhancing women's circle with my friend Rosie Hill. Stay connected and subscribe if you haven't already and I will keep you posted of our exciting upcoming plans this summer.
love, Caroline x
PS Not forgetting Ozzy and Nina ... where 'nature bathing' is an essential part of their doggy lives!