Gardening for Healing and Harmony

By Mick O’Brien Dip.Hort (MAIH)

I feel empowered to write this article today with the realisation lately that not only am I fortunate to be working in a variety of different gardens assisting my clients needs with garden renovations and maintenance activities on Bribie Island and Surrounding districts, it’s also the respect and trust they instil in me as they relax knowing, that the health and vitality of their plants are in excellent hands indeed. It’s this trust coupled with the fact that my passion and spirit is right out there in the forefront of my ongoing business concern, which resonates with my soul. I also naturally feel compelled to officially take this opportunity to thank Belinda Ferguson, the owner and editor of this fine local community newspaper, The Island and Surrounds, for publishing my regular articles with my views on Sustainable gardening and my Soils ain’t Soils feature, in Micks Patch, for the last 15 months.

With the gratitude and acknowledgement aimed to all I interact with also, I would like to mention some synchronicity events in my own life and with people I have crossed paths with during my horticultural activities from time to time. Fortunately for me, working amongst gardens, plants and animals daily, offers the opportunity to ground myself out often and tune in when possible.

It’s this tuning in, that adds a spiritual dimension, one that surprisingly pops up in the most unusual ways when you are doing what you love. Whether it be a butterfly landing on your nose or a dragonfly hovering at head height following you around in the garden or a green tree frog looking you straight in the eye as you inspect a plant, “its home”. These encounters give me a healthy respect for our environment and Its these encounters that penetrate through the boundaries of my day to day existence and affords the chance to resonate with the real me, the one that is not just running around with a monkey mind, got to pay this, do this, fix this etc, but gives me a moment of clarity, a breath of fresh air and a sense of realising all things are seemingly connected, plants, animals, humans and mother earth almost if we are all interwoven like a giant piece of fabric.

Also, I personally have noticed from my dealings with people that true healing can be initiated and achieved in the most unlikely places, especially in the garden. I have worked in some situations where the client is still grieving from personal loss of a loved one and as I clear out their old gardens and reinvigorate them, I have noticed firsthand their reaction as if their own mind has been cleared, if only for a moment, from sadness and sorrowThe warmth of the sun on their skin and the gentle breeze on their face gives a new sense of appreciation. And the look on their face when an old prized plant suddenly flowers which was once planted by their dear departed loved one, is priceless. Its moments like these that spur me on my ever so simple humble path to write and inform all I meet with the benefits of sustainable and therapeutic gardening indeed. Having a garden full of birds, insects, lizards and frogs among flourishing plants in a residential area is priceless treasure in my opinion. So, on that note, here’s hoping you have a garden teaming with life now, with the arrival of our much-needed rainfall recently. And may your frog also look you in the eye! The Happy Horticulturist.