Making the Most of Gardening's Many Health Benefits By Maria Cannon

A garden can turn a boring yard into a colorful retreat that attracts birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and other wildlife. An edible garden can line your yard with food and herbs to fill your pantry and fridge. But gardening offers much more than meets the eye. If you’re looking for a task that combines a hobby, relaxation, exercise, and nutrition, all while benefiting your mental health and beautifying your yard, then gardening may be just what you need.

Relaxation and Happiness

Our society demands multitasking and for us to be constantly plugged in, which can really wear your brain out. Gardening is a great way to counteract the constant badgering of our brains. You’re focused on the task at hand, so you’re contemplating where to plant your daisies instead of how to reply to your boss’s email. Studies show that gardening can actually lower cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress.

Additionally, gardening can help fight depression. Researchers believe gardening may increase the body’s production of serotonin, which boosts mood. Also, since gardening usually occurs outside, you’re soaking up the sun, which helps to fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and other forms of depression, including bipolar disorder.

If you want to maximize the stress-reducing potential of your garden, try to appeal to all of your senses in a relaxing way. Appeal to your hearing by incorporating gentle sounds such as wind chimes, outdoor speakers for soft music, or a water feature. You can also choose plants that attract birds to get the natural chirping of birds to fill your garden. Aim for scents that soothe including roses, lavender, jasmine, and honeysuckle scents, as well as aromatic herbs.

When choosing flowers to plant, opt for muted blues and purples against a green backdrop for a color palette that will have a calming effect. Other therapeutic colors include soft grays, greens, and pinks. Instead of modern and hi-tech steel and glass, choose more natural décor and seating, such as wicker, wood, and stone.

Exercise

Gardening can absolutely provide a solid workout that can improve strength, endurance, and flexibility. It can also reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other medical conditions. However, don’t think you can stand in your yard and water your flowers for five minutes and count that as a workout. “For gardening and yard work to actually provide a beneficial workout, you must garden for at least 30 minutes a day,” says The Telegraph.

Try to use self-made power when you can. That means don’t plug in your equipment. Choose manual clippers and trimmers and a push lawn mower. To keep your heart rate up, try to work at a steady, constant speed. Also, alternate which hands you use by changing positions every 10 minutes when pruning or weeding.

Different gardening activities provide different levels of exercise, so adjust your gardening to your individual needs and capabilities. While watering, planting, and pruning are considered lighter tasks, raking leaves, shoveling snow, and push mowing the lawn are on the more difficult side. Trimming hedges and cutting down bushes are considered moderate level activities.

Nutrition

 A home garden allows you to grow your own food, which means you get to control what is and isn’t used in the garden. If you don’t want to use herbicides, you get to make that decision. Growing your own food is typically less expensive than buying produce in the store. You can grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, and even edible flowers.

You can grow a garden in any kind of yard – a big yard, a small yard, and even in no yard at all. No matter what type of garden you grow or which type of yard you have, your health is sure to benefit from your green thumb. You can find more information online or in help books, but the best source will be your local farmers.

Photo Credit: bluebudgie, Pixabay

Possible Hummginbird Nest

Today while deadheading Geraniums Kaitlyn and Kaitlynn found this sweet nest! A hummingbird has been loving our tropical aisle, so we are thinking that this is her nest! We plan to leave the basket untouched. It's incredible how the nest if made out of Dichondra 'Silver Falls'.

O' My Hail

Got hail damage this morning? Don't panic!

Know that the hail we experienced locally is not going to affect your trees and shrubs long term health. Yes your plants may look sad, wilted, or even shredded, but give them time to perk up. With a little sun and some patience, the love you give them will help them along to new growth. Other plants may have experienced greater damage. You may need to trim, pinch back, or stake up some plants in hopes of keeping them going.

Poinsettia Love

Poinsettias have a place in the heart of Christmas. A few decades ago poinsettias were seen in every home. They were a Christmas staple. As the years have gone on and the kids of the poinsettia generation have grown up to have families of their own, the poinsettia has been left behind, but not forgotten. Once these people walk into a garden center and see poinsettias adorning the isles they are brought back to a simpler time. A time when they baked cookies with grandma and played with wood blocks. A time where you put on your Christmas dress full of tool or your red bow tie and walked in the blistering cold, hand in had with mom to church. A time where you listened to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" drinking hot cocoa under the Christmas tree. The poinsettia is a reminder of what Christmas was, is, and will always be. When you buy someone a poinsettia you aren't just buying them a gift you are giving them Christmas spirit and love.

2016 Garden Tour

We are so lucky to be a part of the Maple Grove Days Garden Tour. If you are not familiar with what this is let me tell you a little about it. The last Sunday of Maple Grove Days the garden tour takes place. 4-5 individuals in the Maple Grove community volunteer to showcase their gardens and landscapes. On average 500 people will walk through these gardens and these gardens never fail to delight. From professional patios and water features to unique perennial beds and gardens, there is something for everyone. Each homeowner has their own style and their passion is apparent in every aspect of their gardens. Below are just a few of the awesome features these gardens had to offer.

If you would like to see more photos you can click on our garden tour link on our website. If you would like top be a part of the 2017 tour please email Carolyn@lyndegreenhouse.com

Stop And Smell The Roses

We live in a world where we are constantly looking at screens. iPhones, iPads, computers, and televisions. Even when we are trying to appreciate nature we are appreciating it through our phones. "Look at that beautiful flower" we say, looking at it in the picture we just took as opposed looking at it right in front of us. Being present is almost a lost art. We scroll through pictures of waterfalls, trees, flowers, and lakes when there is a park 10 minutes away. Our sense of reality has shifted. What feels real to us is what we can hold in the palm of our hand. We are losing touch with nature and that is a very sad and possibly devastating thing. 

This weekend is a perfect time to unplug! Go outside and be outside. As someone who loves photography, I understand the desire to take pictures but make sure you look up from your camera once in awhile. Sometimes when waiting for the perfect picture you miss the perfect moment. Don't just see but smell and feel. Take in the world around you. How often do we just stop and breathe? Not often enough. Enjoy life. Enjoy the living. Be with your family and friends. Be with the flowers around you. Be with yourself.  

It is not coincidence that when you walk into a garden center, go for a walk, or swim in a lake you  feel good. Everything around you is alive. It gives you energy, it makes you happy. Challenge yourself to go a day without social media. Live that day for yourself and the life around you not for Facebook or Instagram. If your really feeling daring try to go 2 days. 

Have a happy, safe, and peaceful 4th of July! 

What Now?

By now most of us have our planters finished, our garden beds are filling out, and our vegetable gardens are starting to produce food. This is the time of year to take notice of what is working and what isn't. Do you have certain flowers that aren't producing many blooms? Did you put a sun annual in too much shade? Do your vegetables have enough space now that they are getting bigger? Do you need a perennial that flowers in the early summer? Maybe you don't like the colors you picked out for the planters on your front porch. Maybe you need to go get a few fillers for a flower that didn't make it. (If you lost some that's ok, it probably means you were experimenting or trying something new) Maybe you love everything. Whatever the case this is a great time of year to take a walk around your yard and take notes so you can walk into next year knowing what you want to do. This is also the time of year where you should be deadheading, weeding, and fertilizing. It is sometimes hard to know what to do to what flowers. Below are just a few suggestions on common plants to help you keep your yard beautiful.

The Proven Winners Website, www.provenwinners.com  suggests this for deadheading:

In most cases, when deadheading you can simply remove the old flower by pinching off the stem just below the base of the flower.  This will remove the old flower and keep it from producing seed – the goal of deadheading.  If the flower stem is large or you don’t want to stain your fingernails green, you may find using pruning shears or scissors to be a better choice.  Please note that simply pulling off the dead flower petals without removing the developing seed pod does not increase flower production since the seeds will still develop.

Any flower can be removed just above the first leaf below the flower head without affecting the rest of the plant.  For plants with larger stems removing just the flower may leave an ugly stem exposed.  Cutting just above the first leaf, will remove the unsightly stem as well as the flower.  This is also the preferred method of deadheading for plants that bloom with spikes of flowers.  New research has recently shown that even roses flower more prolifically when old flowers are removed just above the first leaf below the flower rather than at the first set of 5 leaves (this is the standard method promoted by most people).

Calibrachoa Superbells® – self-cleaning, no deadheading needed

Impatiens Rockapulco® - self-cleaning, no deadheading needed

Petunia Supertunia® – self-cleaning, no deadheading necesary, this is not necessarily true of all Petunias.  You may want to remove old blooms of Supertunia® doubles since these larger flowers sometimes remain on the plant.  Leaving them will not affect flowering.

Make sure you fertilize. Every fertilizer is utilized a little different so make sure you read the labels carefully. It is possible to burn your plants if you incorrectly use a fertilizer. We offer a fabulous option of our fertilizer water. You can buy our jug and have unlimited fill ups after your initial purchase!

And lets be honest, we could weed all day everyday. If you miss a few, it's ok:)

 

 

 

 

2016 Landscape Trends

Every year brings new ideas and different trends. This year the landscape trends, according to the Landscape Insider, are a mix of savvy technology and natural characteristics. Below I talk about 3 of my favorite.

One of my favorite trends and number 1 on their list are fully customized outdoor living spaces. Landscapes used to consist of patios, decks, plants, paths, and other characteristically outdoor things. Now outdoor spaces are becoming extensions of our interior spaces. Our landscapes now have full service kitchens, couches, & fireplaces. When you are in one of these creatively designed spaces you get all the amenities & comfort of being indoors with the beauty of the outdoors. Another great thing about these outdoor living spaces is that you can personalize them to make them your own. You can add themes, make a game room, or add a space to practice yoga. Whether you have a large yard or small patio, you can create an outdoor living space perfect for you.

Designed by Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery

Designed by Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery

Another trend hitting big right now is lighting and technology in the landscape. Whether you like the subtlety of twinkling lights from your tree and along your walkways or the extravagance of a flat screen TV on your patio, there is a high tech trend sure to fit you. Are you a music lover? Install speakers throughout your yard. Do you love the ambiance of romantic lighting? Hang a chandelier under your deck. There are so many ways you can add tech to your landscape.

Arbor Hill Landscaping

Arbor Hill Landscaping

The third trend I really think has an important place in todays landscape is the desire for edible landscapes and container gardening. There is something almost magical about being able to go into your yard and pick a fresh vegetable or fruit. I think an issue that a lot of people face is the lack of space or time to grow a big garden but the great thing about a lot of produce is that it can be grown in a container or a small space. You can grow tomatoes alone in a container or mix your herbs, fruits and vegetables with flowers that require similar growing conditions. You can have a lot of fun with this. Throw away the old school thought that all your plants need to be separated by their use and create unique planters that consist of herbs, annuals, and vegetables.

No matter what trend attracts you, have fun with it and make it your own. To add these trends doesn't have to be a huge ordeal. Add a few things at a time and eventually you will have a landscape you love. If you are ready for a full redo of your yard and would like some help contact our designer Joe and schedule a consultation. Go to our landscape page for details.