With the recent birth of my first child I felt a strange need to embrace a more soulful lifestyle and way of existence. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am now caring for two people and not just one but either way I had a strong sense that I wanted to get some positive balance back into my life. I felt strangely like I needed to make some changes that would be enhance the more soulful side of things. I’m not talking about some kind of religious conversion but more just making some changes in recognition that we each need some balance in our lives against the daily onslaught of (meaningless?) information and stimulus that is all-too-readily available these days. Lo and behold I have discovered the sheer joy of gardening! So with that in mind, re-invigorate your soul with these helpful ways to make gardening a part of your daily life:
- Small space gardening for vegetables – Fed up with the bland, floury taste of mass produced, supermarket vegetables? Ever had a tomato or snow-pea that tasted so good it stopped you in your tracks? Don’t really know the difference? Well I have news for all of you. Home grown vegetables are amazing! They are cheap to grow, they add that soulful balance to your life that I have been trying to achieve and they taste fantastic in home cooked meals. If you only have a small backyard, or even just a small balcony or back room area you can still plant, tend to and grow your own vegetables. The only requirement is that the area gets plenty of sunlight. You’ll need a large, rectangular, ceramic pot. Depending on the types of vegetables you may need some wooden stakes for tomatoes and sugar-snap peas. Speak to your local gardening store expert about exactly what to plant for your area. Once everything’s planted (and don’t worry this is a very quick and easy process), you’ll enjoy the soulful satisfaction of caring for your fresh, natural ingredients.
- Outdoor plants with useful applications – Do you have an outdoor entertaining area that feels bare and soul-less? Give the area some much needed life with plants that have useful applications. One of my favourites is the citronella plant. It has that lovely citrus-type smell to it and it acts as a natural insect repellent. So you can enjoy the ambience without having all those messy candles or smoky incense sticks. The aloe plant is another useful and attractive plant you can use to occupy those empty corners. The aloe plant produces a watery gel that is wonderful for the whole range of skin applications including the treatment of sunburn and a natural moisturiser. Some say that the fresh gel of the aloe plant was used by Cleopatra to keep her skin soft and young!! Either way, the use of these plants will spice up your living area while providing some useful applications. Most importantly, they can also provide that soulful balance that I am increasingly looking to provide around our home.
- Kitchen window herb planter boxes - Ever been to your girlfriend’s house where the cooking seems to have that extra dimension? Well guess what? It the herbs that she is adding as garnish or topping to each meal. Herbs are a wonderful way to turn those good meals into great ones. And the good news is that they can be grown easily and in almost any space. The other advantage is that they are cheap and need only minimal attention to grow successfully. You can grow them on the window sill of your kitchen or any other easily accessible place. You will need a planter box that fits your required area and also a drainage saucer beneath it. Make sure that you fill the box with good quality, planting mixture. Stay away from ready to use contraptions that you will find at cheap hardware stores. You want a good ceramic box that acts as good insulator for the soil and will help keep the soil and plant environment nice and moist. The type of herbs that you need and want will be applicable to your local area but ensure that if you’re buying small plants that they are firm and green. Stay away from overly pale or dark plants as these are under some form of stress and are bound to either die or suffer poor growth. Some common herbs, readily used in food are angelica, basil, bay laurel, cumin, chives, coriander, dill, catnip, fennel, oregano, parsley, rosemary, verbena, sage, mint and thyme. These simple common herbs will be compatible with almost all of your basic meals. And the convenience of having them at your fingertips will have you wondering what you ever did without them! Wait until you can easily reach across and pick some fresh herbs to garnish your next meal! You will feel quietly proud of yourself and your soul will also be all the better for it!!
About the Author
Carol needed to find a more soulful activity to fill her life once she had her first child. She had a go at a few other activities before she found the one she would take to like a duck to water right outside her back and front doors.
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I believe plants can be very good for one's soul. I always try to surround myself with as many plants as I can.