I was browsing and lurking here at DG and just found this site. Right now I am in school for rehabilitation counseling and one of my interests is using gardening for recovery and healing. I have to do a project, similar to a thesis, and want to do it on this subject. I have not recieved a lot of encouragment from my professors but I want to do it on something I have a passion for in life. Anyway nice to meet you all and I hope to learn more here and hopefully I can contribute to the discussions. Here is my website if anyone wants to look at it.
that's too bad you're not getting encouragement. i know a lot of people out there wouldn't know what to do if they couldn't garden! i've worked with many many therapists who use horticulture therapy. my SIL works with a grower in pittsburgh and everyone she 'teaches' is gardening for therapy and healing. don't give up - this is an important subject!
Many nursing homes and assisted living homes are making raised beds for their residents to tend to their "own" gardens. I have heard that the residents are really happy digging in the dirt like they used to do.
Don't give up on your dreams because of naysayers. Good luck on your thesis.
Not many years ago they did not put handicapped children on horses either or have special olympics. Keep at it! The cycle of life is near and dear to all of us.
I had to smile. My old granny BELIEVED in the healing powers of Vicks Vapor Rub. Every time I get a whiff my vicks plant I think that she would have loved to have one to tend for its "Healing" qualities. (Right by the bottle of medicinal port lol.)
Thanks for the encouragement, nice to meet you all. One thing I am considering for my project is a webpage for people who garden with disabilities or recovery. My professors would prefer me to do some type of soft research and present at a conference. But I am a mature student working on my second career so their approval does not mean as much. Ponditis' comment about gardening with the elderly would be very exciting to coordinate.
Speaking of old remedies. When I was a kid, now I date myself lol, Mama used to give us sassafras tea twice a year so we would'nt have worms. Nobody does that anymore so can you imagine all the kids walking around with worms these days. lol
Yuck horehound drops were always being offered to me. I thought they tasted like turpentine. How did I know what turpentine tasted like you say? Well, it is a longgg story but to make it short it was a dare from a (friend?).
They sell it bottled here (it IS California after all) but it doesnt taste right. Nothing tastes quite like fresh made sodas and phosphates. Course there was nothing like being able to drink them without watching you hips enlarge either lol.
Shadowgirl, you stick to your guns! That is an excellent project.
I did a little research into enabled gardening and therapy gardening when developing one of my Web pages. It is fascinating and oh-so useful. You go girl!
Thanks for the info on sassafras sodas. It sounds so refreshing! I love sassafras tea but have avoided it for many years because warnings about it being possibly carcinogenic scared me. I'd probably have to drink gallons every day to have any bad effect, but I'm still leery.
My hips are wide but the sassafrass soda had nothing to do with that. Mine are wide because of the use of steroids for a health problem many years ago and that I love to cook and wish I didn't like to eat what I cook!
Shadowgirl, When I am in lots of pain I can usually go out into my garden and pull some weeds and some of the pain goes away for a time. I can sit quietly in my garden and listen to the things around me growing and moving and get such a sense of peace and oneness with nature from that peaceful period. At times of true stress (such as an argument with my family) I will go to my garden to sit alone and think about things in my life, get caught up watching something like a honey bee going from flower to flower and life becomes real and vivid once again. I really do not know how I could take not having a garden again. It give me peace even just knowing it is there outside waiting for me.
Ponds, I too have 'lost' the irritations of life watching bees or water skippers, - spent some time watching a ladybug lay her eggs one day... clouds or all of it. Gardens get us out and help us as much as we help them.
Shadowgirl, you've got a winner in your project stick with it.
Thanks so much for all of the encouragment. Ponditis, it is good that your garden brings you comfort and lets you forget the pain. Mine does the same for me. It really is the small, simple things that make life beautiful.
Last week there was a huge spider sitting on what looked like a giant egg in the bromeliad hanging on my deck. I watched her for a while and thought how nice, live and let live...then I pictured in my mind millions of baby spiders invading my office. She had to go.
I'm with you about the spiders. They gotta GO! I figure I'm assisting the survival of the fittest. Any spider stupid enough to come into my house, or big ones in the garden that look menacing toward me, should be eliminated. The smart ones know better!!!
I too and very interested in your thesis topic. I work with older, disabled people. I saw something I thought might be useful for those with lack of mobility to garden outdoors--"desk gardens." They're minature, and are kits where you assemble your own. But if a previous gardener was not able to do this, even with assistance, someone could assemble it for them and just let them tend it a bit, or just enjoy imagining themselves sitting in or walking through their "garden."
I may get one myself! Course, I'd probably end up murdering it, but it would fun to try!
Good luck to you in your studies and new career. Don't let the prof's get you down. Many get stuck in their own careers and are afraid of the unknown. I did the dissertation I wanted to do, even if it didn't quite fit the department I was in. And it turned out great! I even got significant results!!!! A little, anyway. :)
Shadowgirl, first off before I forget let me say that the egg like thing that the spider was guarding was a egg nest full of spider eggs. Secondly, I love my spiders except the occasional black widow I find in the shop and fruit room. Mosquitoes eat me and make me itch, spiders eat mosquitoes and don't make me itch--thus spiders are my pets. lol I even have a huge jumping spider that hangs around in my dining room doorway that we have named Herman. lol
Gardening helps to numb some of the pain but by no means all of it. Today I am not even going outside very much as the pain is too great after a very busy weekend. So today is a sit around and do almost nothing day.
If I could not garden to some degree I think I would lose my mind. Or what little there is of it. It is the best therapy there is for me. I know I am being as active as possible, getting fresh air and sunlight, helping to feed my hubby and family and friends, and bringing beauty to the world in general. I feel so close to JESUS and the HEAVENLY FATHER when I am working in the yarden.
I'm so glad to hear that you chose this subject as your thesis. Don't let anyone tell you it isn't a good one. If nothing else, print out this entire thread and take it to them. See if they can argue with this.
Update, I got a new advisor and mentor who approves of my idea. Finally decided that I did not have to stay with an advisor that was not enhancing my education. After all grad school is'nt cheap and an advisor is part of the package. Mama always said you got to ask for what you want. Also found out there is an organization called The American Horticultural Therapy Association. http://www.ahta.org/
Thanks so much for the encouragement!
Frogsrus, I didn't know there was such a thing as a "vicks" plant. Where can I get one, and what is it botanically?
I'm glad to have found this thread this morning. Very inspiring, and I really relate to how marvelous it is to observe the interaction of plants and critters in the garden. Spiders are fascinating, and I love to feed and watch the birds. (Mosquitoes and fire ants must have a purpose, but I'd prefer to do without them!) Arthritis hampers my manual dexterity, and I have a balance problem, but I intend to garden in some manner as long as I can.
Shadowgirl, I'm so glad you found a supportive advisor.