The poet, Wordsworth wrote these words
" God made the flowers to beautify
The earth, and cheer man's careful mood;
And he is happiest who hath power
To gather wisdom from a flower,
And wake his heart in every hour
To pleasant gratitude."
I hope that the love of human kind for flowers would be shared among those who read these words. I would hope that those who have gardens would consider Horticulture Therapy (HT) by which you can harness the healing power of plants. I know it sounds ridiculous and childish. It is NOT ! Research has been done that HT can improve mood and irritability. HT can assist in depression, loneliness and desperation for some individuals. HT can boost your self esteem. HT can become your new hobby for the Spring.
Of course in such therapy not only will vocational and physical skills be improved, but more profound are the mental, emotional and spiritual gains. I have seen HT assist the cancer patient in accepting her illness as well assist a patient with sever debilitating rheumatoid arthritis cope with her/his chronic illness.
Plants and gardening related activities is a way for me to reconnect with different types of people. It introduced me to Grass Roots movements and Free Clinics in Ithaca with 7 Song . It has introduced me to the World of Bees. The possibilities are endless. The practice of gardening and planting for me is as healing as a conventional medicine. For others, a different practice might produce the same effect. The benefits from HT are diverse. There are physical benefits as increasing strength in the outdoors as well as dexterity; The cognitive benefits range from self worth to a new learning opportunity; The emotional benefits are recalling memories. Planting brings up childhood memories of caring for the vegetables with my Poppy and picking the Lilly of the Valley with my mother. The next important benefit to me after the emotional is the spiritual connection . I feel blessed to practice free will and plant what I want. I feel hopeful that my seeds will grow into beautiful plants with flowers. I tend to plant bee friendly herbs and flowers