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Love Your Garden
and Yourself

It seems to happen every January. First we vow to become healthier, more active and lose those pesky pounds that have silently accumulated. And too often, we quickly become sidetracked by daily stresses and lose focus on our personal commitments altogether.

This year, insurance specialist Janet Johnson vowed to maintain control of her weight and stress levels by implementing a few simple winter guidelines that are centered in her garden.

"I realize that by having a personal plan for January, I can maintain control of my calmness and walk home to a bit of inspiration at the end of each work day. Focusing on my small garden adds a serene rhythm to my routine that nurtures me and helps me achieve my weight-loss goals".

"By putting in place a few simple changes, we begin to build a life that is focused on simplicity and calmness" says Master Gardener and Design Consultant Jane Wicker. Creating a small garden plan directs our thoughts outwardly, away from daily stresses. And spending more time on long-term goals can minimize the time we give to stress and chaos.

"January, the beginning of a new year, is absolutely the best time to begin gardening," says Wicker.

The following tips will help you get started with a basic winter garden:

  • Begin Simply.
    Plan a winter garden in a place you will enjoy regularly. Consider a window bulb garden or clusters of orchids. Or place a table near your favorite window and create a tabletop garden for your pleasure.
  • Allow Passion to Fuel Your Garden.
    If your joy comes from creating cuisine, consider grouping containers of herbs in the window garden. You will savor the flavors for months to come. Or consider the powerful punch of multiple flowers in your favorite colors.
  • Don't Be Afraid to be a Minimalist.
    So you don't think you are a gardener? Then, simply place a group of your favorite baskets or containers together and fill with potting soil and winter rye grass seed. Within a few days you will find vivid green sprouts reaching toward the sun.
  • Play in the Garden Often.
    Small gardens require very little work. Just check the soil every day or two for dryness and snip 'spent' blooms as they occur. Mostly you will enjoy watching your simple investment grow and bloom for you.
  • Incorporate the Garden into Your Daily Life.
    Place a favorite reading chair near the table garden or beside your window garden. Surround your garden haven with favorite books and journals. You may discover that you can shake daily stresses and melt into garden calmness at the end of each busy day.

Science tells us that the human stress-response is the most frequent sabotaging influence behind diet disappointment.

A simple daily garden routine can instill a more stress-free lifestyle which helps us achieve personal goals and commitments.

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