Photo from my former garden.
Today was crazy with little time to retreat to my backyard and wanna-be baby garden. The weather was lovely and temperatures were in the 70’s.
When I have crazy days like today, I feel as if I have missed out or lost something because I’ve not been able to enjoy the backyard, even in its current ugly state.
If you have a garden, do you see it as a sanctuary?
Merriam-Webster’s defines a sanctuary (see #2a) as follows:
- 1: a consecrated place: such as a: the ancient Hebrew temple at Jerusalem or its holy of holies, b (1) : the most sacred part of a religious building (as the part of a Christian church in which the altar is placed), (2): the room in which general worship services are held, (3): a place (as a church or a temple) for worship
- 2a (1): a place of refuge and protection, (2): a refuge for wildlife where predators are controlled and hunting is illegal, b: the immunity from law attached to a sanctuary
People grow gardens for a variety of reasons. I could provide you with a list, but if you’re reading this, I think you’re intelligent enough to know most of those reasons.
Former garden shed and bird house. Late autumn. Always too busy in spring to take photos!
So, why do you garden? What do you get out of it that keeps you outside and in the dirt?
I’ve come slowly to realize that aside from the food-growing aspect, I use my garden as a sanctuary. It may not look like anyone’s idea of a sanctuary, but that’s what it is.
Private seating area in former garden. Photo taken in the fall.
My former backyard garden was used as a de-stressor. I would walk around the plants, under the trees, in the grass, and on the pathways, and my mind would travel away from the bad stuff. I was living in the moment in the garden. I craved this. I even went home from work at lunch for this very reason. I needed a quiet place to think without interruption.
Does your garden, if you have one, help you to de-stress?
Former garden. Plants/Shrubs needed a trim. Hidden path. Can you see it?
Twice a year (spring and early fall) the old garden would peak in flowers, and I would fall totally in love with it. Few other people saw that garden, which in retrospect was a shame. None of my photos do it any justice.
Photos above from former garden. Late fall.
Now I’m gardening in a new location (you knew that), but the reason I garden hasn’t changed.
Aside from the endorphins released when I see flowers in bloom, if I’m stressed, depressed, have been added to 20 people’s doo-doo list, feel too ugly to leave the house, or simply want to hide from the world, I retreat to the backyard. It’s a haven. It’s mine, and I’m always welcomed there. The garden never judges.
Lonely concrete table & benches in NEW garden. Desert rose quartz centerpiece. Plants needed in this area!!!
Instead of a garden, perhaps you have a special place you gravitate toward when you need to get away or to de-stress? I hope you do.
If you do garden, do you use yours as a sanctuary? Maybe you don’t need a name for it. Maybe you simply know it makes you feel good, and that’s enough.