Soul food is often found in the garden.
I know that when I look out at my own garden and see the changing colours of the seasons with the bees darting everywhere, it makes me feel good.
I love watching the native birds feeding on the hanging seed bells, with their birdsong a joy to listen to as they go about their day.
During Covid 19 and the Lockdown periods many people might have found a new way of relaxing in their own backyards.
Container gardening is an opportunity to express yourself.
It is also great for both mental and physical health.
Art is considered useful for processing thoughts and emotions and creativity has been linked to a positive mood.
There are many ways to be creative with gardening and some have found disused objects like old wheelbarrows, gum boots, large old pots, kettles, and old tin jugs to use as containers for planting anything from herbs, to vegetables and flowers.
Growing plants that provide plenty of food to pollinators like bees is important for a healthy garden.
When you are walking around the neighbourhood or in a park look out for bees and see what plants they are attracted to.
Bees are known to be good for the garden so planting rosemary and lavender in sunny areas near edible plants will help them pollinate your plants.
A few plants that bees like are:
• Cosmos • Delphinium • Foxglove • Forget-me-not • Lobelia • Marigold • Nasturtium • Pansies • Sweet peas
Make sure there is a source of water nearby like a birdbath in the hot summer months to keep these busy little helpers replenished.
Herb wall gardens made from old wooden pallets are great idea for any garden and there are many youtube videos that will show you how to make one.
Even a small garden can still attract birds.
If you have limited space for big trees, try growing plants in containers, for example in NZ you might grow Titoki, Broadleaf and Cabbage Tree.
Some shrubs like Kakabeak can even be shaped to fit in with your garden design – but make sure you allow them to flower so that the birds benefit.
All of us need a place to relax so what better way than to create a place where you can enjoy your own peace and quiet, or just to encourage the children to learn about nature in their own back patch.
If you have a garden and a library then you have everything you need
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