This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

March 24, 2017

Garden as therapy for your body and mind

I've always enjoyed being in a garden. I feel better around growing things, and I've liked to "putter around" since I started in my early twenties, when I was going to ASU, and was living in a cheap converted garage that was surrounded by dirt, weeds, and dead plants. I started planting cactuses, and my neighbor showed me how to grow "chinaberry" trees from seeds. Pretty soon I had the property looking good, after learning how to do the irrigation. I even invested in a lawnmower, and I found all of this to be beneficial for me, both physically and mentally. Unlike most of the people I knew in school, I never did drugs, but I learned the basics of how to grow plants from a copy of "High Times" that I had found. Photosynthesis is photosynthesis. I had no interest in smoking plants, I just wanted to live with them.

After my accident, in my mid-forties (please don't ask), I used my garden as physical therapy. I had to learn how to walk again, and a lot of other stuff, and my body was in terrible pain from physical therapy. But I knew that I had to keep moving. And my garden helped, because I wanted to do stuff there.

There's always something to do in the garden. Some of it is big, like when I moved "Craggy Rock" there down from the top of Rock Ridge. Yes, I do name all of these things. I'm goofy that way. Real rocks, by the way, and seriously heavy, but fake rocks just look, well, fake. So I have a lot of fairly big rocks in the garden that I've gotten in place by rolling them. I'm sure that Craggy Rock must weigh over fifty pounds, so hopefully he'll be staying there, and won't need to move. I'm moving more river rocks around him, and plan on having the river rocks flow up there in that gap you can see. Gotta get more river rocks!

Today I'm recovering from some minor surgery (no big deal) and am gimping around again. The last couple of days I just sat in the backyard and it tortured me. I wanted to get up and do stuff, but my body wasn't cooperating. I'm still pretty gimpy today, but at least I'm able to do a little trimming, and I moved some river rocks around.

My garden will never be finished, and it's not supposed to be. It grows and changes just like I do. It doesn't seem to change much on a daily basis, but I go back and look at my blog posts from years ago and I see that it does. But the garden is a byproduct. I'm doing this for my body and mind. It just feels good.
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