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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – May 13

Although I don’t have the means to indulge in spa retreats frequently, I have been fortunate to be rejuvenated by a few such visits over the last ten years. Three or four days at a spa offers relaxation, invigorating exercise, meditation and the experience of taking a total break from work and responsibilities. Being at a spa makes you feel healthier, refreshed, and positive about the days ahead.

Today I came home from work and since the weather was still nice I immediately headed to the garden. I wanted to finish pruning my hydrangeas and Physocarpus, and I ended up pulling weeds along the way. The air was crisp but not cold, the birds were calling, and even though it was nearly 6 PM, the day was still bright.

I began pruning and was bending, lifting and shoving the wheelbarrow from place to place. The natural sounds soothed me. I let all my current concerns fall away as I focused on cleaning and cutting the shrubs. Although I came home tired from my day’s work, after forty minutes in the garden I felt rejuvenated, energetic and peaceful.

OMG – I’ve been to a spa! Tending my garden for less than an hour produced the same results as a retreat that cost hundreds of dollars a day.  I took off my garden gloves and joined my husband for cocktails on the deck overlooking the flower-filled gardens…and I didn’t have to travel.

I’m remembering all the people who tell me that they want a no-maintenance garden and I’m thinking, are you kidding me? If you don’t garden, you’re missing out on the spa experience that’s in your own backyard.

At a spa you're there to indulge in many senses: touch, smell, hearing, and scent. All are found in the landscape.

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