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How often have you come home after a hectic day desperate to regain even a smidgen of serenity? We lead busy lives that range from rich with experiences and accomplishments to crowded with crisis and coping strategies. At the end of the day it’s a blessing if we can come home to place of peace.

Such restorative spaces can be planted and nurtured in your own backyard. Think small spaces filled with plants that you find restful. For some this might be flowers that are fragrant or those that attract butterflies or hummingbirds. Others might prefer the restful look that a variety of textures of green foliage offer.

Tonight I was thankful to be able to come home to a garden where the setting sun illuminates flowering perennials. For me this combination of light and color is uplifting. Just sitting and looking at the garden is calming although occasionally I find that a short period of pulling weeds or deadheading is equally restorative.

There are times when the busyness of our lives is exhausting and the problems of the world overwhelming. Finding a place of personal peace is a necessity for the former and might contribute positively to the latter. I’m reminded of the song by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson that choirs used to sing when I was in high school. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,” went the first line.

None of us can singlehandedly solve the world’s challenges, but it is completely in our power to cultivate a place of personal tranquility. What kind of landscape contributes to your wellbeing, and are you doing what you can to grow it?

A half hour spent sitting on my deck and looking at this garden that's illuminated by the setting sun is as good as a day in a spa for me.


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