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The great outdoors indoors. Thursday April 23, 2015

Like many people my wellbeing is boosted by experiencing the outdoors. I'm lucky that immediately outdoors for me is a lovely garden. A garden nurtured for over 50 years by the wonderful lady living here before us. I remember so clearly the waves of delight spreading over me when I spotted a beautiful magnolia tree during the first viewing of our future home. As someone who rarely gets excited about anything (!) it was a truly amazing feeling for me. I'm grateful to now live here and have the opportunity to care for and enjoy the garden further. I also enjoy teaching my young family what I already know (so they know their dandelions from their daffodils!) and discovering so many new things myself.

But what about those darker days when you can't or don't go out? Well how about bringing a bit of the great outdoors, indoors? I'm someone who's kept houseplants for many years now. An abundance of research shows that this not only benefits wellbeing, it speeds recovery from illness, builds relationships and increases compassion. It can apparently even boost children's ability to learn.

Looking back I've rescued some sad looking plants from local DIY stores in my time and nurtured them back to health. Yes, I've lost some over the years (I'm no Alan Titchmarsh!) but around a decade later some are still here. My recently re-potted Peace Lilly for example is now three plants: two of which are currently in flower. We've all had our ups and downs but in caring for them I'm perhaps reminded to care generally. Are they getting enough water, space or light (very obvious when they're not). Am I? Are you?

So how about adding something green to your desk? Or why not treat yourself (or a friend) to a simple, beautiful bunch of daffodils? But perhaps take care before you decide on your purchase. I've recently heard that people are mistaking daffodils for spring onions in supermarkets. A vase of spring onions could raise a smile and be a talking point, but it wouldn't quite bring 'spring' indoors in the way I'm advocating!

A Moodscope member.

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Hopeful One Thu, Apr 23rd 2015 @ 7:13am

Hi Jen - Thanks for that.It makes so much sense.I am not a natural gardener previously confining myself to the lawn and the hedges while my wife did the borders.Now that she is in a nursing home I have had to start looking after the borders.Initially the were just such a chore but as I started look after the plants and they rewarded me with their lovely scents and colour I started reading up about them and their habits.Yesterday I was rewarded when I recognised some English Bluebells in a part of the garden which I rarely visit. I was able to tell because I have the Spanish variety as well to compare.I know they are a protected species which made it even more exciting! I now have to keep the two separate. For me it is the realisation that something now depends on me for its survival has given me a new aim.No flowers indoors yet but I did get a couple of cactuses which I think I could cope with as they only need a soup son of water and will survive if I go away on holiday.

Anonymous Thu, Apr 23rd 2015 @ 8:15am

Thanks Hopeful One. A lawn can be one of the trickiest things to look after in my experience (having lost count of the amount of lotions and potions we've had to treat ours to!). I'm sure your wife would be heartened to know you have taken up responsibility for the borders. I must admit to knowing little of bluebells. Other than that I have some. But I must also admit that I tend to ignore them (possibly as my mum found them a bit of a pest in our garden as a child when they seemed to takeover). I vow to take more notice of my little patch this year as I suspect they are actually quite beautiful. And I promise to find out what they are and learn something new. Thanks.

Anonymous Thu, Apr 23rd 2015 @ 8:18am


Hopeful One Thu, Apr 23rd 2015 @ 9:04am

Thanks Jen. For me a carpet of Bluebells ' singing and dancing in the breeze' to borrow from Wordsworth is an eye pleasing sight.I know a person who likes snowdrops is called a galanthophile so wondered what a person who likes bluebells is called. Guess I will have to google it unless you know?

Anonymous Thu, Apr 23rd 2015 @ 11:33am

Hello Jen. Lovely blog on a spring morning. Unlike you, i don't have a garden at the moment which is a shame because it's so grounding to get your hands into that clean dirt. But I do try to keep fresh flowers in the house when possible. Gazing at them is like a little trip to Mary's gym. Such positive, beautiful energy they give. Enjoy your garden -- it sounds like a healing place. susan xx

Anonymous Thu, Apr 23rd 2015 @ 12:49pm

I think plants are a great help, they look nice around the house and some are even good for the environment and then there is the looking after them. That helps concentrate the mind on something else and a new hobby perhaps in gardening?

Hopeful One Fri, Apr 24th 2015 @ 8:09am

For those Moodscopers, who may be following this thread ,as far as I can tell there is no word to describe people who love bluebells unless of course you know different1

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