Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Flower Power

I know it is Valentines Day, but these are not flowers that I have received from anybody...
These flowers have once blossomed in my garden.

Gardening is one of my favourite year-round activities and it is easy to see why...

Here in sunny Singapore, I get a good tan while working in the garden.
There’s always plenty to do in the yard.

The weeds grow profusely especially during the rainy season.
Tackling the weeds is backbreaking work and I can work up a good sweat.

Dead leaves must be removed and branches must be trimmed.
From time to time, I mulch the flowerbeds using sawdust which come by the truckload from the Saddle Club. This prevents the weeds from getting out of control and the plants get fertilized at the same time.

Carting the sawdust on the wheel barrow and spreading the mulch provide an excellent upper body workout. Good cardio exercise too.

Gardening is also a highly therapeutic activity. Watching the plants grow gives me a great sense of achievement. Having pretty flowers in the yard brightens up my day and boost my mood.

Hence it is no surprise that horticultural therapy is used in a wide range of rehabilitation services for cardiac patients, physical therapy and even for people serving prison terms.

In Singapore, the Institute of Mental Health uses gardening to help their patients. Those with schizophrenia can benefit form communal gardening. They learn to work as a team, communicate with one another, learn to plan and organize their task and improve their activity tolerance. Seeing plants grow can be a boost in self-esteem and motivation too.

Now, you don’t even need a yard to get started. Read about gardening. Begin with hardy plants. Nurture them and watch them grow under your care. It is not difficult at all.

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