Wildlife Gardener

Written by Cheryl White

Gardening for wildlife has become quite a passion for me, although I only have a small urban garden I have still managed to fit a fair amount of bird and insect friendly flowers and plants in. Since reading an article aboutrepparttar decline in popular species of birds such as sparrows, blackbirds and thrushes I decided to do my bit to help my local bird population by purchasing two seed feeders, a nut feeder, a bird table and a small bird bath I was ready and waiting for my new feathered visitors, which up to that point was few and far between. After a couple of weeks of patiently waiting and watching I was beginning to loose hope, onlyrepparttar 144814 odd sparrow turned up every other day, though still I waited. Afterrepparttar 144815 fourth week success, it seemed that word had spread and dozens of sparrows flocked to my garden, amongst them birds that I had never seen in my garden such as Blue Tits, Great Tits and Green Finches. I have found Blackbirds are a lot more common now, along with two grey squirrels which constantly argue overrepparttar 144816 feeders! The success inspired my enthusiasm and I browsed onrepparttar 144817 internet to find some plants and shrubs that I could use in my garden which would be beneficial to wildlife with a little help I started to redesign my garden. As I only have a small space trees and large shrubs were out ofrepparttar 144818 question, though there seemed plenty of information to help chooserepparttar 144819 right plant forrepparttar 144820 right position, which believe me being a complete amateur gardener I needed allrepparttar 144821 help I could get!

Gardening is Good Therapy©

Written by Valerie Giles

Many of us garden just forrepparttar sheer joy of it. But did you know that all overrepparttar 144440 countryrepparttar 144441 healing aspects of gardening are being used as therapy or as an adjunct to therapy?

Although this might sound like a new concept, garden therapy has been around for decades. For example,repparttar 144442 Garden Therapy Program at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, and in regional hospitals in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Rome, Thomasville and Savannah, has been helping people for over 40 years through gardening activities known as social and therapeutic horticulture.

So what exactly is social and therapeutic horticulture (or garden therapy)?

  According torepparttar 144443 article “Your future starts here: practitioners determinerepparttar 144444 way ahead” from Growth Point (1999) volume 79, pages 4-5, horticultural therapy isrepparttar 144445 use of plants by a trained professional as a medium through which certain clinically defined goals may be met. “…Therapeutic horticulture isrepparttar 144446 process by which individuals may develop well-being using plans and horticulture. This is achieved by active or passive involvement.”

Althoughrepparttar 144447 physical benefits of garden therapy have not yet been fully realized through research,repparttar 144448 overall benefits are almost overwhelming. For starters, gardening therapy programs result in increased elf-esteem and self-confidence for all participants.

  Social and therapeutic horticulture also develops social and work skills, literacy and numeric skills, an increased sense of general well-being andrepparttar 144449 opportunity for social interaction andrepparttar 144450 development of independence. In some instances it can also lead to employment or further training or education. Obviously different groups will achieve different results.

Groups recovering from major illness or injury, those with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and mental health problems, older people, offenders and those who misuse drugs or alcohol, can all benefit fromrepparttar 144451 therapeutic aspects of gardening as presented through specific therapy related programs. In most cases, those that experiencerepparttar 144452 biggest impact are vulnerable or socially excluded individuals or groups, includingrepparttar 144453 ill,repparttar 144454 elderly, and those kept in secure locations, such as hospitals or prisons.

One important benefit to using social and therapeutic horticulture is that traditional forms of communication aren’t always required. This is particularly important for stroke patients, car accident victims, those with cerebral palsy, aphasia or other illnesses or accidents that hinder verbal communication. Gardening activities lend themselves easily to communicative disabled individuals. This in turn builds teamwork, self-esteem and self-confidence, while encouraging social interaction.

  Another group that clearly benefits from social and therapeutic horticulture are those that misuse alcohol or substances and those in prison. Teaching horticulture not only becomes a life skill for these individuals, but also develops a wide range of additional benefits.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use