Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Researchers primarily in Japan and South Korea have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest.
The idea is simple: if a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way there are calming, rejuvenating, and restorative benefits to be achieved.
Just be with trees. No hiking, no counting steps on a Fitbit. You can sit or meander, but the point is to relax rather than accomplish anything. Don’t effort.
I subscribe whole-heartedly to this concept.
Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity for a forest bath (walk) in the woods of Ohio while visiting my daughter. I can definitively tell you, I feel better!
It was truly an honor to present to the Wareham Garden Club this month. I had a blast chatting it up with the members while I created three container gardens. Members seemed to enjoy the hints and suggestions I brought along to help them learn to make truly outstanding, one might say ‘jaw-dropping’, container gardens. As always, I encouraged the members to think creatively and with an eye to the art of mixing plants and other elements.
I was thrilled to receive this note from Wareham Garden Club member, Nancy:
I so enjoyed your presentation yesterday, I was especially taken with your attention to detail.
The sticks that you added to that huge yellow and brown bucket matched exactly.
I would not have thought of that!
Also the birch branches were perfect. I am NOT ignoring the great choices of flowers- just that I have never put sticks into any arrangement, and will start doing it!
Your personality and humor kept us on our toes not to miss anything.
You were my choice for the best arranger yet- good choices well explained.
Nice tips on loosening soil or chopping off bottom whirl of roots. That was helpful to us all!
Dividing a potful of plants – a good trick.
I wish you the very best in your business-
I just had to thank you again…
Years ago, a very wonderful friend of mine was espousing the virtues of hostas. Conjuring up an image in my mind of the cemetery variety, I replied that they were nothing but slug bait.
Thankfully my friend did not slug me! As a former president of the New England Hosta Society, she must have looked at me as a challenge and over the years kept pointing out unusual varieties. Her persistence paid off, and now I’m hooked. Having already mentioned that my favorite color is green, hostas already have one thing going for them. And the more I use them the more I love them.
There are really only three problems when growing hostas:
Bambi. Thumper. Slugs.
If the deer and rabbits in your area treat your hosta like a salad bar, be vigilant.
You need to interrupt their dinner and train them to look elsewhere. As soon as the hostas start to emerge in spring, spray with a repellent. There are many on the market and your local garden center can suggest one. There are also numerous homemade remedies on the internet – everything from Irish Spring soap to red pepper spray. I have had tremendous success with Deer Defeat. I purchase it online and apply according to package directions…more often in the spring as plants are actively growing. It’s all natural, does not have to be re-applied after rain and only smells really bad for a few hours.
If slugs are more your problem taking action NOW will prevent the chewed leaves that show up in July.
As soon as the hostas start pushing up through the earth, sprinkle a little bit of slug bait around. (Iron phosphate is my preferred method as it does not rely on chemicals that can be hazardous to people and pets.) Not too much – no need to go crazy.
Since slugs can have many litters (is that what you call them?) it’s important to get them under control before they start producing.
You can choose to set beer traps – basically a small tin filled with beer will attract the slugs and they fall in and drown. To me, that just seems like a waste of good beer!
I also read that using leftover coffee, sprinkled around the plants, will deter the slimy creatures. Apparently the caffeine tastes bitter and the slugs don’t like it. I have not ever had a real problem with these shell-less terrestrial gastropods in my garden and now I wonder if it is because I sprinkle my used coffee grounds in the garden to improve the soil. Of course you can limit slug damage by growing your hostas in containers. Many of you know I am a huge fan of using unusual foliage plants in containers and hostas are one of my favorites.
So let me just apologize to Mary right now. I was wrong and you were right. Hostas are beautiful. And you have recommended some great ones. ‘Winter Snow’, ‘Fat Cat’, ‘Grand Marquis’, ‘Sharp Dressed Man’. These are no cemetery varieties. For more information, and some great pictures, visit the Hosta Library.
Imagine my delight to have had this lovely testimonial forwarded to me straight from the president of the Philadelphia Horticultural Society.
“I am a Philadelphia Horticultural Society member and always look forward to the Philadelphia Flower Show. This year’s show was truly outstanding. I like to preview the Gardener’s Studio presentations online to decide the best day for me to attend the show. A container garden seminar by Deborah Trickett was scheduled for Thursday at 11:00 AM so I made my plans.
I felt compelled to send my first review ever about The Flower Show.
I design garden containers and have attended many container seminars near and far for the past eight years. I am always looking to expand my horizons. Deborah Trickett from Westwood, MA gave the best container presentation I have ever attended. It was a text book perfect Five Star event. Every seat in the Gardener’s Studio was taken and an overflow crowd stood and watched from the outside aisles. More than just prepared and informative, Deborah was witty, engaging and remarkably creative. She started with an out-of-the-ordinary shallow square metal container and steadily filled it with a variety of unusual plants. Everyone payed close attention while Deborah composed a striking garden container. She offered real-world tips with each addition and generously answered many questions along the way. Deborah’s theme of “Jaw Dropping, Traffic Stopping, Get Your Neighbors Talking Containers” was not at all overstated. I highly recommend PHS have Deborah back next year.
The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, and features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers.
Started in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Show introduces the newest plant varieties, garden and design concepts, and organic and sustainable practices. In addition to the major garden displays, the Flower Show hosts world-renowned competitions in horticulture and artistic floral arranging, gardening presentations and demonstrations, special events, a mammoth indoor Marketplace, and the Bloom Philly Festival in the weeks leading up to the Show.
The Philadelphia Flower Show has been honored as the best event in the world by the International Festivals & Events Association, competing with events such as the Kentucky Derby Festival, Tournament of Roses Parade, Indianapolis 500 Festival, and other international celebrations.
Enjoy some of my own photos from my incredible experience at this year’s event, which carried a Holland theme, celebrating the flowers and culture of The Netherlands.
Want to know more? I’d love to tell you all about it.