Many people give little thought to the soil under their feet. It’s just dirt, after all. But gardeners know that healthy soil is essential to healthy plants. If you’re looking to up your gardening game this year, invest in your soil.
It’s true that in a few months you’ll be able to walk into a garden center or home improvement store and find row upon row of vegetables ready for you to transplant into your garden. But there’s a certain magic to growing plants from seed, not to mention opportunities to save money and grow exactly what you want.
We are deep into the holiday season, and could there be anything more wonderful—or more stressful? Most Decembers are accompanied by angst over gift shopping, budget balancing, house decorating, party going, cookie baking and family gathering. But 2021 has its own special flavor of stress. We’re here to tell you it’s all going to be okay. Just take a deep breath. We mean it. Take a deep breath. Simply by slowing down your breathing, you can reduce stress during the holidays and every day after.
Contemporary life is full of millions of stimuli fighting for your attention. We are bombarded with alerts, notifications, pop-ups and announcements. Contrast this type of frantic living with the peaceful experience of being within nature. Trees and flowers demand nothing of you. You are free to notice what you want, or simply to be. This experience has been given a name in Japan. It is called “shinrin-yoku,” which translates to “forest bathing,” using “bathing” to mean immersing yourself within something. The term was introduced in Japan in the 1980s to encourage people to disconnect from technology and spend time outdoors.
When artist and author Deborah Paris began making daily visits to Lennox Woods, a pristine old-growth forest in northeast Texas, she noticed something changed in her relationship with the land.
“I formed a connection with the place,” says Paris. “I began to feel like I was a part of the place—I wasn’t just looking at it anymore. The landscape became part of me.”