Domestic arts,  Gardening,  Personal growth

A garden-variety mood booster

“Many of us feel stressed and overwhelmed not because we’re taking on too much, but too little of what strengthens us.” ~Marcus Buckingham

This week I spent several hours at plant nurseries, comparing the various selections of herbs, annuals, and perennials. As always, the fresh scents and colors of new plants lifted my spirits and filled my head with new landscaping ideas. I’ve learned over the years that gardening is a balm for my soul.

There’s something deeply satisfying about caring for plants, whether you’re tending a small bed of annuals or a prolific vegetable garden. At the same time, beautifying your property can be a source of pride — something you can share with others.

So I finished planting my herb garden and got a good start on other areas of our yard. There’s a lot more to do, but I like to think of every garden as a work in progress — never a project to be rushed. At the end of the day, I enjoy few things more than retreating to my back yard sanctuary to admire my collaboration with Mother Nature. What strengthens you and brings relief when you’re stressed or overwhelmed? ~CL

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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