DIRT THERAPY By Marianne Taylor
DIRT THERAPY By Marianne Taylor

By Marianne Taylor

May is the peak month of spring gardening. Blooms are vigorously pushing forth into the fresh spring air. Vegetable gardens are productive, preparing for the harvest of summer. This is a great time to just sit in the garden and ponder the potential of what your garden could be. The scents are amazing; it is the perfect time to cut a bouquet for Mother’s Day. But, for those who would like to use their garden for expression, this is the month to create your posie bouquet—otherwise known as your scented provocation of feelings.

For millennia, flowers have been used as a form of communication through individual use and arrangements. Meaning has been attributed to flowers for thousands of years; however, the Victorian Era specifically used flowers as a coded message of love between lovers, allowing the sender to express feelings that could not be spoken aloud in Victorian society. So, lovers would exchange “talking bouquets,” also called a Nosegay or “tussie mussies,” which could be worn or carried as a fashion accessory. For example, double daisies were said to mean “I feel as you do,” so in a way, it was an affirmation of love. On the other hand, the Gerber daisy suggested enduring purity. Furthermore, the white chrysanthemum stood for truth in the Victorian flower code, while the yellow chrysanthemum stood for slighted love.

In addition, color plays a big part in emotion. Red traditionally is associated with love and romance and has a positive effect on the immune system. Similarly, violet has a calming effect on the minds and nerves and encourages creativity. Further, yellow is the happiest color in the spectrum and symbolizes the sun and radiant feelings and memory in the nervous system.

Studies have shown that there is a link between flowers and life satisfaction. They have found that flowers are a natural moderator of moods and have a strong positive effect on emotional health. According to Rutgers University, flowers have an immediate impact on happiness.  Reactions include surprise, gratitude, and genuine happiness when receiving flowers. Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods; participants felt less depressed, anxious, and agitated after receiving flowers. Flowers create intimate connections; giving creates positive connections between family and friends.

Flowers, colors, and meanings can be explored further at Goin’ Native Therapeutic Gardens. Come create a living expression of your feelings through a make-and-take bouquet of fresh flowers on Saturday, May 4, 2019, from 10-11 a.m. For more details and to sign up, visit goinnative.net or contact info@goinnative.net.

Marianne Taylor, of San Juan Capistrano, is the founder and executive director of Goin’ Native Therapeutic Gardens, 501(c)(3), teaching gardening and life skills as a way of empowering, engaging and connecting people. Goin’ Native focuses on educating local families, special-needs adults, seniors, at-risk youth and members of the military.

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