Niagara Gazette

July 22, 2013

APRONS READY: A healing garden in your yard

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Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Before school ended for the year, Creating Healthy Places had the opportunity to work with Niagara Falls High School to create a memorial garden. 

Memorial, meditative and healing gardens are becoming more popular every year. Many people believe that to be truly healthy, you need to be healthy in mind, body and soul. To bring this into my life I go to yoga class, eat healthy and surround myself with plants — on my desk at work and in my gardens at home.

A few winters ago, my father and father-in-law both passed away. In the spring we planted trees for them. This is the simplest form of a memorial or healing garden. 

You don’t need to make a Japanese Zen Garden in your back yard to experience a healing garden. The goal is to encourage feelings of safety, peace and comfort. 

When you are designing a meditative or healing garden it should include a variety of colors and textures. Various scents can also be engaging. A healing garden can include vegetables, herbs, flowers, grasses and trees. 

 When you design your garden, remember to be conscious of the amount of space that you have. If your garden will be used for prayer or meditation, include a place to sit.

Nature is calming. By including herbs in your garden, you can extend that feeling as you prepare and enjoy your dinner using fresh herbs from your garden. The smell and taste of fresh herbs is a treat for the senses. 

I have a rosemary plant that is more than a year old. I brought it into the house for the winter and now that it’s back outside, it looks beautiful and the flavor is outstanding. 

I like to use my fresh rosemary in biscuits on Italian night and in marinades. 

A simple but flavorful rosemary marinade that I make is with 1/4 cup lime juice, one-fourth cup water, one-fourth teaspoon ground ginger, one-fourth teaspoon black pepper, one-fourth teaspoon garlic salt and 2 sprigs fresh rosemary. It works well with chicken, pork and mild fish.

Jennifer Grier works with Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play. It is a five year grant awarded by the New York State Department of Health to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County. The grant aims to prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases among the people of Niagara Falls by making it easier to be physically active and to eat more healthy foods. CCE Niagara County provides equal program and employment opportunities.

Jennifer Grier works with Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play. It is a five year grant awarded by the New York State Department of Health to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County. The grant aims to prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases among the people of Niagara Falls by making it easier to be physically active and to eat more healthy foods. CCE Niagara County provides equal program and employment opportunities.