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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Letter from Publisher

With spring in the air, our May issue arrives, featuring Marlaina Donato’s blissful article “Her Soul in Bloom: Self-Care for All Stages of Life,” which discusses the importance of me-time. One of my favorite meditative treats is to spend time outdoors in the garden—smelling the rich, earthy scent of soil; feeling the warming rays of the sun on my back; and experiencing the magical joy of creation when seedlings emerge from the earth. This season is a great time for anyone to start experiencing the benefits of meditative, or therapeutic, gardening, also known as horticultural therapy. There’s an undeniable sense of satisfaction in seeing the results of our watering, weeding, raking and pruning when we stand back and observe the transformation of our yards into flourishing, colorful retreats and thriving habitats.

Gardening has been known to elevate moods and instill a sense of calm, which can lower blood pressure and ease anxiety. Additionally, gardening provides exercise for people with all levels of abilities. Many adults fondly recall picking up gardening skills from their parents and grandparents.

Today’s gardeners need to pass along to the next generation the skills needed to grow their own food, as well as teaching them the value of sustainability and other benefits, or showing them how inspiring it can be to create a yard of native plants and colorful flowers. Ronica O’Hara’s “Gardening for Kids” article explores creative ways we can encourage children to choose outdoor time over screen time. By trusting kids with responsibilities in the garden, we instill in them a sense of pride and ownership. Without fail, children are excited to bring their harvest into the kitchen, where they can turn their creativity towards helping to prepare a meal. The bounty of benefits includes not just the healthy food, but also the meditation, relaxation and fulfillment that comes from gardening.

We all know how smart it is to eat a plant-based diet, but did you know how smart plants are? People have been talking to plants for years, but now we are learning more and more about how plants talk to each other. April Thompson’s “Plants Talk: Discover Their Secret Language” is a fascinating look at the extraordinary ways that plants communicate to defend themselves and assist their neighbors.

Let’s join the plants in staying firmly rooted while reaching for the sun.

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher