The Eco-Therapy Garden Pod represents Bloom Nature
Would you like a beginners guide to Gardening, absolutely free?
Are you wondering how to spruce up your home and garden this winter? Have you realised that new plants can breathe life (and oxygen!) into any occasion? What about gardening and its impact on wellbeing and mental health?
The answers to these questions and many more can be found in the amazing guide to gardening that we’ve got to give away, and it won’t cost you a penny!
Scroll down the page for your free download. Happy holidays!
Once the land and site has been identified, the development of the Bloom Eco-Therapy Gardens will begin. Tranquil areas of vibrant colours and calming scents will thread through the landscape of flowers and trees, water gardens, and fruit and vegetable beds. We will create allotment-style garden plots that the whole community can access, enjoy and cultivate as ‘member caretakers’.
One of our first tasks will be to dig an underground greenhouse or ‘walipini’ – see the bottom of this page for more on these incredibly simple and effective ways to garden and grow a plentiful crop all year round, regardless of what the English weather throws at us!
NOVICE AND WEATHERED GARDENERS WELCOME!
We will be asking volunteers to join in the mission of digging and preparing the underground greenhouse, and planting, watering, and nurturing the growing areas, and for lots of people to contribute their own plants and seeds to the mix!
This is truly a grassroots project to provide a community space that everyone can enjoy.
WHAT IS ECO-THERAPY?
Eco-Therapy is essentially connecting with nature for the benefits it gives your mental health and wellbeing, either enjoyed with other people, or simply quiet time to yourself. Enjoying the wonder of nature by creating your own green sanctuary, tending to plants, herbs or flowers, and eating the bounty that nature provides has a restorative impact on our health, and I believe, allows healing to take place in the mind and in the body. Eco-therapy can mean to develop a plot of land, or a patio, into a thriving garden, where you can grow flowers, vegetables and fruit trees, but it covers a broad range of lovely activities you can do outdoors, connecting with nature and animals, taking care of our environment and marine conservation. The fresh air, the exercise, the sights and sounds, and the act of re-connecting with the earth, all combine to have powerful effects on our wellbeing and mental health.
You can find lots of opportunities to join a fun nature trail HERE Thanks to the Wildlife Trust. Find places near you to go walking in woods or parks, for bird-watching, for conservation, litter picks, and beach-cleans. If you’re in London, or planning a visit, don’t miss a trip to the beautiful London Wetlands Centre a magical reservoir hidden away in Barnes, where I grew up, abundant with migrating birds from all over the world, incredible flora, fauna and furry creatures, and big green open spaces. It’s a very special place 🙂
indoor gardens and window-box gardens are awesome too. Any room at home will be immediately brightened up by a gorgeous plant or vase of flowers. Plants of all kinds raise our spirits, and feed our senses, and breathe oxygen into our environment, which helps to balance energy from computers and electrical devices. There are plants in every room and every corner in my house, as well as throughout my lovely garden. They totally revitalise my sense of wellbeing and mood, not to mention, they make my house look fantastic.
ECO- THERAPY AND MENTAL HEALTH
Eco-therapy is being used effectively to improve mental health in adults, and children & young people alike, and has shown added benefits for special groups such as military veterans, and young offenders, supporting them through rehabilitation and re-connection with their community.
People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, fatigue, respiratory conditions, and other long-term conditions, who have tried Eco-therapy, say it nourishes their body and mind, to be stronger to combat their symptoms, helping them to feel more relaxed and/or more energised (whichever they need) with an overall sense of improved physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW HOW?
Not to worry! I’ve got an amazing guide to gardening to share with you, absolutely free!
The wonderful Kelli Gardener has compiled a beginners-gardening-manual all about gardening and landscaping, based on advice and tips she has received from over 100 professional gardeners….. from starting your first greenhouse to growing plants and herbs in pots, and everything in between!
There are heaps of interesting tips and ideas and a few absolute gems contained in this 5,000+ word guide. Thank you so much Kelli for passing along this incredible resource to our bloomspace community! You’re a Star!
Click the link below to get your free download – and please send us pics at Sasha@bloomspace.co.uk to show us how your garden grows 🙂
Here’s the guide:
Gardening for Beginners: Your First Garden and More
EVERYTHING IS IN BLOOM
THE BLOOM ECO- THERAPY POD
By helping us to build a solid foundation for the Bloom gardens in this way, volunteers will find new ways to bloom in themselves, boosting their wellbeing, and their confidence, and connection with their community, while also contributing to a valuable sustainability project.
Not only will volunteers learn about gardening and landscaping, and growing and eating food, they will be developing skills in problem-solving, planning, and communication, helping them to better connect with themselves, and with others. This project could be a useful stepping stone opportunity for people looking to enter employment and/or further education. Perhaps their involvement in the project might lead to a paid position at Bloom!
GROWING AND ENRICHING FROM THE GRASS ROOTS IS WHAT BLOOM IS ALL ABOUT
Bloom will increase the bio-diversity and sustainability in the area by attracting natural habitats of birds, bee populations, and wildlife, as we develop the gardens, orchards, and growing areas.
It is at the heart of this mission to be environmentally sustainable, and to work in harmony with nature, and the surrounding area, and we endeavour to use recycled or reusable materials, employ local businesses and services, and use eco-friendly building methods where possible. A sustainability and feasibility study has been carried out on this business plan, which is available upon request.
Bloom will grow its own produce e,g. vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices, to supply the Café Pod, by end of Year 1, and in time will create its own line of preserves, chutneys, pickles and juices.
All other food and drinks for the Bloom Café Pod and the Bloom Tea Room will be freshly prepared on site, sourced from local farmers and suppliers, minimising the ‘food miles’ carbon footprint.
Solar energy roof panels will capture energy from the sun across the site and we will dig a ‘walipini’, or underground greenhouse, which uses simple plastic sheeting to harness the sun’s power, instead of glass.
Greenhouses are usually glazed structures, but are typically expensive to construct and heat throughout the winter. A much more affordable and effective alternative to glass greenhouses is the ‘walipini’ (an Aymara Indian word for a “place of warmth”), also known as an underground or pit greenhouse.
First developed over 20 years ago for the cold mountainous regions of South America, this method allows growers to maintain a productive garden year-round, even in the coldest of climates.
Thanks to TreeHugger.com for the image and the description of a walipini. Their full description, and instructions on how to build one are found at this link: http://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/build-underground-greenhouse-garden-year-round.html
FIND ECO-THERAPY GARDEN PROJECTS NEAR ME
The mental health charity MIND are running some blooming Eco-therapy projects already. Their ‘EcoMinds Scheme’ is producing great garden environments across the UK.
You can search on their website for schemes near you at this link. ECOMINDS – http://www.mind.org.uk/about-us/our-policy-work/ecotherapy/
COMING SOON: I will show-case some of the wonderful Eco-Therapy garden projects happening around the UK, as I discover them
NEXT WE WILL BE ASKING YOU TO JOIN IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BLOOM ECO-THERAPY GARDENS!
NOVICE AND WEATHERED GARDENERS WELCOME!
YOU CAN ALSO HELP US WITH A DONATION
100% OF ALL FUNDS DONATED ARE RE-INVESTED INTO THE SOCIAL ENTERPRISE PROJECT TO BUILD BLOOM – THE HEALTH SPA FOR THE MIND.