Home » Blogs » Coming Out Crazy » A Neophyte’s Garden…

A Neophyte’s Garden…

I thought, for fun, I’d show you my little garden.

These pictures were taken a few minutes ago after three days and nights of rain and one day of sunshine.

I love every leaf, flower and sprout that Sheila and I planted on Tuesday night. When I have to dead-head, I hope it doesn’t hurt the little plantings. I feel a little tentative about it but it needs to be done.

I’m showering my little sprouts with all my love…

See what you think and remember, this little garden is just taking root and becoming accustomed to a new home.

I hope you like it. Let me know…

There is definitely something to be said for horticultural therapy.

It has many healing benefits. There are even specific healing gardens, according to the American Horticultural Association.

I never imagined such a transformation in myself?

It’s exciting to be open to change…

Never in a million years did I ever see myself gardening.

You should see my hands. But you know what? I don’t care. I’ve honestly earned every broken nail and every calloused knuckle. The rewards outweigh any manicure.

What’s extraordinary about a willingness to learn new things and to change is that you never know where you’ll find yourself.

This is one way to define resilience…

Best of all, you don’t have to board a plane or a train to experience a new adventure. Just open your mind to all the possibilities right on your front door step.

Amidst the chaos of my life at the moment ~ de-cluttering, anticipating a move, all the unknowns ahead ~ tending to my little gardens in the front and back of my house and watching my flowers grow, is surprisingly relaxing.

I don’t mind if my flowers don’t blossom overnight…

This shocks me.

Actually, I find the waiting and watching curiously tranquil. Serene.

If you lack patience, as I do, caring for your flowers and plants takes you into a different realm. Especially if you chose them, dug into the earth with your bare hands and planted them yourself. It’s like giving life.

Another world. A peaceful place. Time seems to stand still…

I love looking at the colours. Watching the petunias perk up and reach for the sun ~ when it comes out.

This inner stillness is an entirely unique experience for me. Not  remotely like the artificial soothing I feel when I take one of my anti-anxiety drugs ~ Clonazepam.

This is more organic. More like the contentment I feel when I’m holding and stroking one of my Dandie Dinmont Terriers.

Last year I interviewed Meg Daley Olmert after reading her book Made for Each Other. She has spent years researching the the biology and chemistry of the human-animal bond and discovered that the hormone Oxytocin ~ the human bonding hormone ~ is produced in the brain when anyone ~ male or female ~ holds and strokes an animal. This is not only calming, it’s healing.

My little garden is only five days old…

Yet I confess ~ it’s kept me calmer and more sanguine during one of the most tumultuous times of my life. Between my Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Riley and Lucy, and these little pots and containers of petunias and begonias, I feel a new sense of connection with the world I’ve never experienced before.

This isn’t a news story. It won’t stop the presses. (How’s that for an archaic expression?) But for me, it is. I’ve never before experienced the pleasure of planting a little garden and delighting in the tiny incremental changes that slowly evolve day-by-day.

I was too frightened of killing a living thing. Petrified.

A breathtaking new world…

So, this is a whole new world for me ~ and it’s breathtaking.

Special thanks, once again to Sheila, for insisting on teaching me to get my hands dirty in the earth and learn to love it. And to all of you who’ve offered your insights, encouragement and support.

That’s what this community is all about and I am so grateful to you.

Isn’t it exhilarating to know how many new things you can learn to love doing. How many ways you can broaden your world.

A Neophyte’s Garden…

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

6 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2019). A Neophyte’s Garden…. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Mar 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.