Posts Tagged ‘duck therapy’
May 11th, 2010
A cheerful garden under the bluest of autumn skies has been begging for my attention. So, for the past few days it has been me and the ducks pottering about. It was wonderful to be outside and it occured to me, once again, that it is the garden that teaches me what ‘gardening’ is really all about. A garden can help us to connect our dreams with the natural world around us. Gardening connects us to the natural world and slows us down to the pace of life as it should be lived. As you work away in your own little Eden the seasons become your teacher. You get to know the plants more intimately and learn about their likes and dislikes, as you do with friends.
I like to feel that gardeners who live and work in harmony with their surroundings make a valuable investment in the living green mantle of Earth which sustains all life by providing shelter, food, and even the air we breathe. I certainly feel more in harmony myself if I have had my ‘garden therapy’ for the week.
Autumn is a very busy planting time for me. I have moved towards mediterranean, drought tolerant plants that need little water, and I have found that these plants planted in autumn become established over winter, watered by the beneficial winter rains. In the summer that follows, many are able to manage on their own, helped by ample mulch, while a few still need the bi-weekly water to survive the hottest summeer months.
So, I have been away from the computer and busy as a bee out under the slowly changing colours of the autumn leaves. Waddles and Hazel have been having heaps of fun in the puddles that have been abundant lately with the rain, and to make things even more exciting – we are beginning to find more …snails! Well, I am off to rake up a few more leaves for the compost!
April 28th, 2010
Daylight saving brings many problems and it is hard, when you are a duck, to get used to change. It has been round about a month since we changed over and moved our clocks back an hour. Everyone has got used to the winter hours now, except my ducks. Now when I come home I find Waddles and Hazel crowding round on the top step quacking away for me to walk them over into the safety of their little duck house. The neighbours are beginning to notice! It is the afternoon that is the problem. Waddles, Hazel & I have come to an agreement about the morning…they get let out at the same time as they did in summer. It looks like being a long winter. I have tried doing it gradual …over a weekend, but the ducks will have none of it. So, I struggle on. I am sure we will get there in the end. I baked a batch of biscuits for my neighbour, and explained the situation, he was very understanding. It could be worse he said, it could be a rooster, they crow on the full moon, he informed me.
Yes, ducks are wonderful as pets but they do have their little habits and being locked up at 4 is one of them at the moment. I should however get them used to the little change in routine by the end of winter. Still, gardening with ducks is heaps of fun. They love to be right in the thick of it when I am weeding, or doing just about anything outside. They even mooch about at my feet while I do the boring things, like hanging out the washing. They eat all the snails and slugs, while adding their very own fertilizer, just to be extra helpful.
We hand reared our ducks, brought them home when they were just one day old. They have been lots of fun ever since.
February 19th, 2010
Ducks love water. My ducks like nothing better than to play about in their little water pool, but when they first arrived in my garden as little tiny ducklings they had to wait for a bit until they got a little older for their first swim. I remember it well! Of course I took heaps of pictures of the great event and I thought I would share some with you today! It was a lot of fun esp for Waddles and Hazel. They splashed about and chased each other around and around. Lots of fun and games.
They took to water like….ducks! Yes, it is true to say that their favourite thing of all things is water, although a tasty snail is quite a treat also. That first day was sunny and pretty, just made for messing about in the water.
But they did look a little bedraggled after! A great deal of time had to be spent drying off and preening. Well, a girl must look her best. And then, back into the water for some more fun!
December 16th, 2009
There is not many problems that an hour or two pottering in the garden won’t at least put into perspective. Often I will nip out into the garden for just ten minutes and find suddenly that several hours have passed, the kids have not been fed and the day has disapeared. Whoops! I find that gardening is one of the best antidotes to stress there is. Gardens and gardening counter stress in a number of ways. Just being in a garden or green space reduces stress levels.
The act of gardening itself is very beneficial too. First, it is physical activity, something that many of us who spend our lives at desks or slumped in front of the television badly need. Most of us live our lives at breakneck pace. The Internet means that much of our working lives happens in a heartbeat, we can do the shopping a 3 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon (just as well for me) but there is practically no down time any more. -But there is in gardening. Gardening slows us down to the pace of life as we were meant to live it. Gardening works in its own time frame, it will teach you patience.
Gardening brings you directly back into contact with the yearly cycle – it really is one of the only activities in this modern world that still does. When you garden you will notice the subtle seasonal changes – the buds beginning to swell, the first leaves turning colour – you cannot but be aware of the cycle of life.
Gardening is essentially an optimistic activity. When you plant a seed you are investing in the future. Gardening also gives you endless second chances. Ok, so something didn’t work quite as well as you had hoped, learn from it and move on. I find gardening to be very creative. I can’t paint or draw but in the garden I can create something visually beautiful. Or at least beautiful to me.
Growing plants also offers a relationship with something living, an opportunity to be nurturing, to feel needed. There is also an immense satisfaction to be had from seeing seeds that you have sown germinate and grow into plants. It is a sort of validation, it gives you a real lift.
So if you are feeling stressed out try a little garden therapy.