Hortus conclusus

Can gardening be therapy?

Yesterday's London Times (4 May 2010) ran an article I wrote called 'Sowing the seeds of a happier life'. When my mother was ill with Alzheimer's, I found enormous solace in gardening. I believe that for centuries, woman have done likewise.

I'd also love to hear from other women who can tell me why they have found comfort in gardening.

Here is an excerpt:

"Hospital visits, dealing with carers and social serives, all the draining aspects of looking after someone who is disintergrating in front of your eyes, left little time in my life for normality. There was only one place that I found true escape - my garden...the garden needed me and I needed it. Somehow working there kept me in touch with the mother who had always been my closet gardening companion... Smelling a shared, favourite-scented rose would help bring back memories of happier days.

"I don't know why this should surprise me. Gardening has always been a source of solace to women. In medieval times, the hortus conclusus (enclosed garden) was a sanctuary for women where they had freedom to read and talk privately as well as to maintain plants and flowers..."

Here is a link to the article in full.

Sowing the seeds of a happier life