Last year was the first year of my entire adult life that I did not have a garden, and that was because in the same year we opened two new midwifery clinics and two new retail boutiques. For my own sanity and to avoid putting more work on my family, I made the decision to rest this past year. With Mother’s Day approaching this next weekend, I am again contemplating the garden. Will I plant? If so, what will we choose? How big should we go? What are my priorities in the garden?
It has always been a tough balance for us to keep our garden organic and also manageable. I have never used fertilizer, but because of this, our return is low. Since I can not be consistent in weeding and caring for the plants and soil, many are consumed by the weeds. This becomes increasingly discouraging as the season progresses, and more so from year to year.
My most amazing husband created a beautiful garden for me during my last pregnancy. He laid down a brick path and put up an iron fence around the edge. Our garden coop is integrated into the garden. When I am out there now, not only am I taking in the benefits of the plants and soil, but reminded of how blessed I am to have found this man and that he chose to marry me. I think of Adam and Eve, and that the Lord didn’t place them in a castle or a mansion, but a garden. We are dependent as living beings on botanicals and not just for nourishment, but for breathing in their oils and absorbing them into our skin as we work among them.
A recent study shared by doTerra, conducted in the Netherlands, suggests that gardening can fight stress even better than other relaxing activities. I regularly recommend gardening and swimming to my pregnant clients, as these are not only fun activities, but are a more gentle form of exercise. Few activities offer such high reward for the entire family!
My kids were in the garden every summer. I have so many memories of them working along in the soil, picking weeds, and Noah picking off a corn cob, pulling back the ears and eating the corn directly from the cob. He drooled at the goodness. Simon spent an entire summer in his bassinet under the tree and I gardened, or nursing as I sat in the soil. This is such a wonderful time to rest, pray, and think.
Gardeners know well that it is not only wise to move vegetables around in the garden from season to season to enrich the soil, but also which plants favor others. For example, basil and tomato plants are very complementary. Planted next to each other, they encourage growth and vitality in the other. This year, I plan to add basil essential oil to my watering can to give the plants a dose that can be absorbed through the root system.
Admittedly, I have a very severe fear of slugs. No matter how much therapy my boys try to apply, my anxiety only increases from year to year. White fir, I am learning, can be utilized to rid the garden of slugs. Peppermint oil is also useful for aphids and ants. TerraShield is another great option for bug attacks. Simply add to a spray bottle and spray plants daily.
Cooling Off in the Sun
Peppermint is an incredible botanical offering a plethora of health benefits. It is also my personal favorite essential oil as a midwife, and I integrate it regularly into births. In the garden, peppermint essential oil can be used with lavender, and aloe juice in a spray bottle to refreshen yourself in the sun.
Cleaning Off at the End of the Day
An essential oil sugar scrub is a fabulous option for removing garden soil from your hands, and Deep Blue is tremendous for sore muscles. Tools can be cleaned with a mixture of 10 drops of melaleuca in about 33 ounces of distilled water. When in a spray bottle, this mixture can be used to clean the entire greenhouse.
What tricks do you have for using essential oils in the garden?