Gardening Your Way to Zen


It’s Time to Go Green!

  • Are you a gardener?
  • Do you like to be in nature?
  • Did you know it can be one of the most beneficial things you can do?

I was never really into gardening until we bought our first home. The garden (all 900m² of it!) was a bit of a wreck and there was (and is) much to be done.

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” — Alfred Austin

Two years down the line, hubby and I are still landscaping, planting and enjoying our time outdoors.

Instead of slipping into complete overwhelm at the task ahead, I took my father-in-laws advice and began small — doing one square meter at a time. Eating that elephant one bite at a time really worked and the benefits of seeing my garden now — in all it’s glory — are astounding!

6 Reasons to Get Your Shovel On

Not only does gardening give you a sense of:

  • accomplishment
  • joy
  • peace

But it also has several even more outstanding qualities in this helter skelter, fast-paced life we find ourselves fumbling in. Here are some of the main benefits:

  1. Creativity — you get to flex that creative muscle. You get to build garden beds and choose the right colors/plants for it. You get to plan and build water-features, walls, create bird-baths, pathways, stepping stones and a host of other fun things. I’ve started doing recycled garden projects too — you can find some great and easy ideas on Pinterest.
  2. Meditation — gardening is a great form of meditation — you don’t have to don a lotus position to meditate! Meditation can come in the form of weeding (weeding is like cleaning out your house/cupboards/garage — you get a great sense of relief as you declutter that lawn or veg patch), raking and pretty much any monotonous, mind-clearing garden activity. When you’re done clearing the yard — you can make a good, old-fashioned bonfire to burn the debris. There’s nothing more therapeutic than to have a cleansing, trans-inducing fire and watch those flames licking away at they sky. Why not write some new intentions/goals down on paper and offer them to the flames?
  3. Grounding — if and when you can, try garden barefoot or take your shoes off for a minute or two and stand on the grass. You connect with Mother Earth and it’s a great grounding exercise. Read more about grounding and its importance here: 8 Methods of Grounding and Connecting to the Earth’s Frequencies
  4. Exercise — gardening is an absolutely fantastic fitness activity. Heavy yard work (landscaping, moving rocks, hauling dirt) burns about 400-600 calories per hour. Raking and bagging leaves incinerates 350-450 calories per hour. General gardening like pulling weeds, planting flowers, etc. sears 200-400 calories per hour and mowing the lawn: 250-350 calories per hour. Not bad, eh?
  5. Zenning Out — when you’ve finished up your gardening and you relax in a deck chair with a cup of tea, there is a tremendous sense of ‘zen’ that washes over as you look out on your landscaping canvas of creation. You get to know all the creepy crawlies and birds in your space which gives you a real feeling of being in touch with nature and your surrounds. It get’s your heart chakra all riled up and pumping. Read related article: How to Use Your Heart Wisdom.
  6. Nourishment — gardening will not only nourish your soul, boost your vitamin D levels (if you’re lucky enough to have a bit of sun) and sense of well-being but can nourish your body too if you start a veg/fruit patch and/or a herb garden. There’s nothing better or more worth your time and effort than to start growing your own food. Revolution starts with everyone becoming self-sufficient in some form or another.

Don’t have a garden?

Start window box/balcony gardening. Here’s a great way to get you going — READ HERE and HERE. Or why not start a community garden? Go speak to your local representative and start your gardening revolution today!

You can even make use of your friends garden — they’ll love it if you come over and weed their garden! I’m forever inviting my friends to come and weed (haven’t had a taker yet though…don’t know why :/).

CRDCherie Roe Dirksen is a self-empowerment author, multi-media artist and musician from South Africa.

To date, she has published 3 self-help and motivational books and brings out weekly inspirational blogs at her site Get stuck into finding your passion, purpose and joy by downloading some of those books gratis when you click HERE.

Her ambition is to help you to connect with your innate gift of creativity and living the life you came here to experience by taking responsibility for your actions and becoming the co-creator of your reality. You can follow Cherie on Facebook (The Art of Empowerment — for article updates). She also has just recently launched her official art Facebook page (Cherie Roe Dirksen – for new art updates).

Cherie posts a new article on CLN every Thursday. To view her articles, click HERE.

This article (Gardening Your Way to Zenwas originally written for and published bySUBSCRIBE icon 1 Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author Cherie Roe Dirksen and It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.

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Update: From Bowie Tributes to Leading Myself Down the Garden Path…(photos and videos incl.)


Time Has Just Gone Awry (But I Have Brilliant Excuses!)

Shewee…the last few weeks have been a flash in the pan! I don’t know how you feel about the energies of late?

I can’t keep up with myself! On the upside, things are happening…I hope they are with you too?

Before I get into that, let me apologise for my shortcomings in delivering the scheduled Wednesday blog last week. I just darn-right forgot with all that’s been going down.

I don’t usually like to write about my own personal blah-blah’s but I just have to share some stuff and try and weasel myself off the hook for not getting around to last week’s blog.

Okay, So, Here’s Some Personal Stuff…

Not that I want to make excuses or anything (but I’m going to anyway!) but I volunteered my bass guitar skills for a David Bowie Tribute concert (with Paul Q and Templeton) that went down the Saturday before last in Cape Town.

It took us a couple of intense weeks of constant band practice to get our 2 sets of 20 songs together (excuse no. 1).

It was great, thanks (I know you just asked!) — it was actually a sell-out show…hoorah! So, we’ve decided to take it on to various theaters around the Western Cape.

Anyhoo…here are some YouTube clips of our performance. Such fun!

And Let’s Not Forget The Parlotones Gig!

My man and his brother (also known as ‘Band of Hats’) just fronted for The Parlotones a few weeks ago. So lots of excitement there in getting them all ready for the big day. I helped design their banner — as seen below — and prep with some products as well as help with the marketing (these things take time! Excuse no. 2) 🙂


012And, of course, I just have to throw in a photo of me and lead singer, Khan Morbee (left).

Now for my third excuse at missing last weeks blog…

The Garden Path — So Misleading!

Literally, Michael and I have been landscaping our back garden — and it involves lots of paths. This week-long exercise saw us pick-axing through our rock-hard, slate ground (we live in the ‘klein Karoo’ in South Africa which is quite barren) to carrying barrow loads of stones.

It’s all about blisters, blood, sweat and tears (yes, I actually cried after a hard grind of digging one day, I went and dropped a bag of cement on my toe!).

Thing is — it’s so damn rewarding that you just can’t stop until the job is done. And, well, the job is still ongoing. But I will try to stick to my writing commitments this week.

For those gardening enthusiasts or just curious folk, here are some photo’s of our garden projects.

Eat Your Heart Out, Moulin Rouge!

Oh…and did I mention we’re also doing stuff around the house (excuse no. 4)? Lik006e my lush and sexy new red accent wall in the bedroom! Provoking a passionate pastiche for Burlesque evenings. Say what? Oh, don’t make me repeat that!

It’s been on my to-do list for an age.

I also decided to try out hand-made branch chandeliers. Something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I love the way they turned out but…my word…what a palaver!

Sticks and branches everywhere — up your nose, in your eye and down your drain-pipes. I don’t know if I missed a trick 005but it was hell to put together. I thought it looked so easy when I saw it on Pinterest…he he. What a sucker!

You’ll see on your left the finished light fixtures now hanging in my lounge. They are quite cool, even though they were a nightmare to make, as they make you feel like you’re in a forest at night.

So what do all these excuses have to do with me missing last weeks blog? Especially as some of these things took place weeks ago?

Sheer mental exhaustion! And the dire need to just work in the garden. It’s been such an awesome grounding (no pun intended) experience. I had a clearing in my schedule last week and I took it. I’m sure you can understand 🙂

Have a super day! And it will be back to the usual Wednesday blog spot from this week on.

I’ve been doing some more drawing to classical music (Vivaldi to be precise)…I will post the video to that this Wednesday.subcribe button

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Out-of-the-Box Arty Outdoor DIY

Country Bumpkins Make Good

See photo journal at the end of blog!

Well, we’re 2 months into our ‘country move’ and loving it.  We (Mike and myself) started running out of our renovation fund within about 2 weeks of our move — which was, to say the least, unsettling.

We had to come up with cost-effective solutions and fast!

In an attempt to continue with our plans on the cheap, we decided to erect (and design) our own fence and gate.  This was no small task as neither of us are exactly carpenters or builders.  However, we both have a bit of artsy fartsy in us, so….

The Natural Look

We wanted a front fence and gate that blended in with the garden.  The plan is to eventually grow something nice and smelly, like Jasmine, all over the fence.  So we just needed a structure for now.

We sourced a local genius who makes 2m long fences out of branches and that looked really stunning, so we ordered enough lengths for the job (it worked out to roughly $20 per fence and we needed 10).

So, no, we didn’t make the fencing ourselves but we did erect it.

We then sunk our own wooden poles (a job I would wish upon no-one as we had to dig half a meter holes — 10 thereof — and we hit bedrock at about 10cm!).  We then attached the fencing to the poles.

The property is on a slope — so that was also challenging.

We had to raise the fence slightly off the ground so it wouldn’t rot and I neatly packed slate stone at the bottom for it to rest on and because it looked nice! 😉

The Gigantic Task of a 4.6m Gate

We were, at this point, really happy with the fence but we needed a gate to finish off the look and to secure the yard for Purdy (our little tortoise-shell kitty).  The budget was dim and we needed ideas fast.

I ordered some wood from the local co-op and built the frame for the 2 gates (2.3m per side) and we got to work filling it in with repurposed materials.

I used some wood from my empty stretcher frames (from my paintings that were rolled and sent went sold) and some reeds that my in-laws said we could use that were just lying about their garage.  I also had some metal sheeting tucked away in my studio for a rainy day and it was storming outside!  lol…

Well, instead of me going on and on about the process…let me show you how it all took shape:

Sinking the poles

One side is up

Other side up

Pavement view

Pavement view 2


Fence from outsideSlateWood is ReadyGate frameMike and gateAssembling reedsPriming woodScrew it inOne side of the gateHanging the gateGateOur new gate and fenceI hope you enjoyed taking the visual journey with us! 😀

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