Garden in Winter & Soil Roots Happiness

If you need some garden therapy be sure and check out the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show, Feb 18-21. Be sure and stop by the Connecticut Historic Gardens in booth 413!

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 11.15.47 AMThe winters are long in the northeast causing many folks to suffer from seasonal depression. It seems the sun disappears too quickly, even though the days are supposed to be getting longer in January and February. The gardeners I know seem to be hit extra hard, we look out the window and long for the bright colors of the garden which are now dull and grey. There is more color in the darkness of space then in my garden this time of year.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 11.16.55 AMI love Three Rivers Farm… it’s a peaceful spot, the stone walls (a signature of Beatrix Farrand’s designs) insulate the beds and add to the warmth and beauty of the garden. In the winter you can see down the hill to where the Shepaug and Housatonic rivers meet. Beautiful, but in the winter there is a longing and sadness in the air.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 11.17.08 AMWhy is this? We read so much about Seasonal Depression Disorder tied to light and can even undergo bright light therapy to ease the symptoms. But that’s not all that we’re deprived of.

Gardeners miss the soil… and there are ‘happy microbes’ in that soil that act as antidepressants (Soil Bacteria Work in a Similar Way to Antidepressants). The bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae cause brain cells to produce serotonin, which maintains mood balance.
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I’m no scientist but as a gardener … I think they’re on to something.

I miss getting my hands dirty and working in the garden. Spring can’t come soon enough!

For more on Mycobacterium vaccae please read here : Science Daily : Can bacteria make you smarter? (American Society for Microbiology)