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Community Comment: Help for our mental health is growing right in our backyard

Nature is all around us and good for the mind and the soul.
Optimist community columnist Ingrid Abbott in her garden.

When I was in Grade 6, we moved into a house in Victoria with a beautiful garden. The front yard had a small stream blanketed with azaleas and small conifers.

The abundant vegetable garden was magical with asparagus and Brussel sprouts. Logan berry canes plump with fruit rambled over the fence and the raspberries were sweet and juicy.

My parents had no interest in the garden, but I was fascinated, and so my young self-made a feeble effort to keep it going.

An only child, the peacefulness I felt outside in that garden is still vivid. Two years later my parents were getting a divorce and we moved to the Lower Mainland.

As a young adult I could finally build my own garden. Flaws and all, I’ve tended to them and loved them, especially the one I have today.

I’m a late bloomer because I just recently joined the South Delta Garden Club. They meet the second Tuesday of the month in Ladner from September to June.

The club is educational and social, and there are treats. I need help because gardening is the perfect storm of variables and it takes patience and wisdom.

In June 10, garden club members will open up their private and distinct gardens for the club’s garden tour. A day of inspiration and awe not to be missed.

On a balcony or an acre, the satisfaction of getting into your garden and feeling close to nature is a tonic. Whether it is herbs, geraniums or tomatoes, the pleasure of watching them grow is unmeasurable.

If you can’t garden yourself find a comfy bench in a public garden and visit through the seasons. Nature is all around us and good for the mind and the soul.

Ingrid Abbott is a freelance writer who unsuccessfully shows restraint in a garden shop.