Garden: Mindfulness helps you focus on Mother Nature

Nancy Szerlag

If you’re a fan of what’s in and what’s out, you know the word “trend” is out when it comes to describing what’s fashionable, popular or a current craze. The new term is “on trend” and you can find it in the Cambridge dictionary.

On trend movements in the garden are environmentally friendly planting and care, vegetable and herb gardening and easy care everything.

My garden, my personal haven, is a spot to relax, chill out and a great place to practice the hot new mindfulness meditation movement – I’ve been doing it for years.

When I am working in my garden I am truly in the moment. I don’t think about problems or let my mind wander to the past or future. I leave sad and lonely thoughts behind, preferring to focus on beautiful plants and flowers. No radios or smartphones are there to distract me from listening for the rustle of the leaves of my quaking Aspen, the buzz of the bees and the hum of a hummingbird. I am one with Mother Nature.

And I don’t think of what I’m doing as work – I look at weeding as an opportunity to sit and take a close look at what’s happening at soil level. When it comes to working in the garden, double digging would be an exception and I gave that up long ago.

When planting, I don’t just dig holes. I look carefully at the soil and enjoy adding bit of compost and other amendments I know will improve it and help my plants to thrive. One of my greatest accomplishments in my shade garden was changing heavy gray clay to soft crumbly soil where my Japanese painted ferns flourished and multiplied. Tiny new seedlings emerged every spring. Practicing mindfulness in the garden is a great way to be on trend.

Appearances: Join me and celebrate the arrival of spring at English Gardens’ Garden Party Weekend. At 10 a.m. April 2, I will talk about “Bees, Pollinators and Other Good Stuff” and share my tips on creating and caring for pollinator gardens in Clinton Township. At 1 p.m. I will be in Eastpointe, and at 4 p.m. I will be in Dearborn Heights.

At 10 a.m. April 3, I will speak at Royal Oak and at 1 p.m. I will be at West Bloomfield. At 4 p.m. I will be at the Ann Arbor store. All programs are free. For addresses and information check the English Gardens website:

Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and a Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Fridays in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to and click on Ask Nancy. You can also read her previous columns at