Sometimes we come across a photo that brings joy to our hearts and resolve to our souls. This young girl attended our recent Seeds2Share workshop at our wonderful local Brockway Library. She has just finished planting her Tropical sage seeds in the moist peat pellets that she prepared for them. She clearly feels the magic of the moment, and takes pride in her accomplishment. We believe that growing plants from seed is part of our DNA, and teaching young people to germinate seeds turns them into nurturers of nature. Many thanks to Children's Librarian Brenda Holsing and the staff at Brockway for making this workshop possible and understanding the importance of teaching children about nature! Thank you to the Miami Shores Community Alliance for their grant, and many thanks to Marcia P MacPhail for capturing this wonderful image.

Tropical or scarlet sage is very easy to germinate, and it comes in pink and white as well. It is a wonderful pollinator and hummingbird plant.
You can read more about our Seeds2Share program in the summer edition of the North American Butterfly Association's Butterfly Gardener quarterly magazine, or on our website. https://boundbybeauty.org/seeds2share/

Mental Health: the Overlooked Crisis and the Benefits of Gardening by Maria Cannon

Living in the modern world has lots of advantages. Medicine has conquered many diseases. Technology gives us smartphones and the Internet. Economic progress enables us to enjoy higher incomes and more interesting careers. In many ways, we’re better off than those who came before us.

Some of  the changes over the past 100 years offer us little reason to cheer, however. Many in today's society seem to think that the answer to our problems is to just take a pill. This is a deadly misconception, as medical professionals are quick to note.

The belief that drugs can give us happiness leads only to addiction and other short-sighted coping strategies like denial or withdrawal from others. You’ll enjoy far more benefits if you engage in healthy activities such as gardening.  So sink a spade into a clod of soil and get ready for a better life. All you need is a little sunlight, a little dirt, and a big desire to feel better.

You probably already know that tending a garden is great physical exercise. But a growing body of evidence shows that it offers a bloom of benefits for your mind and spirit as well. These include:

Add it all up and it’s easy to see why so many people think of gardening as a tonic for the soul. This is some real food for thought, given that planting a garden need not cost more than a few dollars. This is true even for crowded urban settings. You can grow a lot of food in even the smallest patches of dirt, a fact to which fans of container gardening will gladly attest.

Are you a gardening novice? Don’t fret. You’ll find tons of free information online, at libraries, or by asking local gardeners.

Maria Cannon wrote this article for Bound by Beauty.  Maria has suffered from depression and anxiety for years. Her hobbies--gardening, quilting, sewing, and knitting--play a major role in maintaining her mental health.  Those of us who are involved with Bound by Beauty believe wholeheartedly in the healing power of nature, whether the problem is rooted in the body or the mind.  Whether you grow vegetables or butterflies -- or both! -- your immersion in nature will go a long way toward healing what ails you.


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