An interview with Jenny Peterson

Cancer Survivors Garden Companion1

Ann and I were fortunate to interview Jenny Peterson, just after her new book was published. Jenny is an amazing, extremely positive lady who is an inspiration for us all.

A Garden that Heals
Pittsburgh, Pa. (October 5, 2015): When Jenny Peterson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, it rocked her world. Her cancer treatment was hard, emotional and often deeply depressing. But Peterson, a garden designer and Master Gardener, did not let the cancer diagnosis define her. She used her desire to garden and dig in the dirt again to pull her out of the darkness. And she discovered that gardening is good medicine –for the body, mind and spirit.
The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion: Cultivating Hope, Healing and Joy in the Ground Beneath Your Feet
(St. Lynn’s Press, January 2016) tells Peterson’s story and explores the therapeutic benefits of this vital “earth connection,” including inspirational profiles of other cancer survivors, both men and women, whose gardens became their partners in healing.

With gentle empathy, beautiful photographs and easy how-to steps, Peterson shows others how to create their own backyard haven for healing – a personal restorative garden – with well-grounded guidance about diet, exercise, mental focus and spiritual renewal. Her book adds a fresh voice to the growing fields of horticultural therapy and therapeutic gardens.

What others are saying about The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion:

“Jenny’s tips for incorporating gardening into your life for mind, body, and spiritual health are ingenious! As a cancer coach, I will definitely be suggesting this book to my clients.” – Susan Gonzalez, BSN, CPCC, co-author of 100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It, and editor of The Savvy Sister blog
“Jenny’s beautiful book reminds us all that life can be found in the healing, meditative act of gardening. By lovingly tending a garden, we can learn to nurture ourselves, restoring our mind, body and spirit in the process.” – Ray Anne Evans, Executive Director, Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas
“Jenny’s connection with gardening, garden design, and simply being in nature remained strong throughout her cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. In fact, it was part of what helped her through. And now she is helping others to learn from her powerful experience.” – Naomi A. Sachs, Founding Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network; co-author, Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces
The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion will teach readers how to use the garden to heal, find hope and feel joy.
About the Author
Jenny Peterson is a landscape designer and Master Gardener specializing in xeriscaping and small urban spaces. She is a cancer survivor who found hope and healing in her garden, even during the darkest days of chemotherapy and radiation. In the process, she made deep connections with the cancer support community, including physicians, nutritionists, bodywork practitioners, psychologists and spiritual counselors. Peterson co-authored Indoor Plant Décor: The Design Stylebook for Houseplants (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013) with Kylee Baumle. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her fiancé, 19 chickens, two dogs, two quails and a goat.

You can listen to the interview here :   Interviewing Jenny Peterson

If you would like to purchase the book : The Cancer Survivors Garden Companion

The right-sized Flower Garden

Kerry Mendez has a passion for gardening, in her latest book “The right-sized Flower Garden” she discusses how to develop a garden that you can manage, often this will reduce the amount of work involved. As she explains it’s all about making the right choices, whilst at the same time making simple design changes. Here is a practical book with sensible tips, lists, time and energy saving suggestions that will help the beginner and the experienced.

Come take a listen, I’m sure you will learn something new.

The right-sized flower garden

If I were to open a garden center today ……

Garden Centers have evolved over the years, there are Independent Garden Centers often in a local neighborhood, there are larger groups with multiple locations.

Many of the big box ‘Do it Yourself stores’ have larger and larger ‘Garden Center’ sections.

The question recently has been where are they all heading.

So Ann asked Sid & John – “If I were to open a Garden Center today what would be your recommendations?”

Sid Raisch

CEO of Horticultural Advantage (www.AdvantageDevelopmentSystem.com) , providing business expertise and extensive leadership training to small to medium horticultural businesses, primarily retail garden centers and selected wholesale suppliers.

John Stanley.

International retail guru is what people call me. Specialising in helping retail businesses to grow their bottom line and expand their market base. I work in 26 countries with retailers of all sizes. My expertise ranges from conference speaking to hands on management consultancy. My specialist retail areas are in perishable retailing – anything that will not last long without loving care on the shelf

Garden Center

Sid and John discuss future trends for gardens, garden centers, and our urban environment.

This fascinating , very informative interview is going to have you thinking.

Send us your thoughts to Growing Trends

 

 

 

The Chelsea Physic Garden – Linking people to plants & nature

It's not often you find a garden that was founded in 1673, as the Apothecaries' Garden. Ann was on a trip to Europe recently and dropped in on the beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden on the side of the River Thames in London. The gardens purpose was to train apprentices in identifying plants. The gardens location close to the river created a warmer microclimate, significantly increasing the many non-native plants that could be grown.

chelsea physic garden

In 1700 the garden had started an international botanic garden seed exchange system, which continues to this day.

The gardens cover some four acres and are leased on what is known as a peppercorn rent in perpetuity.

They are with out doubt one of London's secret 'gems' and thoroughly worth a visit.

chelsea physic garden

The gardens mission  " Linking people with plants and nature"

The interview starts with Ann talking for around 8 minutes to a group of school children on a field trip, the gardens have over 100 such visits a year.  Ann then talks to Michael a very knowledgeable and extremely helpful member of staff. We kept all the typical inner city sounds on the recording – the enthusiasm of the children is very heartening.

Integrated pest management is the preferred method of bug control…

They have a project called "Shelf Life' it is just an incredible way to show children where their food comes from

You can also listen to Ann's interview on iTunes at Growing Trends

We would love to hear your comments and suggestions for a show… just send us an email to Growing Trends

 

How we look at Food Tourism today

Ann and I interviewed John Stanley of John Stanley Associates  recently about his new book, he jointly wrote with his wife Linda,

 Food Tourism – A Practical Marketing Guide.

Food tourism

The fastest growth in tourism today is the culinary sector.

Listen to John as he explains the overall direction of food tourism, including how he sees future development.

A few snip bits:

Do you grow soil?

25% of the food we buy comes from 2% of the farmland around our cities, which is being swallowed up by development.

Farmers used to make 38 cents on every dollar now its down to an average of just 6 cents

Eating local seasonal food saves you around 25%, and is actually healthier for you!

You can hear this really informative interview here (click below) or on iTunes at Growing Trends

Heaven is a Garden

A few years ago I read a paper about how grasses 'moved' to music, then I read about the effects of harmonious sounds on plant growth.

Just using white summer bedding is very effective in such a large garden

Why do I mention this ? Well a few weeks ago we were talking about Tesla and his discoveries, which led us to talking about vibrations, sound waves, force fields etc., then a strange thing happened.

Ann and I interviewed a wonderful lady landscape architect Jan Johnsen, about her new book "Heaven is a Garden" we talked a little about how at a very young age she discovered during a science fair competition – which against all the odds she won – the effects early morning birds singing have on plants. The sound waves, which are similar to a violin stimulate a plant to open its stomata taking in carbon-dioxide to help it grow quicker.

Fushia

Jan has written a new book called Heaven is a Garden, it's a really fascinating and informative read.  Jan has 'connected' the dots so as to speak, between the natural world and our emotions. How the Four Winds are important when laying out a space,the careful use of curves, and my favorite Golden Rectangles and the Divine Proportion. – Phi is the mathematical proportion ( 1 : 1.618) we see in every natural form. Using this proportion ensures a sense of harmony in any outdoor space that contains it. I've always tried to use these proportions in my designs.

Jan then talks about Trees – natures rechargers as she puts it… The Celts  shunnache,  the Hindu tree devas, and Greek dryads are really references to light energy? The Chinese call this energy chi…the Japanese consider the health giving properties of trees the basis of a medical therapy called ' Forest bathing', it helps reduce stress.

Jan then discusses the magnetic attraction in a Zen garden – rocks in these gardens reflect a deep understanding of the geomagnetic properties of stone and its impact on a place.

Finally the benefits of color in a garden.

Be inspired by Jan Johnsen's Book
You can listen to our truly fascinating interview with Jan Johnsen  or if you prefer on iTunes at Growing Trends
 
We would love to hear from you, with your comments or  ideas for shows write to us at info@grotrends.com
 
Ann and Chris
 
 
 

Are we rediscovering a sense of community ?

Today’s interview is really fascinating, our friends Bill Sosinsky and Rich Sapienza of Energime University discuss, coming trends, in particular the growing sense of community involvement.

Community gardens – the modern name for an ‘Allotment’ is a case in point.

https://picagardi.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/allotment.jpg

The growing popularity of farmers markets, are helping to provide locally grown produce, that is grown in season, rather than having all food always available. There are some real benefits to eating ‘for want of a better word’ the right vegetables for the season.

https://picagardi.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/20140802_081355.jpg

We talk about water usage and the changes coming. To how we will all have to change some of our habits in these new times. In the meantime we all need to reconnect with nature, spend time to just take a stroll in a garden or park.

tree lined

If you enjoy our interviews with these fascinating people, do drop us a line with ideas or suggestions to info@grotrends.com or better still like us on Facebook 

Ann & Chris

GT114 Eat your Roses

It's that time of year again, as we move from Spring into Summer all sorts of tasty treats abound in our gardens, our interview today is with a lady who has taken this to a new dimension.

Eat your roses

Ann & I caught up with Denise Shreiber recently to interview her about her fascinating book, all about edible flowers.

Being a transplanted 'Brit' it was interesting to hear that her book was born after a trip to England where she sampled 'Rose Petal Ice Cream', Here I was, under the illusion that everyone visited our wonderful gardens and stately homes for the good old English cuppa with perhaps a scone, butter, jam and clotted cream !

You can listen to Denise here…

GT113 Do you suffer from Allergies?

It’s allergy awareness week in  England .

Allergy Awareness

A subject that has become more and more important to my family over the past few years.

My grandson Callum was born with severe allergies , which appear at the slightest opportunity, so much so that my daughter Nathalie has developed a huge number of allergy free recipes, started a company to help others with young children with allergies, has been featured in the newspapers, magazines and on television.

You can read more here – The Intolerant Gourmand

This prompted Ann and I to start some research to see how many children and adults are affected.

We were really surprised at how many people suffer severe allergic reactions, how this has exploded across the whole of the USA, partly it seems due to the demise of the Elm trees. You can hear more about this from Tom Ogren in our latest interview.

Nathalie  had explained  Callum, was a baby boy with severe eczema & food allergies,makes for an interesting journey of discovery!

Callum

We found only one food pantry offering  exclusively gluten free and allergy free food in the USA.

in OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – It’s opening next month in Overland Park, Kan.

The ReNewed Health Food Pantry, it’s located at 87th and Antioch, will be holding its grand opening on May 13th.

In England rules for premises selling food changed back in December 2014, This has resulted in all premises selling food, whether freshly made or packaged, to provide details of any of the top 14 allergens used. It is still early days, and there has been some resistance, but there are signs that eating out with allergies is improving.

The medical profession in England is also beginning to realise the prevalence of allergies and how many more people are now presenting with serious allergic reactions in hospital – 20,000 attendances last year alone, with over 12,500 of those being an emergency situation!

Here in the USA , Ann and I were fortunate to interview Tom Ogren about his fascinating , very informative book  about Allergies in the garden, this is a must read for avid gardeners everywhere.

Allergy-Fighting Garden, cover

You can hear our interview with Tom  at www.growingtrends.org or on iTunes at Growing Trends

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments,

 

GT112 School Garden Projects have many positives, you can hear many of them here.

Children-eating-salad

Is this really salad ? it tastes so good like this !

Ann & I were fortunate to talk to three amazing ladies from Tennessee a little while ago. They wanted to start a school garden at their school, here is their story, the school garden is now in its third year.

Raised beds

Some of the main points we heard were:-

It's essential to have teacher as well as parent support.

Take time to plan carefully

Initially growing from seed is harder , due to the school calendar. 

Choose plants that will fit into this schedule.

The children want to take ownership of their plants !

Educating children in the different choices of produce increases the varieties they will eat.

Children really take pride in taking home to their family the produce they have grown.

In a blind radish test, the children could tell which were home grown as opposed to store bought and much preferred home grown !

strawberry picking

Ann & I would love to hear from you.  info@grotrends.com

If you would like us to put you in touch with these wonderful ladies,or if you would like more information on starting your own school garden just send us an email to Growing Trends and we will be in touch. If you would like us to interview you, send us a picture of your garden along with contact details, we will be adding a section to our web site www.grotrends.com specially on School garden projects.

Thank you Penny, Peggy and Emily, this was a fascinating interview.

Ann & Chris