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Ode to Gardening, How to Get Peace of Mind, Streaking Strikes Again

Ode to Gardening, How to Get Peace of Mind, Streaking Strikes Again

Good Morning fellow travellers,

Put the kettle on. Hoping you have time for a cuppa.

News from Prince Edward Island this week.

Phase 4 started on June 26, 2020. What is Phase 4? 

Atlantic Bubble announced. What is Atlantic Bubble?  

Earlier this week I read Gardening could be the hobby that helps you live to 100 by Jamie Feldmar. 

Those who garden take great satisfaction at all the gardening brings in a way of peace of mind and the benefits of low impact physical activity.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. – Alfred Austin

ARRP suggests some benefits of gardening include exposure to vitamin D which increases your calcium levels, in turn, benefits your bones and immune system. Decreased dementia risk mood-boosting benefits; gardening is a great form of aerobic exercise, and helps combat loneliness.

Australian researchers studied men and women in their 60s and found that those who regularly gardened had a 36% lower risk of dementia than their non-gardening counterparts

Feeling we have more time this summer than most we planted a vegetable garden at home.  The good news is I have moved from the “chore” mindset to the “can’t wait to play” in the garden. Last evening, I spent an hour of blissful time removing weeds and caring for the intended. Not sure I would want to have to do this to make a living or for survival but one never knows.

Dan Buchner, New York Times bestselling author of The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. “The calculus of ageing offers us two options: We can live a shorter life with more years of disability, or we can live the longest possible life with the fewest bad years. As my centenarian friends showed me, the choice is largely up to us.” – Dan Buettner

In 2005 Shirley and I started a project called The Gardens of Hope. Our vision was to build a country garden for others to visit.  And appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds our business property in New Glasgow. Our goal was also to build a cottage for folks who are dealing with life-threatening illnesses or suffering from compassion fatigue.  This is our 7th year for the cottage and till COVID hit, it was booked every week until mid-October. With the Atlantic Bubble, we are able to allow those from this region to come and stay at the cottage.

Take a peek at the Gardens of Hope Blog. Most photos by Katherine MacLaine, our friend, and graphic designer for our business.

Before leaving work last evening, I captured the moment with my phone camera.

North East View 

South View

So excited to announce that Osprey has started to build a nest on the platform this week. It has been five years waiting. Someone suggested the camera we had mounted on there was a deterrent, so we took it down. It seems they were correct. 


Yesterday, an individual came to the shop inquiring about the possibility of volunteering in the Gardens of Hope a few mornings a week. She shared how when she is feeling anxious or stressed, she always came to the Gardens of Hope. She likes to sit at many of the chairs and benches around to read. Having been recently laid off because of COVID, she wanted to give something back. Bless her heart! The visit and her offer came at an opportune time. Our head gardener, Hugo was/is visiting family in Chile this spring. He and Hannah, his Island wife are unable to fly out of the country until October because of the country’s lockdown.  So the help is greatly appreciated. 

“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” —James Allen

I'm curious about your answers to this question. What do you do to establish peace of mind?

Is it music, reading, gardening, or something else?

What makes a good life? 

"The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves." — Alan Watts

Performers at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house took the stage there on Monday had ever played in front of one quite like this. That’s because their performance was being taken in by a crowd made up entirely of 2292 potted plants. The plants were then donated to hospitals and seniors residences. 

I sat down at 4:48 to start writing the blog this morning. With a cup of Darjeeling at my right hand, sun coming up and my headphones on listening to Bach: Complete Partitas, Yuan Sheng on Piano. What a treat it is. Take a sample listen here

I wish you a wonderful weekend and thank you for your time today. 

With love from Prince Edward Island. 


Bruce & Mille, having her first swim ever. 



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althea - June 28, 2020

Bruce, thank you for the huge wash of peace from your pix; for the memories which surfaced while listening/watching the concert for the fortunate plants and the fortunate recipients. Do you know Masaru Emoto’s book “The Hidden Messages in Water”? I used to talk to the water I used to water my garden followed by thanking the trees for their life, beauty and fruit. I now thank and praise the flowers I buy for my apartment. Your interesting question re establishing ‘peace of mind’…to me that means priorly I was in a dither. So, I sit in quiet in a quiet park or by the sea and let my mind go wherever it wants…usually it globs on to something with Nature. Lovely blog. Thank you.

Valerie - June 28, 2020

Last time I visited I took my two sisters (AB & NB) through the Garden of Hope and the cottage. When John and I lived in Ch’town we loved coming out to your property, having lunch and exploring the gardens. Sitting in the chairs at the rose garden overlooking the river was so relaxing. I certainly hope to be able to come back when our world returns to some kind of “normal “. Take care and stay safe.
Val & John, Regina, SK

Lillian Paul - June 28, 2020

Another great Blog Bruce. I miss visiting your store and garden. How is the book reading coming along? I relax by working in my garden so my reading is not as much in the summer as in the winter.
Stay Safe.

Cindy - June 28, 2020

We had the pleasure of touring the cottage right before you opened it up and I just remember thinking how wonderful it was going to be for respite care. The gardens are just beautiful. Wish I could be there to help tend it. Thank you for the laugh…always enjoy your jokes!! Have a great week everyone!!

Julie Joly - June 28, 2020
Hi Bruce. Great blog and beautiful gardens. We’ve visited and enjoyed our summer holiday on the island for the 17 out 20 years and are quite down about not being able to visit this year. However we did order the PEI food tour in a box a couple of weeks ago. It was just a small piece of the island we are missing. Greatly enjoyed the Preserve Company hot pepper jelly, as well as the lobster, potatoes, cheeses, and of course love the cookies and chocolate covered chips. The two bottles of raspberry cordial went to our grandson who has visited the island with us a couple of times and can never get enough raspberry cordial. We’ve enjoyed your garden of hope each time as well as many meals at your restaurant. Thank you from St. Paul, AB
Jane and Richard Hitchcock - June 27, 2020

We have visited your gardens many times since coming to PEI. Lovely and peaceful and a great way to give back to others. Blessings to you as you reopen to the rest of the Maritimes! Hope we can get up there next year again….

Cathie Sabourin - June 27, 2020

Our peace of mind. Early morning coffee on our deck close to Lake Simcoe shore in Ontario. Just us and the birds before the motors start up. We have counted over 55 bird species, including nesting osprey and the new chicks that hatched this week. Plus the bees and birds foraging in our gardens. Grateful to be serenaded by the sights and sounds.
Happy Canada Day!

Merv McAdam - June 27, 2020

So great to have volunteers stepping up to help in the Gardens of Hope. Kudos to them. Great blog as usual, Bruce. Who knew that osprey were camera shy?

Janet Mullin - June 27, 2020

The Atlantic-bubble announcement wasn’t even complete by the time we’d booked our PEI weekend. So looking forward to seeing you and enjoying your beautiful setting and your wonderful food again!

Janet and Bill

Marcia Scott - June 27, 2020

The flowers are beautiful! I wish we could come this summer but maybe next year. It will be our fiftieth anniversary. Thank you for the encouraging blog.

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