Last year about this time I was moving into my new place. [Read about it here.] By the end of the weekend, my arm throbbing with pain, I was ready for a break. My mother and I headed down to Allan Gardens, an amazing plant conservatory about 5 minutes away.
We entered and were quickly nestled into the warmth and humidity of the domed room at the entrance. It was the last day of the poinsettia display and the red of the flowers flamed out at us from under the greenery. The air smelled fresh and alive. While the world outside was gray and dreary, we strolled through lush, green patches.
I felt my arm start to relax. By the time we reached the turtle pond at one end of the garden, I started smiling. My pace slowed and then stopped to watch the turtles swimming around. Or piling up on the stones to sun themselves.
My breathing slowed, influenced by the quiet tranquility of the plants surrounding me on all sides. A glance all the way to the right or left revealed the outside world, beautiful in its own way, but colored with a monochrome palette of whites and grays. Next to me I heard my mother’s breathing deepen. Then she remarked how rejuvenating it felt to walk through a garden, at any time of the year, but especially in the winter.
At that moment, I felt lucky. It was winter in a cold northern climate, but I had the good fortune to be surrounded by living, green plants and flowers with one of my favorite people. We left sometime later, feeling refreshed, the stress and chaos of the move already forgotten. They had been replaced by the clean, fresh air provided by the plants in the conservatory.
This year, during a visit, I took my family to Allan Gardens. We were greeted by a plant-based Penguin trio in the domed entrance and again, the poinsettia display (see above). Once again, the plants worked their magic on me. I was instantly rejuvenated.