Beginning of Spring Workshop/Conference – 5 Senses in the Natural Garden
Saturday March 28, 2020, 9:30AM-12:00PM
Join us for a special spring workshop/conference with lively discussions about the way California natural gardens provide unique opportunities for us to use our five senses; sight, sound, taste, smell, and feel. We also will focus on that sixth sense, the one called “wonder,” which we experience when we engage with nature. On a practical note, we will review the basics of making a reciprocal sensory garden with demonstrations of concrete examples, including design principles and plant combinations.
You will not want to miss “Five Senses in the Natural Garden.” Our panel of instructors includes the following TOLN amigos that regularly present on the topics of their expertise.
No charge. Workshop will be held rain or shine. Looking forward to seeing you here.
Happy Spring Equinox!
Refreshments will be provided.
Schedule and Overview:
Why is an awareness of the 5 senses important in our relationship to natural garden?
9:35AM Sight –
What are the basic principles of art and design including nature’s best one… surprise!?
Mike will show us how to “see” beyond the obvious, and to design to highlight nature’s subtle beauty, as opposed to a more conventional, exotic, hyper-conspicuous, ornamental “look.”
Besides the obvious, we can learn how to see (almost feel) the subtle. Shadows, translucent leaves, dew drops, spider web patterns, fallen leaves, moonlight shimmer on quartz rocks, the details in the earth when you dig a hole – examples of a few intimate sights we do not want to miss. And of course the obvious – big bold plants, bright flowers, grasses swaying in the wind. We will explore how to incorporate all the art principles in natural garden design to make them visually pleasing distant and up close, patterns, repetition, surprise, movement, shadows, color, shape, texture, line, absence of line, depth, horizons, and all the elements of design; practical information on how to use them in planning a garden.
10:00AM Sound – Cat Waters, Expert horticulturist and acclaimed ornithologist
What’s that bird and what’s she trying to say? (and other sounds as well.)
Cat will give us general tips on how and when to listen for bird songs, how to recognize some species, and how to distinguish the message: alarm, communication, mating, young that are hungry, scolding, including birds who change their songs for different occasions and time of day.
Can you hear your garden? You do not have to have “good ears.” It is as easy as listening to it. Birds sing and call, the wind stirs, the hum of insects, the urban background, and the sounds you generate as you work and walk in it are all there for you to hear and enjoy. It is a rare thing that there is only silence around us. In our gardens, birds, especially, are very communicative. And, so are the sounds spawned by the plants you’ve worked so hard to bring to into the garden of our lives. Come join us and take a short journey into considering the sounds your garden brings to you and the background sounds all of us live among, but may not pay attention to, and consider how listening to these sounds can expand our enjoyment of our gardens.
10:20AM Taste – Abe Sanchez, Native Food Author and Expert
How can I grow, gather, prepare, and enjoy native foods, sustainably from my own natural garden?.
Abe will talk about tea, juice, syrup, and appetizers, as well as main course and even dessert – all from native species grown in your natural garden. He will emphasize traditional practices, local plants and their uses, and how to sustainably harvest and prepare native foods. A few samples will be available.
California’s incredibly diverse vegetation and abundant land have provided the basis for all aspects of a life for California’s people. Before contact with the European world, native people utilized native plants for food, medicine, and ceremony, as well as for making shelter, tools, clothing, and baskets. Indigenous use of native plants is not simply a topic of history. An ever growing community of enthusiastic learners and teachers are involved in keeping ancient traditions alive. Engage your taste buds by learning the edible plants and their uses.
10:40AM Smell – Melissa Adylia Calasanz (C-IAYT), Certified Yoga Therapist, and California Native Plant Education and Outreach Specialist
What is aromatherapy in the natural garden, does it work, and if so, how does it work?
Melissa will teach us how to incorporate mindfulness, reciprocity and healing in this session on the sense of smell and the numerous native species that will work in a sensory garden.
For centuries, aromatherapy has been used to enhance health and well-being. Modern research recognizes the benefits of aromatherapy for stress reduction, sleep and mood management, improved memory and cognition, as well as easing discomforts associated with anxiety and chronic pain. Our sense of smell has the power to recollect, therefore reconnect, to a space or place in time. And even if someone has lost their sense of smell, there are ways to tap into the healing properties of scent. California’s natural flora includes numerous aromatic plants.
11:00AM Touch – Leon Baginski M.D., practitioner of OB/GYN with functional/integrative medicine, horticulturist, naturalist, entomologist, wellness and longevity expert.
What are the tactile senses, and what are the benefits of using them? How can you engage them in the natural garden? And can you use them to promote health and healing?
Dr. B will discuss how the sensations of touch, heat, cold, soft, rough, thorny, smooth, insects walking on your hand, holding a snake (or even a frog) all relate to the other senses and why this important sense is so often taken for granted or neglected entirely.
The skin is a major organ and often overlooked and forgotten yet has many functions in health and disease. Learn to understand how you are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this in your native garden to improve the balance of health and fight disease through tactile input.
11:30AM Summary and Panel Discussion, questions and answers, moderated by Mike Evans
Workshop officially finished. You will be welcome to stay for an additional discussion period or proceed to Casa ‘La Paz’ where plenty of plants to engage your 5 senses will be available.