Several times a year I get asked to make presentations at home shows. On September 1st I was preparing a talk on Edible Landscape Plants. The talks are always on Saturday from 11 AM-2 PM. I was nearly finished with the presentation when I wondered what the date was to debut the speech. When I realized it was the 11th of September and the 20th anniversary of the day our world turned upside down and it was the Saturday I was preparing a speech. I immediately changed gears for a 9/11 talk – but, what? After a few minutes of brainstorming a new presentation, inspiration came to me to take on a tour of the world’s only 9/11 Mobile Memory Garden.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone over 25 to 30 years old that can’t conjure up some sort of memory of that tragic day, September 11, 2001. Twenty years later we still give honor and the promise of “We Will Never Forget.” With 2021, its 20th anniversary, it only made sense to help the healing process by creating a display whose anchor is the lawn. The grass is an amazing plant that conjures childhood memories and offers therapy.
We booked the display at three home shows for thousands to see and did they ever. I never knew it was going to be such an emotional presentation. People would stand for quite a while admiring all of our elements. Even though this was my brainchild with a pond, twin towers, and tons of plants it didn’t dawn on me until I saw the finished unit as it was hugged with a beautiful green lawn (Marathon Lite).
The display is kind of like a giant raised planter. It looks adorable like the plants are actually growing out of it – about table high. Nearly every person did something pretty interesting when gazing at it…they would all touch, rub, pat, or fondle the lawn whether they had a smile on their face or tears in their eyes.
Sod.com Tip: “It’s okay to love your lawn.” Click here to listen to a beautiful song to support your feelings.
Seeing what was going on I took a poll asking people why they were touching the grass. Here are three of my favorites:
“Oh, look at that I didn’t realize I was touching it.”
“I like the way it feels squishing through my fingers.”
“Are you kidding? It’s freakin’ grass. I’d roll around in it right now if I could!”
Lawns have tremendous therapeutic powers. Chances are when you smell fresh cut grass you might tap into memories of your childhood like playing on the lawn with neighborhood kids, tossing a ball around, chucking a Frisbee, or romping on the grass with man’s best friend – your dog, Spot. Evoking memories from good days long gone are part of nature’s medicine.
Turf – Natures Shrink
Rhythmic movement from pushing a lawnmower can offer a calming effect and clearing of the mind (don’t forget to walk in a straight line). Once you’ve completed the task at hand look behind you at what you’ve accomplished. Amazing, isn’t it? That feeling of satisfaction is achieved from a job well done. This boosts your confidence, you feel good about yourself, and the compliments you get for having the best lawn in the neighborhood you just can’t get enough of.
According to the Mayo Clinic (not Mayonnaise Clinic), Vitamin D is the cat’s meow in building healthy bones. Calcium needs VD (that doesn’t sound right does it?) to be present to do its magic of strengthening bones. Most foods don’t have it and who wants to supplement with a pill? So, it’s outside with you to soak up the sun. We don’t want to get sunburn so smatter on the suntan lotion and get some rays while mowing the lawn. Early sun (before 10 AM) is safer than midday and afternoon. Even so, keep hydrated.
Water to the Rescue
Since we’re hydrating ourselves tinkering with a sprinkler system activates the mind and forces eye-hand coordination. This critical thinking is great stimulation for mental health. Putting your mind to work on how to strategically adjust, fix or repair irrigation is lawn therapy not found while sitting on a couch spilling your guts to someone. Not that I’m against that it’s just another therapeutic avenue.
Pro-Tip: How much are you supposed to water your lawn, anyhow? Smash this to find out the answer.
Exercise, Exercise Come On Everybody Do Your Exercise!
Who would have thought that in 1955 the children’s television show Wonderama would have been singing about mowing your lawn? Oh, it might not have been in the lyrics but when you read between the lines – it’s there.
And, don’t forget to get wet while working on the irrigation. Chances are you’re waterproof and your clothes will dry. Walking through the sprinklers or just sitting on a chair on the lawn after you’ve mowed might bring out the child in you.
Pro-Tip: The benefits of working out or endless. Follow this link to our Lawn Installation Guide Series.
According to a Harvard University study, a 185-pound person will burn 244 calories in about 30-minutes. Add edging, raking, and sweeping and you’re burning a bunch more. This, in turn, makes you feel so much better and you look better too Skinny! Let’s get those endorphins racing as they are known to help with the pain.
Mowing Your Lawn = Better Sleep
Do you sleep with a night light on or while watching TV then find out you didn’t sleep that well? It could be that an itty-bitty hormone called melatonin thinks it’s daytime. Melatonin is released when it gets dark. Lights trick the brain into thinking it’s the day – ergo, horrible sleep. You want to know what? Lawn to the rescue. Those crazies at The National Center for Biotechnology Information say when people are exposed to sunlight in the morning, their nocturnal melatonin production occurs sooner, and they enter into sleep more easily at night. I’m going to go out on a limb and say these guys know what they are talking about.
Pro-Tip: Breathe in deep when on your lawn to calm yourself. It’s natures A.C. kicking out oxygen while offering a cooking effect which helps you feel better. Click here to learn more!
Even though our 9/11 Mobile Memory Garden has been dismantled and put to bed it served its purpose for the thousands that saw it that the theme of Always Remember/Never Forget is important to keep in mind not only for the events of 9/11 but for you and your loved ones. Isn’t it awesome that your lawn, however small or large, is the anchor to begin building your very own memory garden of your own?
Grass. It’s good for you, your family and the environment .™
Nick Federoff, ThingsGreen.com
Syndicated Radio and PBS|KLCS TV Host