Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Work - entry 6

What I find interesting about work is that it is an activity that’s un-natural to a degree, we as human choose to par-take in it! Whereas labour is all about survival, if it wasn’t done someone may die..? Worst case scenario! But cleaning the house and cooking is labour, gardening is work because if I didn’t garden there would be no loss of human life.

Looking at ‘Me and my tapestry’ by Katherine Hale (1996) "I have gone from mild interest, to hating it, to loving it to the exclusion of all else, to absolutely-can't-be-bothered, back to loving it", she talks about the preparation time in which someone takes to undertake a task. That the beginning can reach back many years and also go into the future. Oh, how I fully understand this sentiment. I always go from ‘love the idea’, to ‘why did I ever start this project?’  

Looking at the practical considerations of work, I have never let them stop me form par-taking in gardening, I see gardening as being both an open and closed activity, meaning that it can be done alone or with company. There is also a certainty about what I do, as I "know" how the aesthetics are to look but the ambience changes each day, much like the weather, after rain it feels cool and clean, after the dogs have bounded through looking, a stick or the tennis ball it feels rumbled and ready for fun.

One of the risks of gardening is that I’ll put a plant in the wrong place not giving it the space that it needs to grow – it pays to read labels! But without risking the practical considerations I would have never started on this gardening journey, for without the aesthetic richness of nature the delicacy of the plants and my participation I surely would have never developed the workmanship skills I have today.

Blogs I've commented on;
HeatherL said...
    I love that fact you have kept it real - by using your Mum's good dressmaking scissors :)
    I also like how you admit that sometimes doing a craft can be a burden, doing it because you need to.
    Do we get to see pictures of your work?
    18 October 2011 19:24

HeatherL said;
    Awesome poem Lynn, I was able to connect with it and it brought back many happy memories, thank you for that.
    Are there anymore pictures to come? I feel this will brighten your blog.
    19 October 2011 16:13

HeatherL said;
    Hi Godhelp,
    I so cannot believe my comment was lost from your blog :( so I try again from memory.
    I really enjoyed watching you playing at home and am you get so much from participating in it, spiritual, connection, and it must be so great to create ambiance with your skills
    25 October 2011 15:40

HeatherL said;
    Hi Erin,
    I really like the way you explained mindfulness, it take me to times when I have been gardening and totally lost control of time. It so joyful!
    Do we get to see any pictures?
    October 25, 2011 3:48 PM

References used in blogs
Ergonomics – entry 2
Christiansen, C.H., and Townsend, E.A. (2004). Introduction to occupation: The art and science of living. (2nd ed)  New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
Lowen, H.D. (2010) Humanities Essay, Otago polytechnic, BT132001
New English Dictionary (2001), Harper-Collins, Glasglow.

Affordance – entry 3
Christiansen, C. & Baum, C. (eds)(1997). Occupational Therapy enabling function and wellbeing. 2nd ed. Slack: New Jersey.
Hagedorn, R. (2000). Tools of practise in Occupational Therapy. A structured approach to core skills and processes. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. 
Steiner Rice, H. (1986) Prayerfully, poems of devotion. London: Hutchinson & Co Ltd.

Affordance part3 – entry 5
New English Dictionary (2001), Harper-Collins, Glasglow.

Added for interest
MythBusters - Talking to plants - part1   http://youtu.be/CMiVNPXR5qw
How to Create Your Own Landscape Garden       http://youtu.be/4GQLF7uJCcM
NZ Landscape design New Zealand. Chinese Lantern Festival 2010.           http://youtu.be/1Bup0HkOhXw

Mythbusters - Talking to plants - part2   http://youtu.be/FhsbM9LxPAk

Work – entry 6
Hale, K. (1996). Me and my tapestry. Occupation, 6(2), 27-30.

Mythbusters - Talking to plants - part2

the sound is a bit off but interesting to see the results

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Talking to Plants...

So I'm not nuts!!!

some good ideas from overseas

something different from New Zealand

 That's far enough for one day
 I found a pretty blue flower
 the Calla Lilly bulbs came from a friend/neighbour 
This pretty dahlia was found the first summer after having pulled out a massive shrub

(Lowen, H. personal communication,  October 19th 2011).

Affordance Part 3

Aesthetics ‘V’s Ambience
My trusted New English Dictionary (2001), states that aesthetics is ‘a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of the concepts of beauty and taste’. It has the potential for a person to express a sense of beauty, for me it was the way I changed the setup of my garden, over the years I have ripped out an old clothes lines, moved the firewood storing shed, put a fence and gate in to create a laundry/veggie garden area, cut down a massive tree, created lavender garden, and pulled out every plant in one corner of the garden to start again. I can change the aesthetics to suit my mood, by gathering the equipment for working in the garden, the result of the work, or just leisurely walking around with pruning shears in hand on the looking for rouge branches. 

My New English Dictionary (2001), states that ambience is ‘the atmosphere of a place’. So how does this affect gardening?  hmm… quite a lot really, it seems to me, the very being of the experience of gardening, for without the ambience of the garden when I moved in, I felt it was ‘a lost garden’, over grown and un-kept, it lack life, bright flowers and a happy disposition, I would have never started reshaping it. Through my efforts I have brought sun, wind and rain to many plants that have long been over shadowed by the massive tree. Even though the garden is still a work in progress I feel that it now has that happy disposition, even with all the weeds!

New English Dictionary (2001), Harper-Collins, Glasglow.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Affordances Part 2

In this entry I will look at two more of the affordance’s that are prominent in my activity; they are ethics and communications.
Hagedorn (2000) states that ‘touch is one of the first means of communications which humans experience, and it remains deeply significant throughout life’. This is so true, as I stated in my first entry I started garden when at the age of 12 and this form of communication with the land has stayed with me all this time and I should image until my last days on this earth. Gardening is a very tactile way to communicate, one that gets over looked I think, on reflection I realise that I do this type of communication when I do my occupation with mindfulness. Communication is with the friends that I scrounge plants from to the people at the garden centres where I get the fertiliser and dear I say the garden itself as I work in and around it. Communication can be limited when working alone – hence way I talk to the plants!
The ethics in this setting is looking very sampling at the good and the bad, the burden and joys. The burden of gardening has to be working outside in the cold keeping the section tidy, the cost of equipment, plants and the on-going cost of mulch, fertiliser etc, and the outlay of physical effort.
The joy is seeing healthy plants and lovely flowers, not too much scent in my garden due to hay fever, the sense on completion, having created something wonderful for me to look at with a sense of pride and having people comment on how the garden is coming on.

Interesting how gardening is both a burden and joy, for if I don’t work on it in regular bouts it then becomes a massive job, either way I enjoy working in the garden.


Affordances have many components communications, aesthetics, spiritually, connections, morality and health. Christiansen & Baum (1997) stated that affordance is ‘anything which the environment can offer the individual which is relevant to the role challenge and can facilitate role competence’. It is the person’s perception of the environment, along with their effectiveness to produce competence’. As cited in Hagedorn (2000). I will look at spiritually and connections;

Working in the garden gives me a sense of spirit and gives me mind organising time and the fact that my garden gets tidied gives me feedback and reinforces my feelings of well-being. So in a way I conditioned myself by the way I engage in my garden and it affects my human condition, my health and well-being. 

While I’m working in my garden with mindfulness, I gain a sense of connective-ness; connective-ness with mother earth and through this I connection I end up connecting with Grandmother of whom I have never met, she had died many years before I was born. Some year’s back I was planting a lavender garden in the house I then lived owned, my mother was visiting and I was showing her what I was up to with the garden (connecting with her) and that brought back memories for my mother who then informed me that my Grandmother had loved lavenders as well.  So now where ever I live I aim to have lavender in my garden, either as a single bush or a whole garden, to connect spiritually, with the history of the maternal side of my family, my mother, grandmother.

I feel that spiritually is 'in' connective-ness and mindfull-ness; below in a poem that reminds me to be mindfull when in the garden

My garden of Prayer
My garden beautifies my yard
And adds fragrance to the air...
But it is also my cathedral
And my quiet place of prayer...
So little do we realise
That the glory and the power
Of He who made the Universe
Lies hidden in a flower

Helen Steiner Rice

Christiansen, C. & Baum, C. (eds)(1997). Occupational Therapy enabling function and wellbeing. 2nd ed. Slack: New Jersey.
Hagedorn, R. (2000). Tools of practise in Occupational Therapy. A structured approach to core skills and processes. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.  
Steiner Rice, H. (1986) Prayerfully, poems of devotion. London: Hutchinson & Co Ltd.