The many faceted aspects of gardens
Gardens are practical, places of beauty, peaceful, have a pleasing aesthetic and are popular with people. Gardens across the Macarthur region certainly fulfil these elements.
Author Robert Harrison maintains that
The gardens that have graced this mortal Eden of ours are the best evidence of humanity’s reason for being on Earth. History without gardens would be a wasteland.
Humans have long turned to gardens—both real and imaginary—for sanctuary from the frenzy and tumult that surrounds them.
Harrison maintains that people wander through many types of gardens:
Real, mythical, historical, literary.
Many say that gardens and connectedness to nature contribute to wellness
Wellness and wellbeing
Wellness is an area of growing public interest and is one the most popular sections of bookshops. A simple Google search of wellness reveals over 700 million search results.
The Wellness Institute says that wellness is:
a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential.
Why is wellness important?
The University of California Davis Student Health and Counselling Services states that wellness is important because:
it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.
The UCD states that there are eight areas to wellness: emotional; environmental; financial; intellectual; occupational; physical; social; spiritual.
Gardening and horticultural therapy or ecotherapy contributes to wellness through physical, psychological and social wellbeing.
Studies have shown that being connected to nature is linked to well-being. Gardening is a connection with nature. Some see it as a form of biophilia.
The term biophilia was introduced by Edward O Wilson in his 1984 book Biophilia where he defined it as ‘”the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”.
These ideas are not new and in ancient Greek mythology Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life and the personification of the Earth: the primal Mother Earth goddess.
Gardening has many of these elements and a direct connection to the earth.
A selection of gardens in the Macarthur region
One active gardener maintains that this garden provides
therapy time, social interaction with other like-minded people and the satisfaction of growing your own produce. It is very peaceful down there and there is something about digging in the earth. It is fulfilling and a sense of joy seeing something grow from seed. There’s nothing like being able to pick and eat your own produce. The wide variety of colours of the flowers and vegetables in the garden builds mindfulness.
This is a park with varied places to wander through and enjoy, roses in abundance, opportunities for parties, weddings or friends, and 2 palm trees at one of the gates planted by Elizabeth Macarthur to add to the history!! Very pleasurable. (Val S, Camden)
A two minute stroll from the gorgeous township of Camden and you’ll find this little hidden gem. Beautifully maintained gardens in a tranquil setting make this spot just perfect for a short retreat from the rest of the world. no bustle, no shops no noise (except the occasional church bells), just peace and tranquility. (PThommo101, Camden)
I just loved the park with its wonderful rose garden and beautiful arbor. I was there to do a photo shoot and this park never fails to impress with its beautiful shadows and views (CamdenNSW)
A beautiful, restful place to take a Sunday stroll. Any time of the year there is always something on offer, but spring time is especially lovely. (Sue H, Sydney)
It was wonderful to spend time here at the beginning of spring, (Matt H, Penang, Malaysia)
What a beautiful place for a picnic….the grounds are extensive and have an impressive display of Australian native plants….wattles, grevillea ,bottlebrush and eucalypts, to name but a few. (Lynpatch29, Sydney)
I was very impressed it is beautiful (Camden NSW)
A tranquil space for a walk among native plants. Your head is back in a good space. (Susie994, Canberra)
Maybe it is the walking around the picturesque landscape provided by the WSU grounds staff and gardeners. Maybe it is the landscape gardening and native vegetation set off by the water features. Maybe it is the quiet and solitude in the middle of a busy Campbelltown.
Whatever it is in the sculpture garden, whether provided by the permanent WSU sculpture collection or the exhibition works, the site has a positive serenity that is hard to escape. It certainly attracts the staff and students.
The Japanese Gardens are a special gift from Koshigaya, Campbelltown’s Sister City in Japan, and are located in the grounds of the Campbelltown Arts Centre.
The Campbelltown Japanese Gardens celebrate the sister city relationship between Campbelltown and Koshigaya. The gardens were presented to Campbelltown by the citizens of Koshigaya on 10 April, 1988.
The Gardens symbolise the beliefs and religion of both Shinto, the indigenous religion of Japan, and Zen Buddhism.
The Campbelltown Japanese Gardens feature a traditional waterfall, koi pond, timber bridge, stonework pathways, lush plantings and a 16th Century designed teahouse, hand crafted by Japanese craftsmen.
The aim of the garden is to obtain quiet solitude. The design represents elegant simplicity, lending itself to contemplation and heightened awareness. (Campbelltown Arts Centre)
The gardens are beautiful. (TamJel, North Sydney)
Well presented, peaceful park just what the doctor ordered.. (Gasmi, Sydney)
Purely by chance, I saw a signpost for the Picton Botanical Gardens. I drove down Regreme Road and discovered a beautiful, peaceful space adjacent to the oval. (Jennifer C, Belconnen, ACT)