Mindful Monday – Healthy Living: Gardening Your Way to Healthy

Welcome to Mindful Monday – Healthy Living! Each week I try to examine new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming healthier. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I attempt to live in the present. Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

…to all of you who have left comments and cheered me on and are interested in accompanying me on this journey to healthy living! Together, we can offer support and ideas to make this road to “healthy,” a fun journey!

My hope is that you will all visit the posts of everyone who participated last week. You can find their blog links and comments on last week’s post HERE. Stop by and say hello! You just might make someone’s day!

Each week I want to share one of your links or comments that motivated me:


Helen, from her blog “This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time.” Helen wrote about being mindful when she was sick. I loved this quote:

“Being mindful when I’m sick is about letting myself be without attaching to all the thoughts that bring me down.

I should be helping around the house.
What about my kids?
I need to make breakfast…”

Please click the link above to visit her blog and read her thoughts. Helen shares that sometimes we just have to let go!

I am making great progress on my novel writing. It seems that with everything else I do around the house I have been able to write a chapter a week. I am fine with that. There will be plenty of time to edit when I have finished my creativity phase. Chapter 15 this week!

It was a cold week. We had quite the blizzard move through. In between the storms, I wrote as much as I could since I could not get outside and walk. I am having some issues with my right eye so will have to get that checked out this week. That could limit my reading and writing. Wow! I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t see! Perish the thought!

Let’s move on to some fun things I have been thinking about. Like Spring! And garden planning! You know all those vegetables we talk about eating all the time? What if you could grow your own?

Our back garden is a blank slate. It is rectangular shaped with a fence surrounding our lot. There is a rock pathway that encircles the entire perimeter of the fence. The grass is inside the perimeter.

The photo above gives you a general idea of the back garden. Of course, Spice had to get in the picture. Since the recent snowfall, we are all white back there!

The first thing to do when you are planning a new garden area is to do a drawing. I am not much of an artist so I sketched out a general plan.

My idea is to have 3 planting areas with above ground planters made from bricks or stacking stones that would sit in the rocked-in areas. This would give me plenty of space to plant vegetables. I would like to plant some tall cypress trees in the back corner areas to give us a bit more privacy. I don’t know if I would plant a tree in the middle of the yard or not. Since this is a work in progress it will be fun to see if my plan is affordable or even doable.

Colorado Springs is in planting zone 5a or 5b since we are northeast of the springs. Here is how you can find your planting zone: American Horticultural Society Gardening Maps.

The best thing about gardening is that it helps you stay in shape, it helps you eat better, and it is good for your emotional well-being. Gardening is a great family activity. Gardening Gone Wild, shares an article: “13 Reasons Why Gardening is Good for Your Health.”

I have always had some kind of a garden. There is something so basic and fulfilling when you plant seeds or seedlings and watch them grow. The added bonus is that you get a harvest of fresh vegetables that are free from pesticides!

This gardening cheat sheet from HuffPost Taste is a great way to begin planning out a garden. If you are low on space or don’t want to actually dig out a garden space (like me) using pots is a great way to start. BrownThumbMama
has a great article about container gardening for vegetables.

I had a hard time growing vegetables in Florida. The heat, humidity, and sea breezes where we lived really made it difficult. Then, there were the bugs. WOW! It was a losing proposition. I refused to use pesticides so I was left with vegetables that did not mature and were eaten alive by the bugs.

In my current location bugs will not be as great an issue. The best garden I ever had was in Great Falls, Montana which was in gardening zone 1! Few bugs, low humidity, and a short but warm growing season really did the trick. I expect the same thing here in Colorado. It will be interesting to note if the elevation plays a part in the growing process or not.

Image Credit: Remodelaholic.com

While browsing Pinterest I came across this fabulous idea for container gardening – livestock troughs! These are made of galvanized steel and sell for around $80 for a 4-foot long version. I am going to investigate this idea further because this might be the low-cost raised bed option that will work perfectly for me! How exciting! We will be checking out the Farm and Ranch stores in the area.

gardening-and-its-health-mental-and-financial-benefits_510a1f04dea57_w1500 (1)


I am excited to get some seeds growing. With all the benefits of gardening, I can’t think of a single reason not to play in the dirt. I guess you could say I have spring fever!

I know that I must have one thing in my garden. A place for the meadow fairies to live. Maybe something like this:

pots and fairy gardens

Image credit: TheMetaPicture.com

I feel fine and am progressing well with my healthy journey. I have kept the “evil pig” at bay for three weeks now and I am seeing great progress! Read here
to learn how you can control your inner pig! This is a free book that has really helped me on my way to healthy!

out back

Have a wonderful week! If you would like to join me in your own healthy living journey, please do. Use whatever program works for you. You do not even have to follow a program if you don’t want to. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can become healthier and fit. This includes going gluten-free, fat-free, lactose-free, starting an exercise program, or even a new way of eating such as becoming a vegetarian. If it has to do with becoming healthy, write about it!


How about you? What are your healthy living goals for the week?

Remember, this is not a challenge.  Each of us has different goals that we wish to attain. This is an offering of support and a place where my online community can come to participate in attaining a healthy lifestyle.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday – Healthy Living goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary. Each week I will include a link to the previous week’s post where readers can find your links and comments from the previous week. My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of my journey to healthy living.

Thanks for being part of my fabulous journey to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to share your journey. ❤ No matter what your goals are in becoming more healthy, together we can do it!


  1. I love eating vegetables from the garden as well, Colleen. There is something so satisfying about having watched them grow from seed. We have a small garden but have in the past, grown tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes and peppers.
    Reading your post has got me more motivated to make sure that we get out in the garden this year and make the effort as it is so worth it!
    Really pleased that you are on a roll with your writing. I hope that your eye is soon better though.
    Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Judy! I have rosacea that I think has spread to my eyelids. They swell up and get red. Baby shampoo and gentle scrubbing does the trick. The way the wind blew last week it is hard to keep the dust out. I am so excited about my garden this year. We all have to trade notes and see how we are doing. Have a great week. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very thorough! Some people where I live (Santa Cruz) have turned their front lawns into gardens. They require less water than a lawn, very important in drought stricken California, and they produce food. Unfortunately for me I live in an apartment, but if I had a place with a yard I would definitely be growing my own…food that is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the xeriscape gardening, Robert. We are rather arid here in the mountains of Colorado so we were happy to see that we had small lawns in the front and back. Most of our yard is rock which I love. The more plants that I can plant that are native to the area, the better I like. I do enjoy the vegetable gardening. We will see how I do. Vera Cruz is quite dry and hot, no?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Santa Cruz is in what’s called a Mediterranean climate (rainy in winter, dry in summer), but we’ve had four years of drought. The recent El Nino rains helped, but we need more. Planting natives are the way to go, we have problems with exotics here (eucalyptus, acacia, pampas grass, etc.).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the great post packed with information, Colleen. I love the idea of gardening but I must admit to being pretty bad at it and having no space. To make matters worse I haven’t stopped in a place for long for the last couple of years, but I’ll save all this information and hope to put it to good use in the future. I hope your eyes are OK and your writing keeps advancing. Have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Olga. I will be experimenting with small scale gardening so I hope to have some fun with it. I have rosacea and sometimes it bothers my eyelids. They swell up and itch almost like an allergy. They are getting better so I must keep them clean. With all the wind we had last week it gets quite dusty. Have a wonderful week. I can’t wait to share my fairy story with you! ❤


    1. Hi, Marje. I plan on doing it rather small scale. I had many plants in Florida but here in Colorado I want to keep it smaller scale. It will be fun to share my garden and how it turns out. ❤ Make sure to keep me posted on what you plant.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loving your timely post, Colleen. We just visited the “gardener’s paradise” (actual realtor listing) that is my daughter’s new home in NY. She has never had her hands in dirt (former urban dweller), and is so excited about the prospect. I’m hoping she channels some of her grandparents’ farming skills. ☺

    By far, the most productive garden I ever had was in Utah. Dry climate, major sunshine, lots of watering ! But great results. You have a wonderful plan…and no doubt, that yard of yours will be blooming soon ! Have fun with it all. 🍇 🍓 🍈 🍒 🍑 🍅 🍆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are about 8 hours from Salt Lake so I think our garden will do well also. I did so well gardening in Montana I would be embarrassed it I could grow anything here where it is warmer! LOL. Your daughter will love it. I always say the same for me. I am channeling my farmer blood. There is just something about the smell of wet dirt in spring. It fills my soul! I will have to share with everyone how it goes! I am so excited. ❤ Have a fabulous week.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We live in an upstairs apartment, with a balcony. My husband loves his plants. We have vines and flowers; even a small tree. Last summer, we grew peppers. It is fun and very fulfilling to grow your own veggies, etc. Thank you for my Monday morning inspirational fix.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I love the idea of having a garden balcony. I bet it is just beautiful. I was excited when we purchased our house last fall because the back garden and the front were so plain. It will be fun to make our space beautiful with plants. I can’t wait to hear about what you grow this year. What fun! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Let’s see, I have salt, a fork, a napkin and a van… Let me know when things are ready to harvest and I’ll swing by. I mean, I;ll be there to help 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wouldn’t that be a blast? I had so many cukecumbers (which I grew on a tomato cages in Florida) I canned sweet pickles one year. The next year the bugs were so bad I couldn’t grow anything. Here in Colorado it will be wonderful. My back garden faces west so it will be lots of great heat and sunshine. Did you know that we get more sunshine here then we did in Pensacola, FL? Simply amazing. I will let you know when to show up! ❤ 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s pretty amazing that you would get more sunshine there… But you are closer to California. (rolls her eyes and shakes her blonde head in agreement)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. LOL! Pensacola was so close to the Gulf of Mexico that we got lots of fog and storms. I do like this dryer climate. The sun is marvelous. Last week we had a blizzard. Today, the snow is just about melted and I walked the dogs. It is in the 50’s. That works for me. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  7. A very inspiring post, Colleen. I have a garden but I grow mainly flowers rather than vegetables – mainly because I don’t have enough time and I have a husband who hates gardening so I don’t get much help. I like the idea of having a blank canvas and to be able to design a garden from scratch. Mine is a hodge podge of things I tend to stick plants in the wrong place – but I love it when I can be outside in it and when we get the occasional sunny day in Scotland and it is bright and colourful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary, your garden sounds lovely. I decided I would not do more in pots because I do like the water conservation of living in a rather harsh climate. In the summer it will be hot and sunny the perfect combination for veggies. The winters are cold and snowy. I will have to figure out some bushes for the front. The contractor did plant an oak tree in the front. It had gorgeous red leaves last fall so that will be nice. You must share some of your photos of your garden when you get it going. I am excited to see. Have a fabulous week! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will, Colleen. There was actually some warmth in the sun today whihc gives me hope I’ll be able to spend more time in the garden soon.
        I think I could cope with cold snowy winters if the summers were hot and sunny.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can only imagine how chilly it is in summer in Scotland. I bet it is glorious though. When I lived in East Anglia many years ago, I remember how cool the summers were. I liked it though. I don’t do well in the heat. I am miserable. Maybe this year you will have more sunny summer days! 😀 ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Colleen, what a great post and congratulations to keeping your inner pig in check :-). Great work my dear :-). I am looking forward to seeing your garden emerging from the plans. We move too late to start lots of vegetables or potatoes this year in our new garden. But I am sure we will have some tomato plants. For next year, there is a proper veggie patch and potato patch in planning as we move in a former council house and those usually have huge gardens. The best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world used to have a nursery and knows a lot about organic gardening. If you need any advice let me know and I ask him. I’m thinking about rest and activity cycles in my mindful post today and have a video about “Mindfulness for Dummies” (http://aspiritofhealing.com/?p=358). Have a great week and thanks for Mindful Monday. It’s always a pleasure to read so many brilliant and motivating posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I love that you and your husband like to garden also. I will keep that in mind. I am excited to see what grows in the elevation here. We are over 6000 feet up so the oxygen levels are thinner. Lots of hot sun. The only worries will be the winds sweeping off the Rockies. It has a tendency to dry everything out. Have a fabulous week and I am off to read your Mindful Monday. You inspire me, every week! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Am glad I can give you some inspiration. That makes my day. Not feeling too well but I get there. Make sure you have enough compost in your soil. That keeps the moisture in. Andy often covers soil around plants with the grass cuttings. That works like a cover but also as plant food. Need to sleep now if I can that is. Take good care of yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not a gardener by any means, but my Father in law likes to grow certain things at home, like tomatoes, and he did aubergines and courgettes last year too! There is a totally different taste to the homegrown veggies!
    I shall learn more in my new capacity of Nursery teacher this year as we have planted beans, peas and carrots with the kids too!
    Great post as always Colleen !

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve always dreamed of gardening; but alas, it is not one of my talents. I’m always amazed at other people who can do it though. Thanks so much for sharing your passion with us. And thanks for featuring me on your blog. I’m truly honored. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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