I’m currently feeling drawn to Green lushness in all it’s forms.
(I confess it all started whilst watching an episode of The Hairy Bikers and wanting them to move out of the way so I could admire the colour of their kitchen – but more of that later…)
Yesterday, I met my lovely artist friend in the park and felt so uplifted and happy just walking through the beautiful gardens in the sunshine. A rare experience in these parts…
My friend then told me about Japanese Forest Therapy – Shinrin Yoku Forest Medicine, whereby spending an average of 20 minutes a day in natural green spaces is akin to therapy.
“Go to a Forest. Walk slowly. Breathe. Open all your senses.
This is the healing way of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy,
the medicine of simply being in the forest.”
As a keen gardener, I’d buy that concept.
On their website, it states that the scientifically-proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku include:
- Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body’s Natural Killer (NK) cells.
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced stress
- Improved mood
- Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
- Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
- Increased energy level
- Improved sleep
Just as impressive are the results that we are experiencing as we make this part of our regular practice:
- Deeper and clearer intuition
- Increased flow of energy
- Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
- Increased flow of eros/life force
- Deepening of friendships
- Overall increase in sense of happiness
(I remember once hearing about Forest Schools – which I think originated in Scandinavia and is along similar lines.)
At this time of year my green space is a source of great joy. I’m still getting to grips with garden design, I’m more of a “buy/plant what I like, try and position it next to a clashing colour, then shove it in the ground and wait for the magic to happen”. I get a fair few compliments on my garden, so my method must be partially successful.
“position it next to a clashing colour, shove it in the ground and wait for the magic to happen”
This last week has been the Chelsea Flower Show, which I was lucky enough to attend for the first time last year, I absolutely loved it. Determined not to impulse buy any plants – of course we visited on the final day, when they sell off all the gardens. After much quaffing of champagne and jugs of Pimms, my resistance was low.
Needless to say I was whacking people all the way to the tube with armfuls of huge “bargain” plants – and a new garden fork that I “needed”(?!).
My favourite garden was created by a Japanese designer Mr Kazuyuki Ishihara who is possibly the most excitable man on the planet – love him!
Please note the way I’ve artfully placed the arse of an Englishman to highlight the East meets West angle…
Last year he designed the The Garage Garden (above), which was my favourite of the Artisan Gardens.
This years entry, Gosho No Niwa (pictured below) was also highly covetable.
I love the bubbly wall of moss on the left, as well as the changing colours of the delicate Acers.
I’ve got one of those in my garden, so I’m halfway there right?
He’s used the same aged metal – possibly copper? to get the distinctive turquoise or verdigris in both gardens, which is lovely.
Back to the Hairy Bikers and the start of the Green theme.
I’m looking to update my kitchen and aiming for a near Zero budget, so painting the units is the plan and THIS is exactly what I fancy. The green changes from Dark Olive to an almost bluey-green Pine in different lights – but you get the gist.
I like it that there’s not a lot of yellow in the hue – it’s cooler and more sophisticated.
First port of call was the Little Greene Paint company to identify the colour I was after. I’ve used their paints before, they are so luscious and thick and give great Matt coverage in a fab range of shades. Invisible Green is my colour of choice, which looks almost black on the screen, it’s so saturated.
Left is Little Green Paint Co. The central shot is the LADBROKE kitchen by NAKED KITCHENS, the right hand shot is courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com via Pinterest and has the same bones as my own kitchen – well that section at least.
The use of brass/copper elements is kind of de rigeur, to bring warmth and balance to the palette. But I have always hankered after a white marble worktop and that works here too! Hurrah!
(When I start my virtual massive spending sprees, my husband’s usual retort is “Why don’t we get a helipad for the back garden while we’re at it?“) Grrrr. Cue full on Scarlet O’Hara mode – I WILL find a way to get that green kitchen, so help me God! (or is that Miss Piggy?…)
Please also note the hot pink in the first shot – more of this later.
I would funk it up with a bit of Industrial Chic lighting from my fav, Yorkshire’s Finest – Urban Cottage Industries. We’ve bought from them before and they have a fantastic selection of lampshades, lights, bulbs and electric cable, with unique and stylish packaging to boot.
Highly recommended is their box of coloured cable samples, which is surely the most fun you can have for 2 quid!
In Fashion terms, Khaki is generally the only green I sport, but currently there are some other hues that could tempt me – my style is the old cliché “classic with a twist” – with emphasis on the twist.
I like bold shapes in solid colours, then add a pop with either a bold necklace or a brighter pair of trainers. I always like some element to be a bit left of centre – a bit “off”.
Keeping with the Green theme, these ALEXANDER WANG – ADIDAS ORIGINALS colab sneaks, I would wear.
Possibly as the only green element – I wear A LOT of black, so there would pop nicely off my daily darkside uniform.
I also like these Green cropped ZARA trousers which I personally would never wear with those silver sandals. I’d tone down with trainers or flats.
Stan Smiths are the obvious choice, but as they’ve been highjacked in recent years, then disregarded by the Fashionistas, the rebel in me would wear something like this…or these to stick with the green theme and go for these customisable Nike Flyknits.
OR be totally brave and rock it up with THESE babies!
And maybe an architectural top (watch out for a future post on architecture and fashion) or longline top AKA; a mini dress which is too short for the over 40’s to wear with dignity (well, this one at least), so is repurposed as a longline top!
Let’s stick with Zara for this (ignoring the sandals), because for £25.99 you cannot go wrong.
I’ve been wearing dresses over jeans for years and often get this comment:
“Oh I like your top!”
(me) “Thanks, er..it’s a dress…”
Cue confused look on 20 something’s face – no matter, a compliment is a compliment so I’ll graciously accept.
So that’s it, my wander through the Forest of My Loves that is fashion, interiors and gardens – Green Therapy.
I hope you feel a sense of calm and wellbeing. Namaste