Posts tagged ‘Volunteering’

March 30, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Springtime in the South

by heatherkp

I have a lot going on behind the scenes and I’m not quite ready to share as I mentioned in a previous post BUT…I want to share some of what I’ve been doing!  I recently decided to apply to volunteer at Brookgreen Gardens and last Tuesday I was “interviewed” and “oriented” to become a part of that team.  I am so excited, as a Master Gardener in both Maryland and Georgia I’ve been itching to get my hands in the dirt here and begin to learn more about the coastal plants I’m not familiar with.  The Master Gardener program in SC is run through Clemson and I missed the cut off for the first class of the year so while I’m waiting and deciding if I want to continue as a Master Gardener here I opted to jump into the Brookgreen opportunity!  This place is one of my favorite public gardens, anywhere, ever!

Here is the daily display of the flowers in bloom.  This is not a comprehensive display but it represents alot of what’s blooming on any given day.  It’s the sneak peak of goodies to be seen and smelled.

This bottle tree is in the education center garden which includes edible crops such as rice, corn, medicinal herbs, greens and other seasonal crops.  I love the Southern tradition of bottle trees in the garden, they are said to catch evil spirits as they get caught the colorful bottles after being entranced.

Look at all these blooming beauties!  Azaleas, Delphinium, Larkspur, Poppies and many other springtime favorites were in bloom.  With the warm winter and spring we are having, the daffodils were almost done blooming but there were some incredible combinations of flowers not typically in bloom together.  March is typically a “dangerous” month in low country gardens that border marshy areas, snakes and alligators are coming out of hibernation and I was startled by one in an unexpected spot as I was trying to get some shots.  I’ll be learning a lot more about where they like to hang out and I’ll be using extreme caution!  I am typically a pretty fearless gardener but I have a healthy respect for these potentially deadly creatures.  Avoidance will be my main tactic, along with long pants, closed toe shoes and gloves when reaching into hidden areas.

I am thrilled to just be able to go soak in the beauty and contribute to sharing that with all the visitors who come there.  I’m sure you will be hearing and seeing more of my Brookgreen experience over the months to come.  If you ever get to Myrtle Beach or Charleston, it’s worth the little extra drive to visit this garden which also includes a comprehensive sculpture collection and a lot of plantation history.

March 16, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Do Unto Others…

by heatherkp

Volunteer and help others out when and however you can.  Online is great but in person is even better!  In the wake of the tragedies in Japan the timing of this post is fitting.

A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives the rose.~Chinese proverb

I grew up volunteering my time with people who needed assistance in my church (elderly, single working moms etc) and learning the value of giving of yourself to others.  My grandfather is one person I thank dearly for the life lessons he has taught me about giving.  He was a successful Doctor who decided to give up his practice and move to Africa with 5 children (ranging from 4 to 16-or thereabout) to become a missionary Doctor.  This kind of giving is BIG~HUGE and not something that all of us feel we could ever do.  That’s okay though because it’s not the size of the giving that matters!   The values that this experience instilled in all of his children (my mom, aunts and uncles) was truly inspiring, life lasting and has been passed down through generations.  Every one of his children learned more than I can imagine about helping others and seeing what it means to really have nothing and how much a small act of kindness or service can make a difference in someone’s life.

Volunteering and giving of yourself can be expressed in so many different ways.  I think that the most important lesson to be learned about giving is that it should be done from the heart and with the intention to truly bless the person receiving your gift.   I am beginning to understand that we can all be good givers by setting this intention.  Please don’t give of yourself if you are going to resent it or feel begrudgingly toward the receiver.  It also helps if the things you do to help others are things you love to do anyways.  That way it’s a gift to you as well as those on the receiving end.  In fact a perfect example of this is a smile or the smallest kindness which has the power to change your attitude and in turn change someone else.  These small acts have the power to change the world.  If you want to read more about giving (and receiving) click over to Christine Kane’s Blog for a beautiful post.

Giving in other ways is certainly important as well.  If you are inclined to donate money for the Japanese relief fund please click here.  Some people also feel very comfortable giving to Red Cross which is certainly another very reputable charity for disasters like this.

I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received.-Antonio Porchia, writer (1886-1968)

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