The Plant Man: Use the outdoors to stay in shape between storms, while connecting with your garden

By Steve Kawaratani

“Gardening is an exercise in optimism.” –Unknown

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Photos courtesy of Steve Kawaratani

Steve Kawaratani

In the midst of this winter’s storm tracks, there is an opportunity to take advantage of the wet and tempestuous power of the Pineapple Express. If you can’t escape to sunnier environs, why not make use of the outdoors to stay in shape between storms, while being connected with your garden and occasionally singing in the rain.

Your garden offers the perfect setting for stretching, exercising and developing calmer introspection. Select a favored area, spread out your mat and feel the relaxing environment you have created; breathe deeply and rejuvenate your body and spirit. The pitter patter of receding moisture falling gently on leaves after raining creates a soothing mood – relaxing in your garden is the best remedy for the occasional winter blahs.

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Dodging the winter storms in my Loreto garden

Take the opportunity to combine your joy of gardening with your fitness routine. Gardening can be an effective workout, as it engages various muscle groups and enhances your overall well-being. The beauty and fresh air of your garden will increase your enthusiasm to workout, for sure.

Mid-February is a great time to prepare for spring. Prune deciduous, flowering shrubs to encourage healthy growth and improve their overall appearance, and deadhead spent flowers to encourage another round of blossoms. It’s also an excellent time to cut back perennial grasses and clean up flowerbeds to enjoy a neat and tidy garden.

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Handle with care, as each bag of planting mix weighs 40 pounds

As you tend to your plants, by pottering, raking and weeding, you’ll find that gardening may increase your heart rate and improve your flexibility. Lifting bags of planting mix to mulch garden beds will strengthen your arms, legs and back, however, please do so carefully to avoid straining muscles.

Consider walking the streets and trails in and around Laguna Beach during breaks in the rain. Put on your walking shoes and meander through your neighborhood, Heisler or Moulton Meadows parks. Follow the winding paths and enjoy the lush greenery and spectacular ocean and canyon views. Walking in between storms is a great way to stay active and immerse yourself in the beauty of Laguna’s natural surroundings.

The intermittent rain showers should be embraced as essential to invigorate your senses and help forestall the specter of the next drought. So, grab your goatskin gloves and get gardening. Transforming your garden into a personal wellness venue will promote a healthy lifestyle and help create beautiful blooms and memories. See you next time.

Steve Kawaratani has been a local guy for seven decades and likes to garden and drive the Baja Peninsula with Catharine and Loki. He can be reached at plantman2@mac.com or 949.494.5141.



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