An ornamental garden filled with plants believed to bring long
life and serenity. Flowering ornamentals and plants with beautiful foliage.
A symbolic ornamental flower and herb garden
representing a healthy lifestyle and emotional stability
Thousands of plant species are cultivated for aesthetic purposes
as well as to provide shade, modify temperatures, reduce wind, abate noise,
There are hundreds of vegetables and fruits known to or believed
to extend your lifespan, or symbolize a very long lifespan. Every culture has a
certain belief and diet is frequently based on those. This garden design is for
an ornamental garden known to assist in longevity or be symbolic of it,
and includes not only flowering herbs and medicinals, but includes ornamental
flowers, edible plants, and fruit trees known or believed to be helpful in
bringing a level of serenity - an emotional health garden. We need both physical
and emotional well-being to live a long and happy life. Surrounding yourself in
a beautiful garden that is valuable to your health and happiness is valuable,
and it looks beautiful, too. All herbs and veggies flower, but not all of them
look pretty in an ornamental garden. Choose the flowering herbs that are a feast
for the eyes, as well as a source of health/healing. The ornamental garden's
herbs are mostly used as only flowering ornamentals. Herbal uses means too much
cutting and losing decorative value, and perhaps also losing herbal taste while
flowering. Choose those herbs you want to use for cuisine and keep a few
separate in a food or herbal garden, leaving the ornamentals to do their
Gardening is a very popular leisure activity, and working with
plants or practicing horticulture therapy is beneficial for rehabilitating
people with disabilities. Grow a beautiful garden, stay healthy in mind and
body. NASA predicts that space stations or space colonies will one day rely on
plants for healing and life support.
**The following are some decorative herbals and ornamentals to
consider for your longevity garden. Do not consider any of this content as
medical advice or ingest anything listed here. These are ideas for a
nice-looking ornamental herbal and flower garden considered by some cultures to
be healing or life-extending.
Trees - Several trees are Biblical and considered Healthy in
your diet or in your environment.
The fig tree - symbolic in religion, and featured in creation
stories of many cultures. For Buddhists, no plant is more important than the fig
tree, beneath which the Buddha attained enlightenment. They
are also ecologically valuable, sustaining more wild birds and mammals than any
other fruit trees. I have several dwarfs as ornamentals and because I'm addicted
to figs. Figs contain small amounts of a wide variety of nutrients, but
they’re particularly rich in copper and vitamin B6. Copper is a vital mineral
that’s involved in several bodily processes, including metabolism and energy
production, as well as the formation of blood cells, connective tissues, and
neurotransmitters. Vitamin B6 is a key vitamin necessary to help your body break
down dietary protein and create new proteins. It also plays an important role in
Bamboo - Chinese symbol of longevity
Amaranth - Symbol of Immortality
Peach blossoms are symbolic of long life.
Peonies are symbols of prosperity.
Peruvian Lilies - Wealth, fortune, prosperity
Phlox - harmony
Plum blossoms- Longevity
Sages - Health and wisdom
Stocks - Lasting beauty, a happy life
Vervain - Protection against evil
Wheat - wealth and prosperity
Thai Basil - exotic variety, with a strong licorice scent,
boasts reddish-purple flower spikes in late summer. As with all basils, the
leaves may start to lose some flavor once blooming begins. Don't pinch off the
flowers as is commonly done, if the flowers are your goal. You can trim
off the flowers when they die, and the plant will eventually produce more tasty
Greek Oregano - low mounding habit, fuzzy leaves. It's a
good-looking ground cover and the leaves are essential in Mediterranean diets.
Clusters of pale, pinkish buds midsummer. Perennial.
Lavender, chamomile, st. john's wort, valerian. Bee balm.... i
love it and it grows all over my backyard garden, in-ground and in pots so that
i can have portable ornamentals. Butterfly and bee magnets, your ornamental
garden would be sad without it. Easy to grow and spreads politely. Leaves are
awesome in teas and salads. Perennial.
Dill - vivid chartreuse-yellow flowers appear on tall stems with
feathery foliage. To ensure a steady supply, sow new seeds each month. I like
the feathery foliage even more than the flowers. It looks great in flower
Spearmint - Very pretty, but very invasive, in- ground just like
every other mint. Grow in pots and raised neds, isolated from the rest of your
landscape. Cones of lilac-pink bells by midsummer. Perennial.
Rosemary - very pretty lavender/purple flowers in summer. There
are annual and perennial types. Mine comes up every year.
Sunflowers - a symbol of longevity
Mine is quite ornamental and it's called Black Lace. There are
about 30 types of elder plants and trees around the world. The European version
(Sambucus nigra) is the one most closely-tied to your health and
healing. Its history dates back as far as 400 BC, and Hippocrates, the “Father
of Medicine,” called the elder tree his “medicine chest.”
A little about the value of gardening in longevity and
Daily exercise and mental problem-solving while in the garden is
valuable as well. Beating the weeds with a hoe or chopping at them with a
cultivator helps me solve problems in my head, and if i'm frustrated, the
weed-bashing lets it out. Gardeners learn about botany, climate change and the
effects of weather and seasons on their gardens and themselves. They learn
names and attributes of their plants quickly. They learn about plants by their
leaves, know which plants attract pollinators (and pests), about diseases and
how to rid their gardens of it or prevent it. Gardeners learn how to propagate
their favorite plants, and which plants they can grow that are not appropriate
for their regions by protecting them, propagating or wintering them inside.
There's a lot going on in gardening for the brain and body to remain agile.
Disabilities can be worked with and around with enabled gardens created just for them, so
that they can happily garden for the rest of their lives. There is also indoor
gardening available, with lots of indoor garden grow lights, stands, and
beds. What seems to be a hobby, becomes a year-round sport and valuable to
health and well-being.
There are scores of studies done that associate gardening
with good physical and emotional health, and a life that is better-lived, more
years spent in good health, and much happier. What good is a long life without
nature, joy, a feeling of accomplishment and personal pride? What good is
voluntarily sitting indoors in front of the TV, computer or phone screen without
a sense of curiosity and desire for physical movement, as well as accomplishing
something that makes your life and the lives around you better? We can learn
from technology and some mindless things, but then we need to put that knowledge
into practice to keep the brain busy and curious. The internet is an awesome
tool for a gardener to learn botany, horticulture, garden and plant history, growing and harvesting. This
info wasn't instantly available when Grandma grew her garden. But learning is
not doing. Get out there with that big brain and use it.
Much of the healthy aspects of the Mediterranean diet can be
grown in the home garden. And much of it is colorful and ornamental, as well.
The Mediterranean climate cultivates a bounty of colorful fruits, veggies,
legumes, and whole grains. An olive tree in the garden is ornamental, as well as
a source of olives.
What are Blue Zones?
A cool FYI... in relation to eating fresh,
healthy foods and lifestyles.
Places where fast food in a diet is unheard of. Much of the longevity diets can
be grown in a home garden.
Blue Zones are where people live the longest, and are
healthiest. The key is living healthy longer. Longevity means little if your
quality of life is compromised or unpleasant due to disease and infirmity.
Home to the world's longest-living men.
A cluster of villages in a
kidney-shaped region on this island make up the first Blue Zone region ever
identified. There is a rare genetic quirk carried by its inhabitants. The M26
marker is linked to exceptional longevity, and due to geographic isolation,
the genes of the residents in this area of Sardinia have remained mostly
undiluted. The result: nearly 10 times more centenarians per capita than the
U.S. Residents of this area are culturally isolated, and they have kept to a
very traditional, healthy lifestyle. Sardinians still hunt, fish and harvest
the food they eat. Their diet is mostly a plant-based
diet, only accented with meat. The classic Sardinian diet consists of
whole-grain bread, beans, garden vegetables, fruits, and in some parts of the
island, mastic oil.
The islands at the southern end
of Japan have historically been known for longevity, once called the land of
immortals. Okinawans have less cancer, heart disease and dementia than
Americans, and women there live longer than any women on earth. Older
Okinawans have eaten a plant-based diet most of their lives. Their meals of
stir-fried vegetables, sweet potatoes, and tofu are high in nutrients and low
Today, Ikarians are almost entirely free of dementia and some of the chronic
diseases that plague Americans; one in three make it to their 90s. A combination
of factors explain it, including geography, culture, diet, lifestyle and
outlook. They enjoy strong red wine, late-night games and a relaxed pace in life
that ignores clocks. Clean air, warm breezes and rugged terrain draw them
outdoors into an active lifestyle. Their diet is basically what's named
"The Mediterranean Diet".
Nicoya, Costa Rica
I briefly visited Costa Rica and always wished i could move there in
retirement, for the natural beauty and the availability of excellent
This Central American nation isn’t that far
from the U.S. geographically, but it is way ahead of us in longevity. The
Caribbean nation is economically secure, and residents have a “plan
de vida,” or reason to live, which propels a positive outlook among
elders and helps keep them active. Nicoyan centenarians frequently visit with
neighbors, and they tend to live with families and children or grandchildren
who provide support, as well as a sense of purpose.
Hard Water - Nicoyan water has the country’s highest calcium content,
perhaps explaining the lower rates of heart disease, as well as stronger bones
and fewer hip fractures.
Nicoyans eat a light dinner early in the evening. For most of their lives,
Nicoyan centenarians ate a traditional Meso-american diet highlighted with the
“three sisters” of agriculture, also
used by ancient Native Americans: squash, corn, and beans. These are
considered "superfoods". I was surprised at the longevity,
considering the 11 percent added sugars in their diet.
Loma Linda, California
A group of Americans living 10 years longer than most
The Seventh-day Adventist church of Southern California was
founded in the 1840s. The church flourished through the 20th century, and so
did its members, who view health as central to their faith. a community of
about 9,000 Adventists. They live as much as a decade longer than the rest of
us, and much of their longevity can be attributed to vegetarianism and regular
exercise. And Adventists don’t smoke or drink alcohol. Adventists who
consume nuts at least five times a week have about half the risk of heart
disease, and live about two years longer than those who don’t. Adventists
cite a biblical diet of grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Aromatherapy has it's own collection of benefits, and there are
lots of pretty plants you can grow in a Fragrance Garden, or as part of a larger
landscape. Herbs are incorporated that will do well and flower beautifully, as
in the Tea Garden. The Zen Garden can contain beautiful herbs and flowering
edibles as part of it's design. The opportunities for aromatherapy and visual
eye candy are endless. Biblical herbs and dwarf ornamental and fruit trees can
be planted as part of your entire landscape, or they can be in a themed garden
area. Herbs and religious symbolic plants have always played their part in the
lifestyles, culinary styles, and beliefs of every culture.
My gardening M.O. is that if it looks good, tastes good, or
smells good, i want to grow it. Focusing on the plants specifically chosen for
my health and emotional stability is a way to be sure I achieve all that, and
possibly live a longer and happier life. It doesn't get much better than that.
Besides...... i'm a very physically active gardener, and I haul, drag, push,
lift and carry a lot of heavy and awkward materials without help. I'm what
society feels obligated to consider a senior, but i am pretty vain about my
upper body strength and muscle, as well as my well-developed legs. Gardening
bonus - a better social life for me.
Beautiful flowering vegetable plants and herbs.
Keep most of
these in your vegetable garden, but scatter a few plants in your Ornamental
- Asparagus: A useful basic green.
Height 2m Spread 50cm Season July-November
- Garlic chives: Pure white flowers and a perfect
Height 50cm Spread 30cm Season July-October
- Lemon verbena: Easily grown in a pot.
Height 1m Spread 50cm Season October
- Cabbage: Any type will work.
Height 1.5m Spread 75cm Season April-November
- Fennel: A bouquet on its own.
Height 1.2m Spread 75cm Season August-November
- Tree spinach: Huge plant, will reseed.
Height 3m Spread 50cm Season August-November
- Chinese broccoli (kai-lan): White edible flowers.
Height 1.25m Spread 20cm Season Spring-autumn from several
- Oysterleaf: Hardy perennial.
Height 25cm Spread 65cm Season April and September
- Carrot: Delightful lace umbels for months.
Height 1m Spread 40cm Season July-November
- Garlic chives: Strong sturdy stems and flowers that will
last for ten days.
Height 50cm Spread 30cm Season July-October
- Orach: Very useful in bouquets.
Height 1.5m Spread 30cm Season September-October
- Chinese broccoli (Kai-lan): Fastest growing broccoli
with white flowers and lots of side shoots.
Height 1.25m Spread 20cm Season Spring-autumn from several sowings
- Red basil: Dark wine colour and a perfect scent.
Height 50cm Spread 50cm Season August-October
- Leek: Very useful, long-lasting flowers.
Height 1.5m Spread 25cm Season August-September
Visit this page for Blue Zones longevity
information - what and how the longest living people eat
Blue Zones Article:
"Princeton researchers have identified the benefit of an activity
largely overlooked by policymakers—home gardening."
Shows Gardening Boosts Mood as Much as Exercise
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