With the start of a new year, now is the time to prioritize wellness, connect with the natural world, and invite new hobbies and interests into your life. At Longwood, we create many spaces to explore your passions, practice your creativity, and deepen your wellness through diverse learning opportunities that allow you to dive deeper into your relationship with nature—and wellness.
With opportunities in creative arts to gardening, birdwatching to storytelling, our classes and experiences are designed with fun, engagement, and developing connections in mind. “The classes and workshops we’re offering this coming year are all about creating opportunities for presence and growth,” shares Longwood Director of Continuing Education Timothy Gould. “Whether you’re hoping to surround yourself with the inspirational beauty of the Gardens and nature; spend time with loved ones and a community of like-minded passionate people; expand your knowledge and skills in a familiar practice or new hobby; or flex your creative (or literal) muscles, we’re giving you ways to practice wellness in all of its various forms.”
As one of our many upcoming class experiences, we invite you to explore nature using your senses, with a creative and open mind, and with curiosity at the forefront. With our upcoming Understanding Nature Therapy, join Forest Therapy Guide Elizabeth Mills for a mindful morning with a nature therapy stroll, connecting with nature to promote wellness. This is a perfect opportunity to begin your own mindfulness practice—as, once the therapy stroll concludes, Mills will guide the group in reflection on their experience in order to recognize the benefits of nature immersion.
Mindfully connecting with nature can also involve focusing on not just the flora, but the fauna too! Birdwatching is an excellent way to ground yourself in your surroundings and use your senses to discover even the smallest details in the landscape—from the different sounds of birdcalls to the wide variety of birds you can spot. During our May Migration Morning experience, explore a section of our property actively managed for biological and ecological diversity during the height of spring bird migration, while in search of birds in all their bright breeding colors. Along the way, take in a diversity of plants that attract a wide variety of bird species, and learn how to make your home garden more “bird-friendly.”
Beyond the benefit of being in nature as an outside observer, there is also a lot to discover in taking what you’ve observed and turning it into art. Nature presents a thousand subjects, muses, and moments to capture—through a painting, photograph, creative writing piece, and more. Creating art while immersed in nature allows the artist to understand their relationship to the natural world in a different way, placing themselves amongst their subjects—and we have plenty of opportunities to explore this relationship. Explore our upcoming creative arts courses at Longwood, in which you can try a new art form, start a new hobby, or build your portfolio all inspired by the natural world—and work with a variety of creative experts to help you along the way.
As you continue in your journey of wellness and creative expression, consider bringing nature to your own home and outdoor spaces—by exploring gardening and horticulture in its many forms. Now, during the winter months, is a great time to get inspired for the coming spring—and gear up to garden! Check out our many horticulture & gardening classes—focused on everything from transitioning your garden to spring, to creating the ultimate flower garden, and more—to get inspired and learn some gardening tips from Longwood experts.
You can also come to Longwood to tie together both your love of planting and the creative arts. Come home with a beautiful piece of botanical beauty made-by-you with our Design Tuesday: Hanging Kokedama class at The Garden Shop. We have all the materials you’ll need to create two kokedama and display them proudly in your home—bringing some green to your indoor spaces. Continue bringing the beauty of the outdoors in with our other offering, Design Tuesday: Foliage Terrariums. Using ferns, groundcovers, moss, driftwood, and other materials—all included in the workshop—create your own miniature, lush landscape to display in your home. Design Tuesdays experiences are a perfect way to unwind with your friends and family, gain exclusive access to our beautiful Garden Shop, and enjoy light refreshments while you create.
Continue this new year with a focus on well-rounded wellness. No matter how you choose to enrich yourself into the natural world, we hope you discover something new about yourself and that your interests begin to grow and expand. Nature is our greatest teacher and classroom, and here at Longwood we tap into every way it can help us grow for the better.
Editor’s Note: The Garden Shop offers a variety of holistic skin care, organic and clean ingredients, and products by local artisans who use eco-conscious practices to create their unique goods. You can also get prepared for your new gardening endeavors with our gardening products online —from high quality tools to gardening books to Longwood compost—or visit us in-store to check out available seeds, houseplants, plant food, and more. Admission to the Gardens is not required to visit The Garden Shop.