Planting the seeds... 'NATURE IS THE GREATEST HEALER'
New Zealand Woman's Weekly|November 22 2021
We may never have green thumbs like garden guru Lynda Hallinan, but she explains why creating a piece of paradise is good for the soul
Wendyl Nissen

Author, broadcaster, part-time farmer, parent and plantoholic Lynda Hallinan has spent half her life digging up ideas for growing food and flowers in Kiwi gardens and writing about them. Her new book The Joy of Gardening celebrates the healing power of nature.

You are a gardening guru loved by many – what is it about you that people relate to?

I over-disclose and tell all my secrets, so I’m never afraid to admit when I get things wrong, which I do a lot. I also don’t really believe in people being experts as gardeners. Sometimes you have a knack with plants and sometimes you don’t, and there ain’t nothing you can do. People are afraid of their gardens and think they are out to defeat them, whereas I have always thought nature sometimes helps you and sometimes hinders you, and that’s just how it is. I also don’t like being a know-it-all expert. I don’t want to lecture anyone on gardening.

What is the best thing about your life at the moment?

The best thing is that it’s spring. Of all the times to be locked down, spring is the best season because you cannot go outside and come back inside not feeling refreshed. My garden is full of new greenery, which is fresh, young and exuberant, so you’d have to be a real curmudgeon not to find some pleasure out there.

In your book The Joy of Gardening, you address some tough life events such as suicide, death and dementia. How does gardening help to heal?

Our gardens remind us that life goes on. When you’re grieving, that can be a really hard lesson and not a lesson you particularly want when talking to friends. When I talked to people for the book about how gardens helped in those periods, there were just as many people who spoke of ruining their gardens in a rage as finding peace in them. When we’re hurting, nature is the ultimate healer because you can cut a tree back and it will regrow and I think we forget that we can do that as people too when we’re hurt, angry, afraid and sad. We can still renew ourselves and find some happiness ahead. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but a much nicer lesson to learn in a garden than in any other setting.

You garden, you write books, you build and renovate homes, and raise a family. When times get stressful, how do you keep yourself centred?

I’ve got a good group of local friends who are gardeners and we talked a lot about this during lockdown. I don’t know how people have gotten through this stress without gardening. I have spent hours and hours outside when I’m really stressed. If I just go outside, I don’t have to think about anything at all for four or five hours. You just think about the task at hand and you can switch off.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM NEW ZEALAND WOMAN'S WEEKLYView All

Kiwi treasure Jess ‘THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING BRAVE'

Why the reality TV star rose to the challenge, opening up about her most devastating experience

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
January 17, 2022

Mary's on the money HOW TO ENRICH YOUR LIFE

Plan more, worry less and treasure your wellbeing, says the finance guru. Now that advice makes cents!

5 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
January 17, 2022

The BIG CHILL

When it’s hot outside, what better way to cool down than with a frosty sweet

5 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
January 17, 2022

Summer lovin' celebs WHERE WE FIND OUR HOLIDAY MAGIC

In New Zealand, we’re lucky to have such beautiful places to spend our down time. Five favourite faces explain what summer means to them and where they’ll be spending their vacations

7 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
January 17, 2022

Karen Carpenter tragedy THE SONGS THAT BROKE HER HEART

Her death at 32 is made all the more tragic by the revelation the singer had only just begun to live

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
January 17, 2022

How to get a GOOD HAIRCUT

Not loving your locks? Here’s how to walk out of your next salon appointment with the hair of your dreams

2 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
January 17, 2022

CAT CRIMINAL Floyd's paw-fectly wicked!

Kathy’s grabby ginger Tom is stealing hearts and bringing their community closer together

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
January 17, 2022

Bomb shell little black book WILL GHISLAINE PLAY HER TRUMP CARD?

The fallen socialite has the option of naming names to get out of jail early

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
January 17, 2022

End of a golden era BYE-BYE, BETTY

Thank you for being a friend... The late great comedy queen always had a funny take on life

4 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
January 17, 2022

A thoroughly modern duchess KATE'S FAB AT 40!

The royally adored mother of three celebrates a decade of duty and a truly special milestone

6 mins read
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
January 17, 2022
RELATED STORIES

BLOOD LETTERS AND BADMEN

In the early ’60s, drag racing became a theater of the fantastic. Funny Cars still held very close to the original form, completely recognizable as the street machines from whence they came.

3 mins read
Hot Rod
March 2022

Surviving Widowhood

GUEST COLUMNIST LESLIE GRAY STREETER

5 mins read
Spirituality & Health
January/February 2022

SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL

Sane or insane in the membrane?

3 mins read
Maximum PC
January 2022

The MVP of NCIS

The quirky ensemble from NCIS is on a hot streak thanks to cast quarterback Mark Harmon

2 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
Gibbs Forever!

THE MAN WHO MADE GIBBS

NCIS's first technical adviser, Richard Warmack, helped Mark Harmon create TV's beloved agent. Here is the exclusive story of how Gibbs took shape.

4 mins read
TV Guide Magazine
Gibbs Forever!

The Freshman

After January 6, Peter Meijer thought he could help lead the GOP away from an abyss. Now he laughs at his own naïveté.

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
January - February 2022

January 6 Was Practice

Donald Trump is better positioned to subvert an election now than he was in 2020.

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
January - February 2022

Imagine the Worst

How to head off the next insurrection

10 mins read
The Atlantic
January - February 2022

I take laughter for granted

MAMATA VENKAT looks back over the last year, which has been full of tragedy, and finds the moments of light and laughter that bring joy and celebration to life.

2 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
December 2021

Valve's hotly anticipated Steam Deck handheld delayed until 2022

Supply chain issues strike again

1 min read
PCWorld
December 2021