The Walking Studio Gardens

February 27, 2021

The Botanic Gardens (Dublin) is home to 17 000 plants from around the world including 300 endangered species. In size it is 50 acres featuring a pond, river, vegetable garden, wild plants, and flower displays. It is an ideal place to indulge in forest bathing within pine and cedar trees with scents that are invigorating. Forest bathing is dwelling in an atmosphere of trees that re-charges with a vigour of replenishment. The experience nurtures as an antidote to the strains and tensions in life and concentrations on urgency and preoccupations.

Forest bathing or shinrin-yoku is a wellbeing practice based in Japan that encourages time with trees for restoration of both mind and body. It is the rejuvenating elements of pine, cedar and eucalyptus that brings solace and optimism. In a botanic garden international species of trees form community and develop a companionship with the locals. The aroma of each tree’s essential oils is not only uplifting, but an immersive encounter with an environment that surrounds as a balm and a stimulus.

“Shinrin-yoku was developed in the 1980s in Japan. Although people had been taking walks in the country’s forests for centuries, new studies showed that such activity could reduce blood pressure, lower cortisol levels and improve concentration and memory. A chemical released by trees and plants, called phytoncides, was found to boost the immune system. As more research highlighted the benefits of shinrin-yoku, the Japanese government incorporated it into the country’s health programme” Harriet Sherwood (2019) Getting Back to Nature: How Forest Bathing Can Make Us Feel Better, The Guardian.

Being with silence and the desire to wander, without expectations, can in itself be a remedy and a elixir that fuels other pursuits with a heightened sense of purpose and a lack of restrictions upon one’s accessibility to encounters.

Eucalyptus Bark
Pine and Cedar Grove for Forest Bathing
A map of the Botanic Gardens, Dublin

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