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Mindfulness Garden Games
by Joann Calabrese
author of Growing Mindful
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Herbs as Mindfulness Prompts

Happy New Moon – February 9, 2024
Plants as Mindfulness Prompts
Rosemary for Remembrance
Rosemary for Remembrance

In truth, any plant could be a mindfulness prompt if you define it that way – a reminder to stop, breathe, and be present. But fragrant plants are some of the best as they will grab your attention when you brush against them. They seem to say, hey – stop a moment – take in this wonderful smell – and consider this moment. 

In addition to the reminder to be present, plants have different energies that can guide our focus in specific ways. These energies, or correspondences, can help us extend our mindfulness moments to include gratitude for the many aspects of our lives.

You can increase your opportunities to accidently brush by them, by planting along walkways  Obviously, there are many to choose from. Here are some of my favorites – they are easy to grow and carry the energies of healing, remembrance, love, and joy.

lemon balm mindfulness prompts
Luna nesstled in the lemon balm
Lemon Balm 

One of lemon balm’s energetic correspondences is healing. And that includes healing on every level – body, mind, and spirit. As you breathe in the spirit of lemon balm you can allow yourself to hold healing energy anywhere it is needed – for friends, family, community and the planet. And you can also hold gratitude for any healing that has already occurred.

Lemon balm is ridiculously easy to grow. At least that has been my experience in my Zone 5 gardens in Colorado and Pennsylvania. It is a perennial herb and  will spread quite easily through runners. You may want to sequester it by planting in its own bed or a large pot. It will reward you with lush foliage that can be harvested multiple times throughout the summer. And brewing lemon balm tea is a beautiful way to bring the healing energy indoors to enjoy.


This plant’s correspondence is around remembrance. And there are many aspects of remembrance we can choose to focus on. Simply holding gratitude for friends and allies who have supported us throughout our lives can be a starting point. Each time we encounter rosemary we might pause and name a different person and hold them in our awareness. We can also hold gratitude for all of the ancestors that led to us being here and alive on the planet. Without their resilience, we would not exist.

Rosemary is a perennial herb that grows easily in Zone 5, however does not always make it through the winter here in Denver. It can however be grown in pots and brought indoors, which means you can have the energy of remembrance and a culinary herb all rolled into one throughout the winter.


This is one of the most popular herbs with a calming, easily recognizable fragrance popular in soaps and cosmetics. One of lavender’s many correspondences is love, but not just romantic love. The energy of this plant includes friendship and community. When we encounter lavender, we can pause to hold gratitude for all of the many connections in our lives. This may include our animal companions as well as humans. It can be easy in our busy lives to take those connections for granted (until they are gone). Lavender can remind us to pause and hold gratitude for our interconnected circles of family and friends that provide love and encouragement.

Lavender is a perrenial herb that will overwinter in Zone 5. Some varieties do better than others. English lavenders, like Hidcote and Munstead, are recommended for both fragrance and hardiness. And like rosemary, lavender can be grown in a pot and moved indoors for the winter. 

Bee Balm

Joy is one of the energetic properties of bee balm. This plant will make you smile with its whimsical flowers  and citrusy fragrance. Bee balm will also attract butterflies and hummingbirds, increasing the total joy factor in your garden. 

Joy sometimes feels in short supply on the planet, but that may be a result of a 24 hour news feed that focuses on the worst behavior of humans. And while it is important to be an informed citizen, we can choose to consciously cultivate joy. Bee balm reminds us to stop and intentionally consider the things that bring us joy, and how to include more of them in our lives. 

Bee balm is a perennial herb that can be grown from seed, but is also easily started from cuttings. It will spread, but not as fast as lemon balm. Still you may want to consider where you plant it so that it doesn’t take over other plants.

Where to Find Seeds, Plants, and More Information  

Most local nurseries will carry the popular varieties of each of these plants, but for a wider selection you can check out the resources below. They include good descriptions of different cultivars as well as growing information.

Richter’s Seeds ,the first place I ever bought herb seeds, back when it was hard to get them at a local nursery, a Canadian company with a long history and great selection of both seeds and plants

Strictly Medicinal , organic plants and seeds with a focus on medicinal varities of herbs

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds , with a focus on heirloom and little known varities of seeds and a good selection of herbs

About this Blog Post & and Global Healing Circles
Luna in the grapevines

This post is part of my lunar blog series.  For the time being I’ll be posting on each new moon (not the new and full moon as I did the last few years because of some other writing projects). Blogs will post each new moon will be related to plants and ideas featured in my book,  Growing Mindful.  or on other topics related to mindfulness, gardens, and intentional living. For more details and a list of past lunar blog posts, click here. 

An invitation to healing circles: One of my new projects this year is partnering with other graduates of the IIQTC (Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi) to offer virtual HeART of Body Compassionate Self Care Practice Circles based on qigong and tai chi. Check out the information here: Global Healing Circles or contact me if you need more information.

Cards available on Etsy   Link to my Etsy Store

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