Domestic micronatures in the center of Madrid

“Gardening is my therapy time,” my aunt told me as she busily tidied up her garden. And the truth is that the garden needed those hours of care, as well as my aunt those of therapy.

Gardening has always had that healing and therapeutic power. Plants are living beings that, although it may seem otherwise, do need our attention and pampering, and they reward us in the form of color, growth, fragrances and the most unexpected and surprising blossoming. From there, we can complicate the process as much as we want: seed, cut, classify, collect, pollinate, compost, reproduce, distribute, compose, dry, photograph, instagram

And all that reward generates a meticulous, detailed, perfectionist and even fussy job that captivates and absorbs us for hours, days, seasons… A time in which we connect with other living beings through care and attention and start a dialogue that it allows us to abstract ourselves from the tedium or the everyday browns for a moment. Plants help us decompress and decongest the rhythm and anxieties that we carry by inviting us to a slow-life (slow life) or whatever you want to call it now. because the plants are slow and we must go along with them.

In this conjunction between the plants and our custody, good effects are produced that, precisely at this time, are most necessary. After a pandemic and with new diseases every day, the fear of nuclear war, skyrocketing sunflower oil/diesel or rampant inflation, our heads are more than burned and it shows in the serious mental health problems we are experiencing. perceiving: resignations and resignations at work, depression and suicidal tendencies in young people, exhaustion, overload in the departments of psychology and psychiatry…

This phenomenon of mental exhaustion, burnouthas already been made explicit by thinkers such as Byung-Chul Han (The Tiredness Society) or even in his manifestations of self-exploitation and frustration by Remedios Zafra (The enthusiasm). This ductile and persistent phenomenon has already jumped into the public sphere through political proposals to include mental health as one of the main problems and challenges facing the national health system, currently and in the coming years. The hiring of specific professionals to deal with it and the dedication of specific resources and programs to mitigate the impact of these problems on the population are discussed.

For all this we must look for small subterfuges to stay afloat and enjoy the little things. Of course, this is not a substitute for therapies, care, attention, coverage, rights and needs that each one of us has, but everything we have at hand that can contribute to improving mental health, tranquility, peace and reduction of the daily vital overload is more than welcome.

Plants help us decompress and decongest the rhythm and anxieties that we carry, inviting us to a quiet life

So we turned to plants and nature as a prosaic and unsophisticated but highly efficient source of healing. And for those of us from the city, where nature is confined between fences and schedules and plants occupy spaces where new rooms could be created in our nano homes, we must resort to micronatures. That is: miniature natural compositions that require special attention, but that provide us with great aesthetic beauty with which to improve our domestic spaces.

And for the development of these small ecosystems, inspiration and oriental influence is unavoidable: especially from Japan. That is why we rescue natural traditions and techniques from that country that connect us with a form of spirituality based on the care and composition of elements, natural and inert, that provide harmony, balance and tranquility in the micronatures that inhabit our homes.

Through four different proposals, inspired by oriental techniques connected to meditation and spirituality, we will explore the creation, maintenance and care of microtrees (bonsai), composition based on found objects and natural elements (kusamonos), floral art and composition (ikebana) or immersion in urban nature (forest baths). These are the workshops proposed within the cycle LILIPOT: Domestic Micronatures. All of them allow the reconnection with green spaces that we can develop in our homes.

The cycle, produced by La Casa Encendida and designed by Efímeras and VIC Vivero of Citizen Initiatives, invites us in a free and open way to learn and enjoy creating these micro-natures together with the best guest professionals of each technique. Among them, the person in charge of bonsai at the Royal Botanical Garden, the Niwa or Savia Bruta projects or the creator of the Forest Bathing Institute.

All the proposed training will be practical and with the aim of learning and investigating each of these special techniques, even inviting participants to bring their own creations to show them in public. The cycle begins next Tuesday June 14 and lasts one week.

Lilipot Agenda: Domestic Micronatures

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