Grounding Yourself: Experience Earthly Bliss

Continuing our exploration of the elements, let’s shift our focus to Earth. In this article, we’ll consider how our connection to the ground beneath our feet keeps us young and in good health. Creating a space where the Earth moves for you could not be easier with a Breeze House to nurture your mind, body, and soul. 

Earth calling…

Do you eagerly kick off your shoes and socks at the first sign of warm weather, delighting in the feel of grass underfoot or the soft, powdery sand between your toes? 

This instinctive act is your primal urge to reconnect with the Earth. Research shows that feeling the ground beneath your soles is also good for your soul. 

By simply putting your bare feet directly on the earth, you are ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’ yourself. This practice naturally discharges and prevents chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is strongly linked to all chronic diseases, including those associated with ageing and the ageing process itself. 

Person walking barefoot next to Breeze House gazebo

Although we call Earth our home, most of us rarely touch it anymore. Long ago, when we walked barefoot and slept directly on the ground, our bodies were naturally charged with the Earth’s healing energy.  

In today’s world, we’ve lost that connection. We cover our feet with synthetic materials, walk on carpeted floors, sleep elevated, and even live and work suspended above ground in high-rise buildings. We very rarely make direct contact with the ground and yet wonder why we feel drained and disconnected. 

Being grounded

The science behind earthing or grounding is based on the idea that the Earth’s surface has a negative charge. When we encounter it, our bodies can absorb the Earth’s free electrons, which help to balance our own internal electrical systems. Electrons play a vital role in the functioning of our bodies, being involved in many important processes, including energy production and communication between cells. 

In today’s modern world, we are constantly exposed to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from electronic devices, which can disrupt the natural balance of electrons in our bodies, leading to inflammation, oxidative stress, and other health problems. 

Various scientific studies have explored the benefits of grounding. For example, one study found that grounding can help to reduce chronic back pain and improve sleep quality. Another study found that grounding can reduce inflammation and improve wound healing in rats. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these benefits, grounding is a safe and simple practice that anyone can try. 

Nature’s defence against free radicals 

By going barefoot to your Breeze House, you can recharge your body with the Earth’s healing power. The benefits include improved blood flow to supply vital organs with oxygen and nutrients, reduced stress, increased energy, improved sleep, and accelerated recovery from injury or surgery. 

In the battle against free radicals, Vitamin G emerges as a powerful ally. Also known as ‘Vitamin Garden,’ Vitamin G represents the therapeutic benefits derived from spending time amidst nature’s greenery. Laden with antioxidants, fresh air, and sunlight, Vitamin G provides a formidable defence against the onslaught of free radicals. 

Couple having tea in a Breeze House

Make a leisurely morning spent in the comfort of a Breeze House part of your health and beauty regime. By immersing ourselves in lush green environments, we absorb the potent antioxidants found in plants, bolstering our immune system and neutralising harmful free radicals.  

Enjoying Earth’s bounty  

Your outdoor sanctuary should delight your senses and nourish your soul. This year’s natural planting trends embrace Earth’s bounty in its fullest form – full, lush, untamed, and dense. 

The concept of a ‘chaos garden’ is to rebel against tidiness to welcome the wildness of native flora. By letting nature get messy, you’re not only creating a healing space for yourself but also caring for the planet by cultivating carbon-capturing plants and indigenous species. 

In her book The Wild Remedy, Emma Mitchell finds consolation in nature. She writes about how she discovers medicine in walking, collecting, and drawing flora and fauna. One enchanting idea she shares is the creation of nature tables.  

You probably encountered the idea of a nature table at school and its one way to infuse your Breeze House with the wonders of the natural world. Find joy in a showcase of earthly treasures carefully gathered to fully appreciate the seasons. Each item is a moment frozen in time. 

Dropping down  

Mitchell suggests examining nature at close quarters to shake the stresses and strains of the everyday;  

“The nineteenth-century poet John Clare called this ‘dropping down’, and he did it too, sitting among wild plants to see the natural world from the point of view of a snipe in its nest.” 

For John Clare, nature in the English countryside, served as a poignant metaphor for memory, nostalgia, and the tumultuous feelings of loss and change. In his lifetime he witnessed vast stretches of the countryside being dissected into private farms following the British Enclosure Acts.  

He found the act of ‘dropping down’ and grounding himself in nature at a microscopic level lifts moods and muffles concerns. 

Gardens as eco systems 

Bee flying towards purple flower outside a Breeze House

Your Breeze House becomes a luxurious ‘hide’ when your garden is a rich habitat for native species.  

Nature writer Sally Coulthard shares practical advice on how to reconnect with, and protect, the natural world on your doorstep: 

“So much is happening under our noses, all the time, and we often fail to stop and take notice. Writing books about bees and earthworms made me really think about the exquisite complexity of our ecosystem.” 

Who wouldn’t want to invite buzzing bees to sip nectar from the blooming flowers, encourage wriggling worms to enrich the soil, and welcome inquisitive hedgehogs to wander through the greenery. 

Diversity is key when picking your planting. Trees and shrubs are particularly important to provide places to nest and shelter for birds and small mammals.  

You can enhance your garden’s biodiversity further with a few simple additions. An old rotting log pile in a shady spot will attract insects and fungi. A piece of corrugated iron laid flat can provide cover for newts, toads, lizards, and snakes. Compost heaps and grass clippings create ideal habitats for slow worms. 

Water features like ponds, bird baths, or even containers of water attract wildlife such as birds, dragonflies, frogs, and newts. A bird feeder is also good during winter when food is scarce. 

Till the earth 

Dining al fresco in a Breeze House takes on a whole new level of satisfaction when your meal is made from homegrown ingredients.  

Sarah Owen-Hughes is Head Gardener at Rudding Park Hotel and Spa. This luxury resort is in a 300-acre historic estate south of Harrogate, North Yorkshire. A Breeze House situated in the Kitchen Garden surrounded by raised beds provides a unique outdoor dining experience for guests. 

Breeze House in the kitchen garden at Rudding Park

This highly productive space, designed by Matthew Wilson and built a decade ago, features 52 raised oak beds that produce over 500 different fruits, vegetables, salads, herbs, and edible flowers. For the exclusive 52 immersive dining experience, it’s about food metres, not miles, as freshly harvested produce is delivered directly to the kitchen just a few paces away. 

Rudding Park’s produce is grown using no-dig and organic principles. Instead of adding fertilizers, the soil is nourished with various manures, mulches, and soil conditioners like home-made compost and used coffee grounds. Innovative methods such as using sheep’s wool and spent mushroom compost help improve moisture retention and plant yield. 

Sarah explains,

“There is something hugely rewarding about sowing seeds directly into a furrow in the soil, pinching it back over the top, and watching the first shoots emerge. Research shows that contact with the soil releases endorphins and can help strengthen our immune system, which explains why our team feels so happy when they reflect on a hard day’s work. We have come back to earth literally with a joyful bump!” 

Much like Rudding Park’s ethos, where the journey from plot to plate is a mere hop, skip, and a julienne, you can cultivate your own garden sanctuary to embrace self-sustainability and organic living. 

Enjoying a freshly picked meal outside tastes all the better with the sense of accomplishment that comes from working the land.  

A retreat that makes you feel part of nature 

Taking inspiration from the Enchanted Woodland Savannah we exhibited for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024, you can feel part of nature with a magically wild dining experience of your own in a Breeze House. 

Inside Enchanted Woodland Breeze House, on display at RHS Chelsea 2024

We set the scene for an enchanted feast with a natural linen table runner, lush forest foliage, candles of various heights and rustic wood slice chargers for each cover. White-grey porcelain dinner plates with speckled detail, ribbed wine glasses and wooden mushroom ornaments.  

To further blur the line between indoors and out, we created a moss garden intricately woven with battery-operated firefly fairy lights beneath the glass tabletop. The open sides of the Breeze House allow dappled light to dance across the table, seamlessly connecting your guests with the natural world around them. As night falls, the twinkling stars provide a captivating backdrop and serve as a gentle reminder of our earthly connection to the vast universe.  

Immerse yourself in nature's luxury

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