Nature mirrors us

mondo-del-giardino natura è specchio


I have often wondered if the beauty of a composition with natural elements could act as a mirror for us: can we, through Nature, trace paths that give us back a piece of ourselves, define our center and our place in the world?

This is what Milena Bellonotto writes at the beginning of this article in which she talks about her experience as an orthotherapist.

Milena is a pioneer!

It is a pioneering work that seeks to change the world by revealing every individuality.

Because every person who has improved themselves with horticultural therapy will then, in the world, behave in a new way, shaping the reality around them and positively setting in motion the famous butterfly effect.

The pleasure of doing a small thing that then turns into a great lesson is also a return to a slower time and making space within oneself for important things.

The external silence while working with your hands in the earth sometimes becomes internal silence that allows you to ask yourself questions and give yourself structural answers. Other times there is noise, but good chatter, which opens the soul, perhaps just to ask the right questions, which is no small feat.

Internal silence allows the conscious self to stand aside and listen to the unconscious self and its right needs without all that superstructure of useless fears that we manage to build ourselves every day.

Orthotherapy works because it focuses on the potential of each person, and here is Milena’s story.

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Every life deserves a novel

by Erving Polster, Professor of Psychiatry, attributes to the story a healing power that goes far beyond the imaginable: telling stories makes us – so to speak – “protagonists” of our lives. For many of the people I work with, similarly, the encounter with gardening and the theme of the garden meant exactly this.

“Taking care, attention and taking care of the community garden has made me a person capable of taking action and taking care of my own personal change without delegating to others”

says Mauro after participating in a summer campus for families and children focused on the theme of “building community”.

“I felt part of the group and I went beyond my limits and my effort”

confesses Adele, twelve years old together with other teenagers who participated in the Campus.

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Mirroring and new perspectives through Nature

When I work as an Orthotherapist and, in general, in the field of transformative processes through nature, I usually collect/welcome, observe and investigate the elements of the plant world, evaluating their possible interactions with the human being, in order to be able to use in the activities I propose.

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Theory in practice

I therefore asked a group of women, who were working on the theme of the conscious feminine through a counseling process, to participate in a personal introspection workshop through the (unmeditated but casual) search for natural elements, with a single objective: to seek elements of Nature different from each other in shape, texture and consistency.

For several days, the people involved “collected-welcomed” a natural element by placing it in a box, resulting in a fair amount of seeds, capsules, sticks, pine cones, dried fruits and pieces of bark. The final result consisted of a cataloging of the elements – according to criteria of commonality or divergence – which led to considering, on the basis of observation, states of mind or conditions of one’s experience, in a sort of logbook of thoughts, of the emotions and feelings that the participants experienced in the days that have passed since the research began.


The discoveries

“I look at this improvised collection and what was not clear before is now evident: the anger and frustration of the past few days, but also the sharp edges and lightness of my character have taken shape through the elements I have collected, almost as if they were the signs of a map”

Francesca tells me at the end of the workshop.


Living in Nature is this

observe, take ideas, train creative thinking, overcome stereotypes. And it is for these reasons that I love collaborating with different professionals and contributing to enriching the panorama of reflections that emerge from working with and for Nature.


Is Nature a mirror of us? The appointments

The alphabet of Diversity. Building relationships and educating looks it is a theme to which I am very attached and it was also the title of a collaborative and co-participated training – with the Architect and Ecodesigner Antonia Teatino – which strengthened this operational mode of mine, allowing me to explore new territories and experiment with crossover between different knowledge, both as an orthotherapist and as an operator and designer in the cultural field.

The Garden is a Story, for example, an informative event for sector enthusiasts, was born from the meeting with Maurizio Zarpellon (garden designer, nature photographer and writer) with the aim of illustrating the potential that literature offers in interpreting, motivating and giving voice to own existences and to give an extra tool to those who want to create their own garden – physical and metaphorical – inspired by authors and gardeners who, like unconscious therapists (or Masters, to put it in the Eastern language), can show us the way to design our own life and our garden.

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Is nature a mirror of us? The Garden is a symbolically perfect microcosm

and representative of the life cycle, a source of countless benefits for physical and psychological health, but also a place of growth, reflection and experimentation at all ages; for all these reasons the garden reserves an infinite number of applications which are still underestimated today. Just think for example of the potential of the Garden in the tourism, therapeutic and cultural fields which will become central themes of some meetings starting from January 2024.

For example, we will talk about Gardens as a welcome, thanks to which green accommodation facilities can enhance their garden or green corner with innovative proposals in terms of thematic content for adults, families and children.

We will also deal with Gardens as a lever for personal change and also with Gardens of the Arts, real or on paper, which always and in any case reveal something about us, since, ultimately, the Garden speaks to Humanity about its own humanity.

The advice of Mondo del Giardino

If you want to follow Milena’s training courses and events you can do so on her Instagram channel

Now on horseback! Work awaits us! Our new wonderful outdoor space is about to be born!

GOOD WORK and … if you have any questions please write to

Image sources: thanks to Milena Bellonotto for the images provided.