Many decades ago I was a small child in east Tennessee. I fell in love with flowers and trees. I tried to assist my mother with little things in the flower beds until one day I asked for a spot of my own. My mother had received a pile of stones from the dairy that delivered our milk. (Yes, it was decades ago and they brought it to the door.) We visited the dairy, had a tour, and picked up a few stones. They were placed in a pile on the grass until they were placed lining the flowers beds. Since it took a while to move them, there was a spot with little grass. I asked for my own garden there. My mother agreed and I placed small stones around the small circle and pulled what grass remained. I love purple iris, Tennessee’s state flower. My mother gave me several with a few annuals. I was so proud of that little circle and flowers. I felt happy making it and looking at it. Gardening is much more than simply keeping the lawn pristine and planting pretty flowers. It is a whole set of actions that can really affect you. I had something that was alive!
Gardening Is Good For Your Health
Gardening benefits the body and mind. The process can affect you mentally, emotionally, and physically. The regular movement gives you a low-impact but effective workout. I find that having my hands in the the dirt is soothing. The health benefits of gardening have been well-documented. Being outside increases your exposure to Vitamin D and the weight-bearing exercise of gardening is good for bones and the heart. One study even found that gardening decreases your risk of dementia.
Gardening Gets You Outside
Gardening is also a wonderful excuse to get outside. This is possible even if it’s raining when you install a greenhouse. Getting outside can prevent issues like depression and loneliness, even though you’re only a couple of feet from your back door. I think of it as a mini time of forest bathing since I have trees, sky, grass, and bushes.
Exposure to fresh air can help you maintain healthier skin and hair, which is important when looking for the difference between dandruff and dry scalp as it reduces the amount of oil on your scalp.
Gardening Connects You To Nature
I’m in my 70’s now and have 2 kinds of arthritis. I no longer get down on my knees to pull weeds or plant a new flower. I do still bend over some to pull weeds. I water the flowers. I also enjoy walking the yard to see what’s growing.
Another great part of my gardening is the planning. I use my mind, create a plan, and try new things. I recently met a a gentleman who does landscaping. He was working for my neighbor, and I went next door and introduced myself. Finding him is a gift from God. He’s already finished one project for me. I’m still planning changes in the garden step by step from a revised plan. My goal is a simpler landscape that is pretty and low maintenance since I cannot do what I used to do.
Gardening Can Save You Money
If you are distressed by the rising grocery store prices, gardening can save you money. Of course, you can’t plant potatoes today and enjoy them tomorrow, but learning how to garden and establishing dedicated patches for your crops means you will enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables in the future.
Check out the local framer’s markets for not only buying but also selling any surplus from the garden. My favorite farmer’s market has also introduced me to exotic fruits and vegetables. I had never tried star fruit until I saw a table loaded with ripe star fruit. It’s fun to try new things. You might even decide to grow them yourself. Then you can source all your favorites locally, save money along the way, and even earn some money as well. Farmers’ markets or roadside selling could become a reliable if not a highly profitable venture. As seeds are much cheaper to buy than fully grown food, you can make a modest return on your investment.
Gardening Can Help The Environment
As more wild areas are disrupted for development, gardens become important places to establish an eco system. A recent study from the Smithsonian Institution highlighted the importance of native plants and native gardens particularly in maintaining the health of birds, bees and other insects.
You can also set up a mini meadow or wildflower patch which is good for the bees and other animals that need these areas to thrive. This can add some more color to your yard, and it also means you have one area of the garden that you don’t need to take care of as often.
In Other Words
For me, gardening feeds my soul. Yes. I get irritated that I can’t do what I want to do personally, but having an idea and working for its completion helps me grow and be happy. Having plants get big and strong is a big positive re-enforcement. Seeing birds, bees, and butterflies fly through the bushes and flowers touches my heart. You really can’t beat that.
This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.
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