The approach of Spring always makes me thing about all the reasons I garden. There are obvious ones:
- Gardening can mean the difference between eating, at all or eating well.
- Gardening saves money! No big investment is required. You
probably own most of the tools you might need and you can get the rest on Craigslist — cheap!
- Gardening lets you choose what you grow and harvest instead of relying on what large-scale growers can grow quickly and cheaply so, heirlooms are always on the list at my house and so are some weird, wonderful and different veggies.
- Gardening can mean eating healthy fruits and vegetables that are NOT loaded with pesticides and fungicides and overtly and covertly changing your body’s ability to fight off chronic illnesses like diabetes, kidney and liver disease and even dental caries.
Then there are the reasons that only other gardeners might know:
- Visiting the garden early in the morning to pull weeds or maybe plant some more seeds, listening to birds waking up and calling to each other, watching mist swirl away — clouds returning to heaven — puts you a little closer to the center of the Universe than anything else can.
- Watching seeds sprout and plants grow, seeing the first fruit set and harvesting leaves of fresh kale or spinach or baby lettuce are all tender moments which every gardener savours, every time these moments occur.
- Sitting at your desk, closing your eyes, seeing your garden and feeling the peace you find there helps to let go of all the anger and sorrow that our long, stressful, work days can sometimes bring.
- Running home, ripping off your shoes and socks and standing, barefoot, in soil warmed by the sun literally grounds you.
- Celebrating life — gardening is a celebration of life — all kinds, all shapes, all sizes and all colors brings such deep joy.
Gardening is also a small but significant step on the road to saving ourselves and our planet. If everyone in every community joined in – grew their own, shopped local, thought about the environment EVERY time they bought, used or tossed out, we could work together to help save this planet, our home which we sail through space on.
Why do you garden?
Including most of the same reasons as you.
Another reason is I garden is:
Just being out there among the plants and getting the scent of the earth after rain.
Harvesting the lovely produce, cooking it and feeding it to my family, or sharing it out to friends and to my daughter and grandchildren.
Seeing my seedlings grow and becoming lush plants, it’s always a wonder.
I also garden to get the exercise and the fresh air. It’s healthy all round.
Man, I forgot all about the world of scent – wet earth and the sweetness of it. And I forgot about exercise. Great reasons to garden!
What a great post Pat. In response to you and Gaiainaction’s comments on exercise…..I don’t feel that gardening really “counts” as exercise, but even a few hours in the garden leaves me aching.
One of my reasons for gardening is to see the seasonal changes up close.
There is such a natural rhythm in the garden that I forget that, too. Seasons, yes, and if I am mindful, the daily cycle from rising to setting sun. I am just becoming more aware of the cycles of life in my garden in the morning, the afternoon and the evening. Hopefully, when I retire (for a 3rd time) in March, I will be able to regain the wonder, the joy and the peace of just being there.
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Thanks for the pingback, Jon. I love your “author’s profile” on Amazon and am looking forward to checking out your Zen Druid II book of symbols. I once wrote on the intake form at a doctor’s office that I was a druid and the poor young nurse almost fried a few synapses trying to figure out just what that meant!
Loved this post, Pat! I love spending the beginning of my day in the garden. So peaceful! And so many other things… seeing the cycle of life and being reminded that it is NORMAL, harvesting those strawberries and tomatoes. This year will have some difficulties… I lost my co-gardener to cancer just before Thanksgiving, so it will be bittersweet this year.
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My husband has battled cancer and infections since 2001 and I break a little bit every time he is hospitalized. I hope the spring, the soil and the sun can ease some of your pain.
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Thanks for the pingback! I love your blog/site, too.