With the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, homebound discovered the simple joy of disconnecting from their computers, tablets and smartphones and spending time in their own garden.
Asking a new or seasoned gardener why they garden will give you several reasons why it is important to them.
With spring just around the corner, Janet Kreft and the National Garden Bureau (www.ngb.org) have the following reasons to go garden:
Garden for safe, healthy eating
Growing concerns about pesticides in our food supply have led to increased interest in organic horticulture and the availability of organic products. A simple solution is to grow a few vegetables in your garden. Start your own garden and know that the food you are eating is fresh, safe and amazing. Be selective and only grow the strains that you enjoy eating. Do you feel brave? Grow an unusual vegetable or fruit that you’d like to try, but that you may never buy (or find) in the grocery store.
Garden for sport
Garden activities include both cardio and aerobic exercise. Studies show that an hour of moderate gardening can burn up to 300 calories in women and almost 400 calories in men. For the elderly, especially women, gardening can help reduce osteoporosis. Mowing the grass is like a vigorous walk, bending, and stretching to create a garden versus an exercise class, while pulling plants and soil is similar to lifting weights. And when you’re done, you’ll see instant results in your garden even as your physical health improves. Fresh air, feeling the sun on your back and enjoying the chirping of birds make gardening a sport a pleasure.
Garden to add beauty
A house with a beautiful garden is a joy to look at and a satisfying living. Your home can be made more welcoming by simply adding a paint container near the front door. Herbs grown in containers on the patio or deck add freshness and flavor to daily meals. Trees and bushes not only provide color and shade, but also shelter for birds and wildlife. Think of the garden as just another space to enjoy, whether you are inside or outside the house.
Garden for learning
Gardeners find that the more they learn about plants and gardening, the more they want to know. Plant problems provide an opportunity to find the cause and understand how to keep plants healthy. Adding a new garden is an opportunity to experiment and learn about new plants. There are several ways to expand horticultural expertise, even if we can’t get out. Consider online resources, courses, webinars, and gardening books about plants or landscaping.
Garden to meet people
Whether with someone who lives on the street or halfway around the world, gardeners love to talk about plants. Excess tomatoes, a bouquet of flowers or an extra plant are gifts to share with friends and neighbors. Meeting other gardeners online through social media is an easy (and safe) way to share information, ask questions, and immerse yourself in these challenging times.
Garden to be creative
Gardening provides an opportunity for creative and artistic expression. The design of a garden can reflect a personal sense of style like a romantic cottage garden or a peaceful Japanese garden and can provide a showcase for art and sculpture. Would you like to try something new? With the wide variety of seeds and plants to choose from, it’s easy to experiment with new vegetables or change the color scheme of a garden every year. A garden can also serve as an impromptu studio for taking photos, sketching, or creating gardening crafts.
Garden for emotional needs and spiritual connections
Gardens play an important role in our wellbeing. A garden can serve as a quiet retreat or as a private escape from the demands of everyday life. The beauty of flowers can lift your mood, while pulling weeds can be a great solution to stress and excess energy. A harvest of brightly colored flowers or tasty vegetables gives you a sense of achievement and success. At a higher level, gardening provides a spiritual connection to life. It is a wonder to take a tiny seed, care for it and watch it grow into a beautiful flower or delicious meal for your table. Maintaining a garden also helps improve your own living space, the environment and our planet.
Garden for lasting memories
Today’s children lack the joy of cutting a bouquet for their mother or tasting the sweetness of a cherry tomato plucked straight from the plant. Gardening is a fun activity to share with kids and grandchildren, even if the garden is a single container or a small yard in the yard. And a garden with special plants is a great way to remember a special person or a lifetime.