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Gardeners already know the secret soothing effects gardening has on the mind because it's what keeps them/us out there pottering around.

Are we born gardeners? I think there's a gardener in most people and there would probably be more people in the garden if they had the time but unfortunately spare time is somewhat scarce in our modern society.

I would like to convince more people to discover the positive aspects of gardening and to especially try it early in life and not think it's an after career, in retirement, thing to do as it most certainly isn’t. In fact, the younger we start gardening the better we'll be at it in retirement (when we do have more time). I sometimes reflect on my 20s and wish I had been more involved in self sufficiency and gardening and if I had10 resons to garden my time over knowing what I know now about life without being clouded by the “immortality of youth,” I would have dedicated more time to gardening. But, it's easier said then done when you're actually in your 20's isn't it...

We (gardeners) don't normally analyse the reasons for getting out in the patch or pruning the ornamentals – it's just something we dedicate time in our lives to do. I reckon, if I went around asking people to explain the 10 top reasons for why they garden they'd probably all have different lists and even if some of the headings were the same the explanations would likely be different anyway.

Below, I've written my 10 reasons for why I think gardening captivates so many of us:

1. Environmental

The anticipation of how a plant or seedling will grow can be pretty addictive. We have made the choice to give this plant thEnvironmental Tree Symbole opportunity to show us what it can do by selecting the position, improving the soil, and creating the environment for its success. How well this plant grows is largely dependant on how good our set-up considerations and implementations were and the feeling of something succeeding due to our help or intervention and nurturing is one of those hard to explain human emotions which enrich good peoples lives. I guess fulfilment can describe the emotion if I really had to select only one word.

 

Environmentalism doesn't have to be big ideas, mass people movements, or solving complex ecological problems for it to be effective. Everyone who maintains a garden is an environmentalist (whether they realise it or not or even like it or not) and every backyard vegetable grown or native planted helps (in different ways) retain the plants and wildlife we all love.

2. Dreaming

Day-dreaming and falling into a “gardening trance” must be like the minds equivalent of play-time for Dreaming environment and gardena child. The task at hand is so routine (but not boring) that the mind can afford to rest and play – I think day-dreaming is as important as sleeping.

Unlike driving a car, gardening can be a truly safe place to day-dream with many tasks being methodical and lacking deep concentration or mind effort. Some of us are swamped with work and even social activities requiring immense concentration for lengthy periods of time with serious consequences if we don't pay attention. This constant mind workout takes a great effort to maintain; therefore, we must try and give our minds some down-time to recover.

Gardening can be one of those outlets freely available to most where people can be active but still be relaxing with their hands “doing” and their minds laying back on a deckchair dreaming away.

3. Proud

Being proud of Proud gardenerachievement is a great feeling and gardening is one of those activities that can make a small amount of effort look like an amazing achievement; but hay, don't tell anyone it was easy!

Often, I've received complements for gardening endeavours, which really have been easy and only taken minutes to do, like plant a border of rainbow silver-beet for instance, which can make a vegetable garden look stunning. Regardless of effort, you don't need someone else to make you proud or to admire your work as self admiration over your gardening efforts is a constant daily event we gardeners do anyway – however, it is nice to be told occasionally.

4. Useful

Gardening is a useful endeavour anyone can undertake. Whether their gardening efforts produce food, help a purpose, or just give joy from looking, it's a useful and necessary part of our society. Lady in vegetable gardenAs gardeners, we help to enrich our society and environment by simply doing what we enjoy.

Many mental health associations across the world commonly deal with individuals feeling like they have no purpose or are not useful to society and that's so sad. Gardening is the type of endeavour I believe can help people to understand a feeling of self-worth and revitalise a feeling of purpose.

Also, “gardening therapy” can definitely help to reduce stress and on a personal level I have no doubt getting out in the garden helped settle me after my full-on military career ended.

5. HealthySun gardening

When we garden we are exposed to lots of beneficial behind the scenes goodies like vitamin D from sunlight. We humans need some exposure to sunlight to survive and stay healthy (of course this doesn't mean overexposure or getting burnt) but with the right protection and a sensible approach being outdoors is vitally important for our good health.

So to, are the things we eat from our garden like the fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs which haven't lost any of the vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants through storage, transportation, chemical applications, or other ways to change the produce from its natural state. Eating some produce straight from our gardens is the best way to ensure our bodies get the maximum nutrients from the food as nature intended.  

 

6. Fit Bike fitness environmental

 

Feeling fit is a wonderful way to start every day of your life. Our bodies are designed to be active and when we aren't active enough we gain unwanted fat, our lungs lose aerobic capacity, and our muscles become weaker than they should. The consequences for not “doing enough” can be quite severe and actually make everyday life and common tasks harder to accomplish. Over time, this inactivity undoubtedly leads to a premature death, which tragically could have been prevented with some simple daily exercise – like gardening.

If a person would prefer not to maintain their fitness through activities like: sports, running, weight training etc, then they should at least consider gardening as an action to maintain some personal fitness level.

7. Inventive or a problem solver

Environmental light bulb inventive

If we're not day-dreaming about our holiday to Fiji or how great this cucumber vine will look on the trellis once it grows, then we can use gardening time to let the mind solve issues or problems we've otherwise been too busy to think about. Sometimes just pondering a problem or an argument in the garden can give clear time to think and put things into perspective.

Gardening has also given me some of my best inventive ideas to solve things like landscaping dramas or household maintenance issues just by simply having the opportunity to think more deeply whilst sowing a few seeds etc. Share food tomato

 

8. Generosity and sharing

 We know the act of giving is another one of those acts producing good emotional feelings (similar to helping other people and things succeed) and if we all gave and shared more; to use an awful cliché, the world would be a better place. I don't mean giving money either, I mean giving produce and even help or advice on how to grow your own.

It's interaction through gardening between friends, family, neighbours, online communities, or even farmers markets that strengthen relationships and underpins great societies. Sharing, giving, or bartering produce also saves on resources (like transportation) and reduces waste.

Grandmother with baby in garden9. Mortality

If more people took note of John Lennon's song – Imagine and actually understood we're all mortal beings the world would be even better. Too many good people get upset daily over trivial matters (and, I'm guilty of it too at times); we'll all be gone soon, God or no God, so we need to keep what really matters in perspective. By slowing life down through gardening, it really does give us extra time to appreciate creation and evolution of life, which we've been/are lucky to be part.

Think of how fast the last 10 years has gone and now focus on slowing the next 10 years down. Smelling the roses really does work! And, it may even add another 10 years to our lives.

10. Celebration

I associate gardening or gardens with flowers, food, family, and kids having fun.

For children, gardens are important for their early childhood development and that's not just my assumption or observations it's actually the latest findings from recent childhood developmental studieFamily BBQ in gardens, however, it's hardly surprising.

Exploring the garden isn't just for kids though; adults benefit from being outside in a beautiful garden setting just as much. Celebrating through BBQs or picnics amongst living nature often makes the day more special than indoor events. Just as kids love to pin their ears back and run around the garden like an over excited puppy left off the leash in the park, we adults like to celebrate and enjoy the freedom the garden offers too.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading my 10 reasons to garden as much as I've enjoyed writing them down – I think I've even found a few things out about myself within that I hadn't considered before.

If you have any mindful reasons to garden and would like to share them just use the comments section under the post (your email address is not mandatory) and it would be a privilege for me to include them.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your support.

Look, and see the Earth through her eyes

Mark Valencia – Editor SSM

 

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Comments (7)

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Thanks Chris, you are so right. Universe indeed... nice way to put it I really appreciate your comment, Cheers.

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Mark, I am often amazed that so many people could choose to be indoors 99% of their life!! I feel most at home with the universe when I am a part of it. Thanks for the reminder that humans are MEANT to be outside. Thanks also for the...

Mark, I am often amazed that so many people could choose to be indoors 99% of their life!! I feel most at home with the universe when I am a part of it. Thanks for the reminder that humans are MEANT to be outside. Thanks also for the "quintessential" list. I don't think you've missed anything!!

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Hi Lily, Thanks for your kind comment I 'm glad you enjoyed the article. I'm also happy you have no problems growing the smaller tomato varieties. The cherry tomato is one of my favourite tomatoes - they grow when other tomatoes don't, they make...

Hi Lily, Thanks for your kind comment I 'm glad you enjoyed the article. I'm also happy you have no problems growing the smaller tomato varieties. The cherry tomato is one of my favourite tomatoes - they grow when other tomatoes don't, they make an excellent tomato sauce, when cut in half and dried they are a divine sundried food (particularly as a pizza topping), and they're awesome fresh in salads. Keep persisting with the larger varieties but try them through the dry season (subtropical winter) as this is the time of year when tomato diseases are less prevalent - good luck! Thank U 4 visiting

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I really enjoyed this article Mark. I'm surprised at how much I enjoy gardening, even weeding is becoming 'therapeutic' (as Miss Pink stated). I too have tomato plants pop up in unusual places (similar to Aunty Lynette) although only the cherry...

I really enjoyed this article Mark. I'm surprised at how much I enjoy gardening, even weeding is becoming 'therapeutic' (as Miss Pink stated). I too have tomato plants pop up in unusual places (similar to Aunty Lynette) although only the cherry tomato type. I am currently searching SSM for tips on growing tomatoes as I have had no success... arrhhh!

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I think gardening is important in so many ways but I like that is can be your place of solitude (men's shed equivalent) or it can be a communal or family place where you can work together on different projects. It is very therapeutic for body and...

I think gardening is important in so many ways but I like that is can be your place of solitude (men's shed equivalent) or it can be a communal or family place where you can work together on different projects. It is very therapeutic for body and soul. Miss Pink

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Hello Aunt Lynette! Yes tomatoes do sometimes appear in funny places and it surprises me how well they can grow with little soil or care. Your flowers and garden sound wonderful - very well described. Thanks for visiting the site, lots of love,...

Hello Aunt Lynette! Yes tomatoes do sometimes appear in funny places and it surprises me how well they can grow with little soil or care. Your flowers and garden sound wonderful - very well described. Thanks for visiting the site, lots of love, Mark OOXX

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Just checking in to see what was happening on your site. The Italian tomato tree looks interesting. I had this tomato bush pop up in the middle of the patio,in between the bricks. It has provided me with tomatoes for quite a few weeks now. Also...

Just checking in to see what was happening on your site. The Italian tomato tree looks interesting. I had this tomato bush pop up in the middle of the patio,in between the bricks. It has provided me with tomatoes for quite a few weeks now. Also my wild passion fruit are popping up all over the place. Really nice passhies when we can beat those pesky possums to the fruit. This year my garden was resplendent with my favourite flowers, Datura/Bruggemansia with magnificent blooms and a heavenly perfume which wafted in the evening air. Nothing to do with sustaining food, but it is a spiritual and joyful thing to enjoy the beauty and colour of the magnificent flowers. The rain has made our area the greenest it has been in years. A lovely sight.

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