When most people picture gardening, they think of a hobby that aging grandparents or movie villains participate in. They are pictured pruning their prized roses or grumbling about the neighbors’ weed. I am neither an eccentric villain, nor am I harboring an old soul, but I can be seen complaining about dandelions and obsessing over my peonies.
I have fallen in love with gardening and randomly pitch it to coworkers and acquaintances at weddings. It’s a fulfilling experience and has many advantages which I’m going to share with you, reader.
I will never get over seeing green sprouting from a dry seemingly dead seed or twig. To see a millimeter sized speck grow and bloom into a bright flowering shrub will forever amaze me. It gets you to appreciate the miracle of life. Obviously, the internet can provide more powerful and awe-inspiring videos and facts but nothing beats a tangible experience of seeing life grow from your work.
Gardening is a little portal away from reality.
It’s Great EXERCISE.
I’m not very athletic. It’s takes a lot of mental prep to get myself on the treadmill. But I will jump into the physical labor of gardening within a space of seconds. I’ll be lifting heavy buckets of water, ploughing the dirt, digging up holes, squatting for weeds all the while grunting and sweating like a regular gym member. You don’t even realize how much physical work you are doing until you feel the soreness the next day.
You get some ALONE TIME.
One of the major reasons I will put up with the physical work is because I can do it alone. For a few golden hours, you are away from people who steer clear lest you drag them into weeding. As an introvert, you feel recharged spending the time alone after coming back from work and before falling into the routine of getting ready for the next day. It’s a little portal away from reality, much like the Secret Garden.
It’s simple METHODICAL work.
Sure, most people don’t like repetitive routine work. But there is usually that one person who says they love dishwashing and everyone rolls their eyes at them. I am that person when it comes to weeding. I genuinely enjoy weeding. Show me a dandelion and I will dig that blowball from the roots up and hunt its progeny the same way. Besides the instant gratification of a clean garden bed, weeding or even watering the plants allows you to check out. Your mind can wander or process thoughts without focusing so much on tending to the plants.
It’s extremely REWARDING!
I wouldn’t know if it’s comparable to raising a child, but seeing your handiwork grow and blossom is a very rewarding experience. Watching the weekly progress and the final result is gratifying. You literally reap the fruits of your labor, be it picking berries in a basket or arranging the flowers you picked in a vase. The happiness is worth every effort put in and gives you the vigor to start again next season.
You get to CONNECT with NATURE.
Much of the allure of gardening comes from working under sky and breathing the fresh air. You see bugs going about their business and birds messing up those bugs’ businesses. For a few moments you’re unplugged and it’s a refreshing, much needed break. You can focus on your mind, body, and soul. Even if it’s growing things in a terrarium or indoor pots, it circles back to the first point. It is amazing to see and feel the plants growing and humbling to realize that sometimes despite your efforts, the plant will die. But, more often than not, nature will find a way.