What Gardening Means to Me
The joy of gardening
It is very simple. Gardening is a joy for me. Always on-going and ever-changing. It is a creative, rewarding and productive pastime, with opportunities to learn new skills. You find out about exciting new plants, share ideas and make new friends. Gardening is good for you!
It is all the rage among urban millennials. Though due to the constraints of city-living it normally involves tending to houseplants rather than plots of land. It is also a way of caring for something. Sometimes just the satisfaction of keeping a houseplant alive, and the responsibility that comes with it, is enough to give us a sense of purpose and pride.
Helps you keep fit
It is a great way to keep fit, using muscles in our hands, arms, back, stomach and legs, without even knowing that we are doing it better than going to the gym, in my opinion. Mowing, raking or digging might not be the first things that spring to mind when you think of a workout. But tending a garden can actually be a very effective form of low intensity exercise that works the entire body. The activities associated with gardening can help to increase overall muscle strength, balance, flexibility and help to keep the heart healthy. There are studies which show that regular gardening can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and obesity. And can also improve balance, helping to prevent falls in older people.
Homeowners may be aware of the physical benefits gardening can bring in the form of exercise. but the effect on mental health can be hugely beneficial too. Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. It also may reduce the risk of dementia. It can also help dementia patients. Indeed one trial showed that six months of gardening resulted in a slow-down of cognitive decline over the next 18 months. Gardening can provide a fantastic opportunity for stimulation of all the senses. If you live with a chronic illness, disability or mental health condition, gardening can be a wonderful form of therapy as well as a practical source of food and beauty to brighten your day.
There is no panacea for growing old but, the science suggests, gardening does appear to improve our quality of life as we age. In fact, for the elderly whose memory fails, gardening often makes it possible to bring out buried memories, precisely thanks to the senses awake. Working in the garden does have a risk of falls, overheating, and wandering. However there are steps caregivers can take to keep senior loved ones safe while reaping the benefits of gardening.
Children and gardening
Gardening can help children learn new skills, understand where food comes from and the importance of wildlife.
Dr Wendy Matthews, a consultant for Mindprint Learning, explains that gardening does wonders for a child’s confidence ‘as they engage in a real life activity that they might have previously seen as only for adults’.
I’ve learned about gardening, through my own experience and through conversations with the people I meet, and to show that gardening does not need to be complex or intimidating. Being absorbed in your garden can distract your attention away from the stresses and strains of everyday life and prevent your mind from wandering to more stressful things. – You are quite simply focusing on the task at hand, allowing other concerns to be put aside. Research has shown that gardening can actually alter your perception of time. Many gardeners reporting that it can feel like time is standing still when they’re in the garden.
Get a garden shed
Another thing, get a garden shed! Garden sheds have been around for years. They house all sorts of unwanted junk from the house, seasons-old rusty garden tools, watering cans, lawnmowers, old toys and bikes to name a few. Some of you will find a garden shed is the perfect addition to your property. But others might crave a detached workshop. A gardening Shed is a bonus and it is ideally located next to the vegetable beds and orchard. A garden shed is more than just a place for your tools and materials. With that said, a garden shed is your ultimate storage solution!
Have you thought about Vegan gardening. It does come with its fair share of weeding since we’re not using chemical herbicides around food. (shudder). But there are ways to simplify the process. This type of gardening does not have to be unsightly or just for hippies! The really positive part of vegan gardening is the benefits for animals and insects. The aim is not to kill anything, and as far as possible leave garden wildlife alone. Vegan gardening often includes interesting alternatives to weed killers and pesticides such as preventative measures including using natural substances. These include beer to keep slugs off your plants.
If you are already a gardener I hope that you are enjoying the great benefits and that your achievements are many. If you have not yet started I urge you to join us and hopefully experience this wonderful pastime to the full.