The Benefits of Gardening

Okay, I’m switching topics today.  I’ve decided to talk about gardening … because that’s what I’ve been working on today and it does tie into personal development.

Up until my grandmother physically couldn’t, she put out a large vegetable garden every year.  Her garden fed herself, her children, grandchildren, and eventually great grandchildren.  For her it began as a necessity to provide food for her family, but as the stress of feeding her small army began to subside, she began to garden for the joy of gardening.  She planted flowers, shrubs, and every year her beloved vegetable garden. Each year she filled her freezer, canned the rest, and shared her bounty with all of us.

I have tried to garden off and on in my adult life, in containers when I lived in apartments, a small plot in my yard when we finally bought a house, but my favorite time was when my boys were small. Gardening became a life lesson, stress relief, and a healthy activity we could do together.

Gardening isn’t just vegetables.  I have a neighbor that has the most beautiful, elaborate flower garden.  Every year it is beautiful.  Most gardening enthusiasts out there will agree with me when I say that gardening is not only one of the greatest forms of artistic expression, it is great stress relief, an enjoyable type of exercise (trust me you’ll feel it the next day), and so many other benefits.  Some of which include …

Satisfaction:
Through personal experience I have found that it is extremely hard to be unhappy when you are surrounded by blossoms, greenery, and vegetables! There is nothing like the smell of fresh, healthy dirt! Professors at the University of Texas can back me up when I say that it is a great way to relieve depression. After asking a wide range of 300 people how they would rate their happiness in life, they found that gardeners gave significantly higher scores than everyone else. Think about it … digging in the dirt, enjoying the sun, nature, and your beautiful bounty.  It’s both hard work and fun.

Health:
Another benefit of planting is that it can be incredible for your health. We already know that happiness is a side effect—which is a major health plus. Another plus is the fresh air and exercise you experience while planting your own veggies and fruits.  If you’ve never eaten fresh picked veggies, I suggest you try some.  Containers are a great alternative for apartment dwellers.  Home grown veggies still have all the nutrients and haven’t had a chance to start breaking down.  If you ever have a fresh tomato picked from the plant, you’ll understand as no grocery store tomato ever tasted that good. Also, many flowers are edible, delicious, and easy to prepare. Do your research as not all are edible!

Cleanliness:
One of the genius benefits that comes to planting is that if you plant the right things you can ward off all kinds of predators from your home. Grass alone will keep all kinds of bugs away from your house. However there are many other plants that will keep pests out of your home and yard! Here is a short list of things that you can plant to keep certain bugs away-

• Basil- to get rid of flies and mosquitoes.
• Chamomile- to fight off aphids.
• Marigold- to rid of tomato worms.
• Mint- white cabbage moths and aphids.
• Sage- for flea beetles and slugs.
• Tansy- flying insects, squash bugs, ants, and flies.

These are just a few beneficial plants.  There are many companion plants that attract beneficial pollinating insects and others that repel the ones that want to eat your plants. The list is endless and super easy to find if you do your research right. There are so many online websites that offer lists of plants that will ward off pesky insects from your home. AND it’s natural pesticide.

As you can see, gardening offers some major rewards and benefits to your life. Not only that but it is super easy to get started. Start researching your area and what plants will do well then enjoy!

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