Did you know, gardening has a wide range of benefits beyond the obvious? Gardening has been proven to reduce depression, anxiety and anger. Have you ever been angry while gardening? Probably not. I’d venture to say that would be impossible.
Not being a gardener, despite always wishing I was, I knew I had to reach out to an expert for their opinion on this. Luckily, I know just the person. Naomi, a dear friend, is a gifted gardener, and was actually the inspiration behind our Gardener's Soap.
Naomi provided us with her take on the benefits of gardening.
Everyone who has ever picked up a trowel knows that the benefits of gardening are many: the satisfaction of seeing flowers and vegetables grow and produce; it helps the bees thrive; it's sustainable; it's relaxing, and more.
Naomi's Happy Place
To me, a big benefit of gardening is the feeling of hope that the pastime provides. Hope is a benefit that helps to drive more than gardening: the hope of the coming flowers, hope for a large yield of veggies and fruits, hope for the best gardening year yet. Hope for trying something new and being rewarded for one's efforts. It's this hope of the reward for effort that reminds me of an interaction I once had at a garden shop with a helpful and well-meaning employee.
“Did you read the back of the packet?” That was the question the sales clerk asked me as he was ringing up my seed packets. The pack of seeds in question contained blue poppy flower seeds.
“No,” I answered. “Is there something I should know?”
He kindly replied that poppies are temperamental plants, and that one must take the heartbreaking step of not allowing the plant to flower the first year, thus allowing a strong root system to develop. And then, hope for good fortune that the poppy will sprout again the next year and reward one's patience with a beautiful flower with delicate crepe paper-like petals.
I smiled and thanked him for the advice. I said that gardening is always about hope. One plants and hopes, dreams, and expects the growth of that which was lovingly planted. He laughed and agreed.
Summer haul, from Naomi's Garden
When I garden, I feel many things. Expectation and connection to the earth. Release from the thoughts that fill my busy brain. Gardening is a meditation and a reminder to be present and patient. Feel a warm breeze. Hear the buzzing of a very focused bee as it pollinates flowers and vegetables. See the changes as the seasons progress.
And hope. Gardening gives this to me and so much more.