Why Do You Garden?
This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Anonymous 7 years, 5 months ago.
May 3, 2008 at 9:18 am #27748
While this isn’t an urgent gardening question, it’s a question I’m often asked by those around me who marvel at the fact that I can bring home the bacon and still find time to garden. People garden for a variety of reasons.. some find it cheaper than a therapist, others do it for creative purposes. Some garden to feed their families.
Why do you garden?March 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm #29198
I was in college when I discovered gardening. I never paid attention as a kid (except to climb trees!) but in my junior year of college I ran into some very serious mental problems. It was the week before exam week in late April, and I was totally stressed and not handling classes and my mental issues well. I was food shopping when I saw transplants in the garden center. On the spur of the moment I bought some Better Boy and Early Girl and cherry tomato plants…and proceeded to go home to my rental house and rip out an old overgrown kitchen herb garden. It took me all day, I missed 3 classes, and turns out that vine I ripped up tons of was poison ivy. (!) But I had not felt so much at peace or relaxed as I did right then in many many months. Maybe years. I continued to baby my little 3’x 8′ plot all summer, returning home from my job in the evening and promptly kneeling down in the dirt to weed and relax and find peace. I credit the gardening with recovering from my mental problems, and to this day I dream of the feel of warm soil and splashing hoses and dirt under my fingernails in the winter.March 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm #29206
Like so many others I spent a good deal of my childhood in gardens with my family; so I was bred to it as well. Also as some others have mentioned gardening has given me great solace when I have been feeling untethered. Like megansgreen, I was in college living in a rental property when I discovered that I didn’t just enjoy gardening- I needed to garden.
I think it is the necessary integration of your mental and physical abilities that gardening provides. In THE REACTOR AND THE GARDEN, Wendell Berry states, “It may take a bit of effort to realize that perhaps the most characteristic modern ‘achievement’ is the obsolescence of the human body. Jogging and other forms of artificial exercise do not restore the usefulness of the body, but are simply ways of assenting to its uselessness; the body is a diverting pet, like one’s chihuahua, and must be taken out for air and exercise. A garden gives the body the dignity of working in its own support. It is a way of rejoining the human race.”
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my ‘roots’ in gardening because I have just had a son, whom I can’t wait to get out into the garden with! I have done a lot of gardening with children, and personally I can’t think of anything more enjoyable. No wonder so many of us have good memories of our parents or grandparents in the garden- the only thing better than the work of a garden is sharing it with those you love.
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