The Joy of Gardening

I never understood why people enjoyed gardening until now. My first real gardening experience was at the end of last summer, just after we finished the hardscape for our back yard. We needed plants to finish off the look, but I wasn’t really up to the challenge at the time. We needed something in the ground, so we just pushed through, making it a not so pleasant experience. So you can imagine how excited I was a few weeks ago when I realized many of those plants weren’t coming back. After putting off the planting process, I decided to tackle it over the holiday weekend. After getting into it, I actually began to like it, and here are a few reasons why.

Reason to love gardening #1: Dirt is fun!

I am not against getting dirty, but I usually try to keep messes minimal, and digging in the dirt was not my idea of fun. I started out wearing my gloves, using a shovel, and being very careful not to sit or kneel on the ground. After a while I began to sit in the dirt because it was easier then carrying a little pad around or squatting. I then tossed the shovel after realizing it was easier to dig like a dog with your hands, and at some point, I even lost the gloves and became one with the soil (until I found a worm, then the gloves went back on). Digging in the dirt brings you back to being a kid again when it was ok to get messy.

Reason to love gardening #2: It is calming

I love sitting outside on our patio, but I’m usually watching my daughter play, eating dinner, or talking with the neighbors. Gardening forces you to take a slower pace, relax, and appreciate the outdoors. As I was planting, the birds were singing away, the bees were buzzing in the flowers, and aside from the occasional golfer, it was quiet and peaceful. I am not one to meditate or take a slower pace normally, but after being forced into it with gardening, it was actually quite enjoyable, and I still got something done in the process.

Reason to love gardening #3: Sense of accomplishment

Just like with any other DIY project, when you get through it and look at what you accomplished, it is such a great feeling. Although I still want to add a few annuals for coverage until the perennials fill out a bit, our garden is basically done, and I am so proud of how it ended up. As soon as I get up, the back curtains get opened so I can look out and enjoy my garden all day.

Reason to love gardening #4: Family bonding

As mentioned in Planning for Plants, my mom has been a big help to me on figuring out what to do in our garden. I got to spend a lot of time with her throughout the process, and got to listen to the many years of experience she has with gardening. When my daughter was home from daycare, she also got to help out. We got her some “Dora the Explorer” gardening gloves and a shovel, and “grandma” got her a matching watering can. She had a blast helping me, and we even planted special wildflower seeds just for her.

These are a few of the reasons why I love gardening, but why do you love gardening? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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