Why We Garden

Published: 2021-07-19 11:50:04
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Why Do We Garden? Garden is a plot of ground, usually near a house, where flowers, shrubs, vegetables, fruits or herbs are cultivated. It can incorporate both natural and human materials. Some gardens are for ornamental purposes only, while other gardens also produce food crops, sometimes in separate areas, or sometimes intermixed with the ornamental plants. In addition, gardens may be designed by garden owners themselves, or by professionals.
The most important consideration in any garden design is, how the garden will be used, followed closely by the desired stylistic genres, and the way the garden space will connect to the home or other structures in the surrounding areas. And, gardening is the activity of growing and maintaining the garden. This work is done by an amateur or professional gardener. A gardener might also work in a non-garden setting, such as a park, a roadside embankment, or other public space. Some gardeners manage their gardens without using any water from outside the garden, and therefore do not deprive wetland habitats of the water they need to survive.
In fact, gardening is considered to be a relaxing activity for many people. We might ask a question: Why do many choose to garden and then some choose to stop gardening? People nowadays face a lot of stress factors including constant bombardment with information about environmental issues, economic concerns, health worries, and community strife. Gardening is a tool to abate life’s stress, improve our healthy life enhance the environment, and build community relationship. The popularity of gardening has waxed and waned over time, but given the fact that people have been gardening for the past 10,000 years, chances are we’ll never stop.
Gardening has a rich history, and it is fascinating to see how people’s reasons for gardening and styles of gardening have changed over the years. During the first half of the 20th century, much of the world was at war. Because war is so “resource-intensive”, many countries asked their citizens to pitch in and contribute to gardening. According to Liza Barness, “in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson and First Lady Edith Wilson brought sheep to graze and fertilize the White House lawns in an effort to save manpower, fuel, and chemicals”, therefore they could instead be used for the war (1).
And then, “in 1943, the Roosevelts planted a “victory garden” on the White House grounds”. In addition, a victory garden was a private or community vegetable garden, either in a backyard or public area, where people could grow food for their families and communities. This was done in order to reduce demands on the country’s resources (1). In fact, plants grow and continue to change over time and are directly affected by changes in the environment. These changes affect the management of the garden. According to Filoli, “formal gardens must be continually renewed to maintain the original design and keep the gardens dynamic and healthy” (2).
Woodlands and vegetation can encroach and block important historic views. Tree canopies increase and shade compromises the health of plants and the integrity of aggregate features below. Sometimes catastrophic events appear causing trees to fall. Environments can change drastically requiring the construction of special temporary shade structures for long periods of time. Pests and diseases take their toll on historic plants and colonial replacements are often unavailable, unless their replacements have been planned and propagated in the greenhouse.
In other words, according to Michael Pollan in ”Farmer in Chief”, “more than 20 million home gardens were supplying 40& of the produce consumed in America by the end of WWII”(1). Gardening has become increasingly popular in the last few years as more and more consumers want to have a hand in what they eat. Growing your own might sound like a simple solution to complex problems like high food prices, food recalls, unhealthy diets and sedentary habits, but it can make a bigger impact than you might think.
In other words, gardening isn’t only a fun way to beautify your yard; you can also produce delicious fruits and vegetables or relieve stress. Working in the garden can also bring you unexpected health benefits. For example, by watering your vegetables and tending to your garden outside, you are increasing your exposure to sunlight and fresh air, which boosts your mood and physical health. In the garden, relieving stress becomes much easier; as one steps away from everyday life and turns to nature one finds peace and relaxation.
Working in the garden is also a great form of exercise without ever having to go to the gym. Moreover, because you will be producing a bounty of delicious fruits and vegetables in your garden, you will have healthier food choices available. The combination of reducing stress, exercising more and eating healthier can lead to a better healthy life. According to Chrystle Fiedler, the author of “Stressed out? But here’s the good news: the secret to staying healthy and feeling energized is simply learning how to … slow down,” becoming a gardener is one of the way to reduce our stress level and blood pressure and “improve your body% ability to regulate sugar”(64). Chrystle admitted that spending time caring for one’s garden, which may include flowering plants may “help you relax and get grounded”(64). Additionally, in 2004 at Japan’s Utsunomiya University, researchers “found repotting plants lowered fatigue and promoted physiological relaxation in study participants,” and that working with flowers seemed to have “a stronger positive effect than working with non-flowering plants”(1).
Furthermore, Chrystle shows us how to get started by investing in an EarthBox: if you live in an apartment or you don’t have any space to garden, “a self-watering container garden that comes with potting soft and fertilizer” (64). Clearly, gardening indoors or outdoors can be a great way to reduce stress. One reason may be that many people find gardening enjoyable. Doing the things that we love will reduce stress. Another reason that the garden is stress-relieving is that it requires physical exertion. Participating in strenuous activities like gardening can relieve aggression and frustration.
You will also find that simply spending time in the beauty of nature can make things feel better. If you aren’t able to exert a lot of physical force, consider walking through the garden or relaxing outside around your plants. Generally, we can enjoy gardening anytime, anywhere we want. Also, gardening can lead to physical health benefits. According to research of University of Illinois, “the health benefits of gardening are impressive” (1). Gardening also helps support healthful dietary behaviors, such as eating a balanced and varied diet. People who grow fruits and vegetables tend to eat more of these healthy foods.
Vermont Gal, the author of “How to Lose Weight Gardening” states that following the American Council on Exercise,” gardening burns approximately 300 calories an hour”. And it is an effective way “to achieve cardiovascular fitness, build muscles, strengthen joints and increase flexibility”. Because gardening “utilizes all of the major muscle groups in the body, including the back, neck, arms, stomach, shoulders, buttocks and legs”. Certainly, gardeners who grow their own fruits and vegetables can “reap the benefits of healthy eating as they strive to lose weight”(2).
There can be a great deal of stretching involved with gardening, like reaching for weeds or tall branches, bending to plant and extending a rake. Lifting bags of mulch, pushing wheelbarrows and shoveling all provide resistance training similar to weight lifting, which leads to healthier bones and joints. Gardening contributes to enhancing our mental health. According to Casey O’Hanlon, the author of “Garden to Improve Mental Health”, those who spent 30 minutes gardening also reported improved moods, while the bookworms only seemed to feel more stressed”(2).
Also, research suggests that in some individuals, gardening might also “bring out greater feelings of spirituality and could even offer relief from traumatic experiences like dealing with illness or the death of a loved one”(2). Actually, gardening boosts mental fortitude. You may not realize it, but gardening requires a lot of creative thinking, from deciding what vegetables to plant to knowing when to water and harvest your crops. Keeping your mind active also may reduce your chances of dementia later in life. Furthermore, research suggests “people who grow their own produce consume higher levels of nutritious fruits and veggies”(2).
Planting and harvesting fresh vegetables and herbs in your garden encourages healthy eating which will overall improve your mood and health. Gardening encourages you to try recipes filled with your vegetable choice, which boosts your health. A diet high in vegetables and fruit will increase endorphin and serotonin levels, leaving you happier, and lowering your risk for depression. Gardening can be a great escape from your work-filled life. Gardening connects us with others as well as with nature is another benefit of gardening.
Gardening is a hobby that can be experienced by all; there’s no preference or prejudice. Gardening can be enjoyed and practiced by everyone in the family, regardless of age. Gardens may take time to grow, but they can grow with you. Gardening teaches young people invaluable skills and can lift self-esteem in people of any age. Gardening can be both emotionally and physically satisfying. According to National Gardening Association, “Gardening offers active and engaging connections to academics, from science and math to nutrition and literacy”(1). You may think that gardening is a solo activity, but gardening can help widen your circle of friends. Gardening can be an easy conversation starter and exchanging tips and stories on gardening with people can help make life-long friends. There are thousands on blogs and online forums where you can talk about your favorite hobby. Plus, you can share your fruits and vegetables with your neighbors, friends, and family. According to Tampa Bay School Gardening Network, by deepening children’s sense of connecting with nature, gardening can “inspire environmental stewardship” (1).
When children learn about “water and energy cycles, the food chain and the peculiar needs of individual species and when they feel a sense of connection to a certain species or individual plants, they have a reason to care about all the forces that impact that plan’s future”(1). And, from the water shortage to the over-use of pesticides, children who “engage in gardening have firsthand opportunities to observe the importance of conservation and intelligent allocation of resources”(1). In other word, gardening is a universal language that brings the community together.
We always hear about the negative impact humans have on the environment, but by gardening we can truly “go green” to benefit the earth. Plants act as highly effective air cleaners, absorbing carbon dioxide, plus many air pollutants, while releasing clean oxygen and fragrance. According to Carol Stocker, gardening helps “control urban temperatures, mitigating the effects of extreme heat and cold”. Otherwise, they help “prevent flooding by absorbing rainwater that would otherwise overload drainage systems” (1).
Also, a dense cover of plants and mulch holds soil in place, reducing erosion and keeping sediment out of streams, storm drains and roads. By planting new gardens, such as rain gardens, we can make use of the rain water run-off and help prevent harmful pollutants from making it in our streams and lakes. Native gardens, like rain gardens, are not only good for the environment they are low maintenance, beautiful, and easy on the wallet. Besides being good for the environment gardens have environmental gains for us.
It has been proven that an effective, environmental landscape design can cool your home in summer and warm it in winter. Growing your own garden is an easy way to benefit the environment by reducing the carbon emissions and waste created by shipping and packaging food. Many mass-produced vegetables travel thousands of miles before arriving at the grocery store, and must be packaged in man-made materials such as plastic and cardboard. Gardening is good for the environment. Plants provide oxygen for the environment and absorb carbon dioxide in the air, composting veggie and fruit scraps frees up space in landfills.
In other word, gardening is a very “Green activity”, and is extremely good for the environment helping reducing pollution levels in many communities. On the other hand, some people choose to stop gardening because it requires patience and time and take money. Those of us who garden have many reasons for doing so. Flavor, a little independence from destructive industrial food system, reducing our climate emissions via our “food miles”, the pleasures of walking out to gather organic ingredients for the evening meals, the satisfaction of growing things that can’t be found in the store, a love of nurturing plants and spending time outdoors.
On the other hand, those who don’t garden have just as many reasons. There is a serious start up time for getting the tools and supplies, creating the raised beds and preparing the soil. Then there is the planting of seeds and transplants, mulching, weeding, watering and harvesting and storing of the produce. It’s definitely a time and financial investment. Actually, gardening requires a sunny, protected area with decent soil. If we want to grow many vegetables, we have to have a house with a sunny plot of land, at least more land than people living in apartments, condos, or in wooded areas.
In conclusion, to garden is to use the Earth as a canvas on which we create beautiful and sustainable works of art. Garden time is play time. Garden time is meditation time. Garden time is exercise time, couples time, or family time. We all know the many benefits of digging in the dirt, physical, health and nutrition, environmental, financial and emotional – it is why we are here after all: to learn more about gardens. Many of us garden for knowledge of health. From hands-on gardening to books and more, gardening opens our minds to discovery. Gardeners learn from one another. Gardeners learn about weather, plants, soil, and more.
Gardening is a great way to improve your mental health and maintain fresh air in life. Gardening teaches us how to get in touch with our inner selves. Gardening provides better nutrition, emotional, intellectual and source simulation while forcing a rich relationship with the interactions of environmental factors forces. Generally, gardening and landscaping is truly becoming an art form. Planning, planting and watching your own garden grow can fill a person with satisfaction and pride. Gardening is truly a life-time hobby. The more you learn the more proficient one gets and the possibilities become endless.

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