Gardening Is Good for the Soul

Gardening can be a hobby, a business, a teaching tool, a learning experience, a science experiment, the setting for a novel, movie, or ballet, the subject matter of photography, painting, or poetry, and much more. But without its connection with you, the gardener, a garden will be nothing more than a well-designed, controlled imitation of nature. It will have no soul.

And, as we are critical to igniting the souls of our gardens, likewise, gardening is good for our souls. Even gardens consisting of the most mundane plants, draw out the nuturing and caregiving elements of human nature. I’ve rarely met a gardener who didn’t also enjoy feeding birds and attracting butterflies. The more organically-inclined among us form alliances with worms, beneficial insects, and even fungi that enhance the soil. We mask the sounds of civilization with the sounds of gurgling water from streams, fountains, and ponds.

In short, gardening represents our attempt to reconnect and work in concert with nature. When we are able to do that, we enjoy the physical benefits of being out in the fresh air and sunshine, the good feeling of exhaustion that comes from exercise, and the slower pace that allows us not just to take time to smell the roses, but also to observe the sky, and ponder our individual place in the web of life. At the end of a good gardening day, there’s the sense of relaxation that comes from admiring a job well done and meditating on things that we value.

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