Up until now, I've written mostly about the planting process, not the therapy benefits of gardening. Here are those that I consider most important.
When I'm exploring my gardens or planting in them, I'm absorbing vitamin D! After about 20 minutes, I use organic sunscreen.
BALANCING THE HEART AND SOUL
Whether I'm in the basement at my potting bench before the weather turns warm enough to work around the patio, or just absorbing the flowery scents and colors and textures all around me outside, something about working in the earth with young plants is calming, soothing and peaceful. It takes about ten minutes of breathing deeply and forgetting about what I've left upstairs or in the house before stress begins to fall away.
The great thing about the physical benefit is the way you can tailor it to fit your needs. My husband goes at this much more vigorously, digging the gardens, clearing them, readying the ground and filling large patio pots for planting. On the other hand, just the standing time is good for me, walking around the yard, carrying the pots, trays of growing plants and sprinkling cans. Once I plant the seeds, this process is a daily routine.
APPRECIATION FOR LIFE
We're fortunate to have a field just beyond our backyard. Deer visit all year. In the spring, bunnies cavort under the pines and in the grass while blue jays, bluebirds, cardinals and finches sing in the trees, swoop across the yard, and play in the birdbath. In late spring and summer, hummingbirds chirp greetings and amaze me, while butterflies hover over the flowers in gardens and planters.
Life is so busy! The computer is a work tool that sometimes seems to glue me to it. As a writer, I could be working every waking hour. When I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing. Gardening takes me away, inspires me and strengthens me. If you try it, I hope it does the same for you.
Below you'll find photos of petunias, geraniums and tomatoes at week 10! Watching everything grow is a joyful process.
© 2012 Karen Rose Smith
In this romance, my heroine has a butterfly garden!