Tuesday, May 24, 2011


My wife said to me the other day, as we were looking for some door handles, that it was time to think about getting the garden ready. I agreed and we looked at some herbs with the idea of making an herb garden in some planters on the patio, and that made me think about gardens, growing plants from seeds, wisdom and health.

Our societies developed in the face of nature and the roots of our accepted society behaviours are deeply planted in that soil of legend and myth. In many ways, our gardens reflect those myths and legends. We recreate the myths by taming nature and turning it into a manicured backyard garden. Many of us will never visit a truly “wild” place nor do we have any desire to do this. But we do have a need to master our own personal wild space. The closest we come on a daily basis to nature is in our backyards; and that backyard is our symbolic nature – our personal wild space.
“Does gardening bring us closer to nature and wisdom or are those that are already wise gardening?” Here are a few things to consider when thinking about your gardens.
Researchers found that accessibility to nature was the most important factor—after the marital role—in life satisfaction. Yard care and gardening activities develop individuals, strengthen families, and builds communities. Relf, D. The pyscho-social benefits of green spaces. Grounds Maintenance.March, 1996

Indeed many writers famous for their accessibility to nature had something to say about gardening. Henry David Thoreau said, “Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigour and freedom of the forest and the outlaw.” What a wonderful sentiment that lets us have the organization within our garden but this statement also forces us to  understanding that within a heartbeat, nature can deal out some interesting consequences of our attempts at organization.

John Ruskin, in his 1851 classic, “The Stones of Venice” wrote,  “There is material enough in a  single flower for the ornament of a  score of cathedrals.” Touring the cathedrals of Europe will indeed show how architects borrowed from  the lore and the symbolism of the  garden to decorate their houses of  worship.

It is increasingly clear that gardening is a healthy antidote to the rigors of our society. Bone density for women who did yard work was equal to those who did weight training, and higher than  in women who did jogging,  aerobics, or calisthenics.

Top reasons people garden: To be outdoors (44%); to be around beautiful things (42%); relax and escape the pressures of everyday life (39%); stay active and get exercise (35%)
The National Gardening Association in the U.S. does a survey every year that issued by the horticultural industry in its planning. National Gardening Association recently conducted a new survey and found that about 1 out of 5 households nationwide spent more time caring for their lawns and gardens last year and 16% less money in total than in previous years. The survey goes on to indicate that, while most of the 83 million households that participated in do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities last year spent about the same amount of time on their lawns and gardens, 22% spent more time food gardening, 19% spent more time flower gardening, 19% spent more time container gardening, 14% spent more time on lawn care, and 13% spent more time on yard and landscape maintenance.

Food gardening was the only category of lawn and garden activity that saw a significant increase in household participation and spending last year. The number of families participating in food gardening increased in the US by 5 million households or 14%, to 41 million households. The total spent on food gardening increased by $520 million or 21%, to $2.989 billion last year from $2.469 the previous year. Food gardening includes vegetable gardening, fruit trees, growing berries, and herb gardening.

Top 8 Benefits of Gardening from the National Gardening Assoc.

·        64%                     To maintain the appearance of my property
·        63%                     To improve the appearance of my property.
·        57%                     To save money by doing more for myself.
·        57%                     To enjoy the activity
·        48%                     To grow fresh and nutritious food
·        45%                     For exercise
·        44%                     To make my outdoor space more livable
·        32%                     To be more self-reliant

Gardening is indeed a wonderful pastime, and as spring moves forward, I will be enjoying mine in ways that go beyond the mere accumulation of financial rewards. I hope that you to enjoy your own garden

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