Gardening has always been part of my life ever since I was a little girl but I must admit that until recently, I was simply a spectator and the recipient of glorious produce, handed over to me without any effort on my part. As things are, there comes a time when one has to take over and adopt an active role. Not terribly enthusiastically at first as this added to my to do list already quite hefty. However, it didn’t take long to become something enjoyable and later a new passion and something to look forward to. In this post. I will talk about some of the benefits that gardening brings to my life while providing vocabulary in context and pictures with some of the tools, produce and flowers in our garden.
THE JOY OF GARDENING
Gardening is therapeutical.
- It takes your mind off things. It is absorbing and has the power to make you lose track of time. There is a different flow when you are working outside immersed in the sounds of nature and directly in contact with it.
- It gives you a sense of achievement as you can visually see the progress of your work and the beauty you are helping create if it’s a garden or the promise of a future harvest to reap if it’s a vegetable garden.
- It touches on several senses, if not all. You see the splendor, you smell the scents, you touch the textures, you taste the fruits. And is there a more pleasanlty relaxing sound that the rustling of tree leaves gently moved by the wind
Gardening is exercise.
It definitetly keeps you moving and fit. I have to rack my brains to find someone who is overweight among my gardener friends and acquaintances. Everyone who has a house and a garden knows that there is always something to do. That is not to say that everything requires urgent attention. A lot of these activities are not pressing so it takes the stress out of the equation.
Gardening connects people.
- For me, personally, this is also a space of quality time with my family, a space of collaboration and knowledge sharing . During pandemic times, it has also proved to be a safe space to hang out with them.
- An unexpected added bonus has been to discover that this is a very entertaining topic of conversation with some friends here and across the world. It gets even more interesting when the person lives in the southern hemisphere!
- Another incentive is giving away some of the produce to friends. Or propagate plants to share. The joy of giving!
Gardening is learning
- Learning the basics: when to sow (put the seeds in the ground) and plant (put a plant into the ground), what to weed (remove the wild plants from an area) and prune (cut off some of the branches of a tree to help future growth) or how to make compost (a mixture of dead plants and vegetable waste that turns into a great source of nutrients to add to the soil).
- Learning the names of gardening tools: hoe, garden trowel, garden fork, pruning shears or pruners, etc (photos througout the article).
- Learning about how keep the soil in good condition: turning it to let some air in, drawing soil around plants, amending it by adding in compost, etc.
- Learning about what plants do: bloom/ flower, bolt or go to seed (when a plant flowers and starts producing seeds), grow, wilt/wither (begin to die).
Gardening can be adapted to your circumnstances
Our balconies and window sills can indeed become little gardens by using the kind of plants that can be grown in pots. With a bit of patience and a good use of space, this miniature urban gardens can yield herbs (basil, dill, lavender, rosemary, etc) and some small produce, like cherry tomatoes, rocket or strawberries. And it’s fun to see the growth from a very close distance.
Greetings to all the green fingers out there.
Recommended webs to learn gardening vocabulary: