It’s hard. It’s messy. It’s dirty. It’s time consuming. It’s expensive. It’s back breaking. It’s sad sometimes. And all the other negatives that come with tending to a garden.
So, why do we do it? Well because like most things on the homestead, the pros outweigh the cons. Let’s list some here.
It’s a learning process.
You don’t just wake up one day knowing how to garden. Sure you learn that plants need sunlight, soil and water to survive from school when you’re a child, but that’s about the extent of your knowledge unless you actively try to learn more. Actual gardening is a learning process. You have to seek out the answers to your gardening questions and try to remember them going forward. Why are my tomatoes out of control? Because you need to prune the suckers. Why is my squash rotting on the vine? Because you have blossom end rot caused by a lack of calcium in the developing fruit. Why do my camellias leaves have black on them? Because you have sooty mold. These are all examples of things you have to learn. Learning about your garden is an incredibly interesting process because you’re invested in it.
It’s something to look forward to every year.
Every February, Spring fever begins to set in. For our zone (zone 8), it’s about a month premature, but that never puts the fever at bay. We’re so excited to get the raised beds up and running, transplants into the ground and seedlings started. It’s a time for new life and growth after the barren winter months. Every single year, it’s something to look forward to and get enthusiastic about.
It provides you with fresh fruit, veggies or flowers.
If you do it right of course. 😉 There is something so special about walking out into your own garden and plucking food or flowers for yourself. It’s an incredible feeling. You can literally feed yourself and your family from your hard work and dedication to your garden. And let’s be real, the crisp, freshness of your own harvested crops is pretty tasty.
In a good way. It’s dirty in a way that allows you to become engrossed in the process. You got dirt on your face? Who cares. Your fingernails are black? So what. You ruined another shirt? Whatever. It doesn’t matter. It’s not about you in garden. It’s about your plants and the nurturing they need. This requires you to get a little dirty, and it’s revitalizing.
A true miracle. You put a tiny little seed into the dirt, water it, let the sun do it’s thing, and poof, a plant is born. Obviously there is a complex science behind this phenomenon, but for me, it doesn’t change the fact that seeds growing into bountiful plants is extraordinary so therefore gardening as a whole is extraordinary.
Immersing yourself in the garden is calming. You’re focused on the menial tasks at hand. Your mind may wander, but it’s also free to de-stress. You’re surrounded by the sounds of nature, a slight breeze and the birds chirping. It’s serene and relaxing.
It’s rewarding to see the direct link between your care and a plant’s success. It’s rewarding to be a part of nature and to supplement it. It’s rewarding to live simply through your garden. And, it’s certainly rewarding to have fruits, veggies and flowers at the end of your road of dedication.
It’s family time.
Your garden can be a great family undertaking. There are so many lessons to be learned in the garden for people of all ages. Competition. Transformation. Life. Death. It’s a place to connect and support one another while you encourage and tend to the plants. There’s a bond that naturally forms as you care for nature together.
It’s a responsibility.
You have to be a reliable caretaker for your garden. It needs you to make sure it’s properly fed and watered. Without your commitment, it will not succeed. It literally relies on you resulting in you prioritizing what truly matters.
At the end of the day, gardening is simply a lot of fun. We find pure pleasure and enjoyment out of working in it and watching it change.
What would you add to the list?