why I love gardening

I love gardening. And I love the real, good food that grows from soil I helped build. I especially love the numerous varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers I can grow because I use a diversity of heirloom and open pollinated seeds. In fact, I’ve been known to have between 40 and 50 varieties of plant-life vying for space in my seven large and four smaller raised beds as well as pots of various sizes placed throughout my backyard.

imagination

When I step into my garden, I don’t only envision the harvests. My imagination also runs wild at the life forms around me. For instance, when a baby potato plant pops up through the soil, it reminds me of Oscar the Grouch. When a bean seedling casts off its protective shell, I think it looks like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. And I can’t help but see squash plants — from seedling to adulthood — as some sorts of alien creatures.

flying creatures feasting

I watch in wonder as bees and butterflies dance on my flowers for nectar while dispersing pollen and birds cast seeds from my towering sunflowers.  

losing my sense of time

On a weekend morning I can think I’m heading Into the garden for a short survey of what’s up.  However, I may not make it back into the house until late afternoon or early evening. I often lose my sense of time as I both wonder at and work in my backyard patch.

mental health

I suffer from Anxiety (capitalization of the letter A intended). But when I enter my garden and start weeding, my stressors often melt away. Sometimes I talk softly to the ground, airing my woes. It accepts and absorbs my agitated state until my mood comes back to a healthier place.

taking pics

I love when my camera accompanies into my garden plot. As my social media followers know, I love taking closeup shots of seedlings, stems, leaves, flowers, and vegetables. I’m amazed by plant life in all its stages. And I want to share this amazement with all who stop by my feeds to see what the plants are up to.

a kitchen-view wilderness

I love the topography of an adult garden. Sunflowers tower several feet higher than my arms will reach, which is important because beanstalks often follow the giant flowers as high as they will grow. (Yes, a ladder sometimes finds its way into my backyard plot.) Squash plants sprawl this way and that, defying any taming I try to force upon them. And tomato plants contribute to the jungle feel of my garden, in part because my raised beds allow for a vibrant root system, which serves as a strong base for what grows above ground as well as ample access to soil for feeding the plants with all the needed nutrients.

The height, sprawl, and thicket feel of my garden frequently makes my jaw drop, surprised that tiny seeds — with the help of healthy soil and water — sprout a 16-foot wide by 35-foot long by (at times) 12-foot tall wilderness just outside my kitchen window.

I love gardening. And, I’ll admit it. I hope my storytelling and pictures inspire others to develop green thumbs as well.

Do you have a question? Or your own story of garden amazement? Comment below.