Most people have pretty good associations with the idea of gardening. It goes back a long while in culture and symbolism, after all. There’s something about the image of a man or woman getting their hands into the soil, planting things and making them grow, and doing honest work by the sweat of their brow that just seems… wholesome.
Of course, not too many of us actually engage in gardening as a routine hobby or activity these days. Part of that has to do with the fact that we may not have our own gardens. Another part of it is undoubtedly rooted in the fact that we arguably have more complex lives than in the past. Work often takes on myriad dimensions, and social media and the internet are constant sources of distraction, in addition to our private and family lives.
Still, taking the time to make gardening into a serious hobby that you engage in on a regular basis, may have tremendous benefits, whether done in your own garden or in an allotment. Here are a few reasons why you should make the effort of taking it up.
It gets you out of your own head and gives you an opportunity to get your hands dirty
As mentioned a moment ago, our lives these days tend to be extremely hectic, complex, and chaotic. There is information coming at us at all times day and night, from any number of different sources.
One consequence of this, is that we have less and less time and opportunity to catch our breath, relax, and get out of our own heads. This, in turn, leads to mounting stress and a loss of perspective.
Gardening is an activity which does a great job of getting you out of your own head and giving you an opportunity to get your hands dirty. It stops you from over-thinking everything, at least for a while, and it slows the pace of life. And in today’s busy and fast world, that’s invaluable.
It’s incredibly satisfying to see your work paying off in physical form right before your eyes
One of the problems with much of the kind of work that many of us do these days — white collar work in particular — is that we rarely have a clear sense of seeing the “fruits of our labour” in tangible form.
Gardening reconnects us to that primal need. Growing the perfect tomato isn’t just a matter of performing the rituals of preparing the soil, planting the seeds, and so on. It also includes the fulfilment of seeing the tomatoes themselves growing as a result of our efforts.
This kind of work is inherently fulfilling and reminds us of our power to shape our circumstances for the better, and to leave a mark.
It’s a good way to get a bit of exercise and fresh air
Alright, gardening may not exactly fall into the same category of intensity as a hardcore CrossFit workout, but it does get you moving your body, working the soil, stooping and standing, tugging on weeds, and so on.
These days, many of us are far too sedentary for our own good, and spend much of our time sitting around, in addition to not getting sufficient fresh air and sunlight.
Gardening gets us moving, breathing outdoor air, and depending on the season, also absorbing the rays of the sun. That, in itself, is certainly worth something.