These drama-filled street succulents were found in a porcelain bathtub that was retired to become a city garden space.
You can fill burlap sacks, mason jars, old aluminum cans, wine crates, cardboard boxes even old shoes!- with plants. You can create incredible gardens. You can even grow sprouts and microgreens in your windowsill along with wheatgrass. My friend has a whole blooming, fruit-filled lime tree in her Manhattan kitchen.
There are spaces for gardens everywhere.
And gardens aren’t just beautiful they aren’t just “good energy” . gardens are multi-faceted ecostystems that can dramatically boost your life for the better. Digging into dirt, pulling weeds, sowing seeds, harvesting veggies, plucking bouquets Today I wanted to share some of the more dynamic reasons to start a garden of your own today!
My earliest memories of gardens stretch back to the huge “Italian” garden we had when we were kids, the first time I saw- and then ate- a zucchini blossom. Who knew that zucchini were flowers before they were food!? I was enchanted and hooked.
In fact, just mentioning that, I am headed to pick up a few zucchini plants later to get this years crop started.
Fun tip: in most cases, zucchini will grow like wildfire, producing tons more flowers and zucchini than you ever expected!
Science and multi-disiplinary investigations have taken the beauty of my zucchini flower discovery and expanded gardening into a huge and awesome endeavor with positive benefits that are impressive.
Gardening is an anti-depressant.
Christopher Lowry, Ph.D., from the University of Colorado at Boulder study found that Mycobacterium vaccae, a harmless bacteria found in dirt, may increase seratonin production and metabolism. This is what many anti-depressants do.
” Digging in the dirt isn’t the same as taking Prozac, of course, but Lowry argues that because humans evolved along with M. vaccae and a host of other friendly bugs, the relative lack of these “old friends” in our current environment has thrown our immune systems out of whack.” (via CNN)
Gardening boosts your self-esteem.
I can attest to the fact that its intensely rewarding to see your tomatoes in a salad! Or slice open your melon. Or pull some gorgeous multicolored carrots from the ground itself !
“A Dutch study asked two groups to complete a stressful task. Afterwards, one group gardened for 30 minutes, while the other group read indoors. Not only did the gardening group report better moods than the reading group, they also had measurably lower cortisol levels. Cortisol, the stress hormone, may influence more than just mood: chronically elevated cortisol levels have been linked to everything from immune function to obesity to memory and learning problems and heart disease.” (you can read the whole article on Earth Easy)
When you grow plants you tend to eat more plants.
Many polls, like THIS one in the LA Times, have found that people who garden tend to eat more veggies and fruit in general.
You will sleep much better!
“The mental health benefits of gardening are so strong that a field of medicine called horticultural therapy has been developed to help people who have psychiatric disorders deal with their conditions. Studies of people with dementia and anxiety have found that gardening helps calm their agitation, leading to better sleep patterns and improved quality of their rest.” (via Rodale News)
Get a workout.
While it may not be as impressive a calorie burn to take care of microgreens on your window sill (as I’m about to do!), the more you garden the more you’ll be active. This racks up to impressive fitness benefits.
Good Housekeeping writes about the fitness behind weeding and playing in the dirt:
“Gardening is considered moderate- to high-intensity exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can burn up to 330 calories during just one hour of light gardening and yard work more than lifting weights for the same amount of time.”
Want to get started?
In America, you can find community gardens HERE or in a local Google search. You can share a neighbor’s plot of space if you don’t have room to grow things. You can square foot garden in small spaces. And even just visiting gardens can bring you more peace, radiance and inspired thoughts!
I hope you get growing!
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