Gardening, the activity of tending and cultivating a garden!
I remember as a child being given a small section of the family garden, that was my own plot of land, I could choose whatever I wanted to plant, with the proviso that I had to tend and take care of it. I loved this, especially seeing all the amazing flowers grow. It gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment that I looked after the garden and it bore fruit!
Fast forward into my adult life, living in an apartment in Sydney, I tried to grow a little potted garden on my veranda but to no avail. So you can imagine how happy I was when we moved to Adelaide and along with our cute little cottage house, was a small patch of land at the front, which had a rosemary bush and a seemingly dead passion fruit vine. Nevertheless I envisioned a garden and with some hard work and many trips to our local nursery our little garden is born! (Although coming out of a HOT summer, its in GREAT need of love and tendering).
Did you know that gardening is one of the greatest things we can do for our health and the health of the environment!? Here are a few that might inspire you to get your green thumb going!
1) Stress reduction - being in nature, in particular gardening is one of the greatest ways to lower cortisol levels in the body. After a busy stressful day, even just 10 minutes in the garden, slows the mind and breath and allows all those negative ions from the earth to relax the body and mind!
2) Healthy organic produce - Unfortunately our soil is becoming over produced and thus depleted of vital nutrients, meaning that there is more of a need to eat organic produce. But this can be expensive, not to mention that's if you can even believe what your buying is organic. When you grow your own produce you know exactly how it has been treated and its packed full of nutrients, granted that your treat the soil with love and respect!
3) Self esteem/self pride - watching something you planted as a seed grow and then eating its bounty is fantastic for your self esteem! It give you a sense of pride to see that you helped something grow. It also makes you appreciate food and be less wasteful, because you know now how much love and energy goes into making something grow!
4) Exercise - You might be surprised by the amount of energy you expend when in the garden, but actually its a great way to use muscles that don't often gets used! Its also exercise in fresh air, which improves lung health as well.
5) Boost your vitamin D levels -Being out in the garden, under the sun is a great way to boost those vital vitamin D levels. If you go out first thing in the morning this can also have a benefit on melatonin and serotonin production. Leading to a happy health mind and body.
6) Environmental benefits - more and more food is being wasted and going to land fill, not to mention the amount of deforestation that is required to grow crops and clear land for cattle and livestock. So growing your own little garden, means less need to clear. You might think it's only a small piece of land, but collectively it can make all the difference.
7) Financial benefits - The cost of produce is rising, not to mention the cost of organic produce! You can significantly reduce your grocery bill if you grow staple vegetables.
The above are just a few of the many health benefits, inspire you to start your own garden. Now you may wonder what to grow! I personally love growing flowers, as I use them in the home for natural deodorisers, as well as herbs as I use them all the time in cooking! But you can grow anything you like, that's one of the best things, and you can always change it up! So head down to your local nursery get some tips and tricks on what grows best in your local area and get all the amazing benefits of getting in touch with your green thumb.
Sarah Emily Herbalist