Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why I Garden



Mary Ann at Gardens of the Wild Wild West has asked the question "Why do you garden?" My answer is simply "Because I have to." There are a number of things I do because they bring me pleasure and I find them enjoyable. Things like reading, cooking, going to the gym, seeing new places. Gardening is different. It is the thing that gets me out of bed on a beautiful Saturday summer morning and the thing that brings me peace on a foggy midwinter afternoon. It reminds me of being a child...there is so much wonder and reward in a garden. Some years there are major projects that bring change to the garden, some years things are simpler. But always, always there is a sense of belonging, of joy, of purpose...of rightness. I liked playing in the dirt as a child and I guess that is still true. So I garden simply because that is who I am...a gardener.
Of course, there are many rewards resulting from this personality trait. For example, being able to make a meal from things quickly gathered when dinner time suddenly appears. Being able to use a variety of herbs in cooking without having to buy those expensive, too large bunches at the market. Having flowers available just about all year long. Introducing children to the miracle of seeds. Sharing plants with new gardeners. Providing a pleasant place for friends to gather...be they human, avian or insect.
Gardening provides constant entertainment and just like books or movies that entertainment can run the gamut of emotions. Gardens have it all...mystery (where did that come from?), murder and death (I knew I should have watered those yesterday...), humor (I hope no neighbors saw that!), suspense (will this be the system that finally protects my lettuce from those sparrows?), joy (the first tomato!plum!lettuce! of the year), peace (that moment when you suddenly stop with your hands in the dirt, look around and say "Thank you.")
I'd be crazy not to reap all these benefits. And that is the last reward I will mention...if I didn't garden I'd go crazy. The garden feeds my soul as well as my body. I garden because I have to.

9 comments:

Carol said...

Well said, Leslie. I couldn't agree more!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Well done Leslie. I think we can all relate.~~Dee

MA said...

Thanks so much Leslie.!

Kathy said...

Yes, how to explain? It is a difficult thing to communicate: because I have to.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Amen, sister!

flowers said...

You have got a cool garden. You seems to be an ardent lover of gardening. Keep up the good work. Keep on gardening and stay healthy.

Cindy McMorris Tournier said...

Great essay, Leslie! I say amen and damn skippy to all of it!

sev said...

I get that totally , i garden also . but im an artist and i paint because i have to , you made perfect sense :-) i garden for all those reasons too . great words.

Sfaith said...

I don't understand how anyone with a plot of earth, however small, can resist the urge to plant things.