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Wellness Tip: Gardening Is Good For The Planet, Our Health

Pelargoniums for Europe

Whether you have a green thumb or not, National Plant A Flower Day on March 12 encourages everyone to go out and celebrate the Earth. The list is extensive regarding how planting gardens can benefit the planet. Both air and soil quality are improved, our wildlife is protected, and when we grow what we use, the size of landfills and waste is reduced. However, what is less known is how gardening improves our personal lives.

“As many people already knew and others discovered during the pandemic, plant-related hobbies like gardening offer an opportunity to enjoy nature and give a person a more positive outlook on life,” stated Charles Hall, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M. Planting has been linked with reducing anxiety, stress, and depression as well as increasing our productivity and creativity. 

Photo Courtesy Kelly Sikkema

“When young gardeners have the experience of planting and caring for something from seed to harvest, they get a sense of accomplishment, pride, and ownership. It’s a real esteem-builder for them,” said Randy Seagraves, junior master gardener program.

Gardening differs from other hobbies like recreational sports and baking because the end goal takes much longer.

At the same time, you need more than just talent or luck. You need to be able to listen to the environment to nurture the growth of plants, which is such an important skill to have.

Photo Courtesy Kenny Eliason

If you’re ready to start a flower garden, here are a few tips to help you along the way:

Make an initial gardening plan

Whether you want to start planting outside or add a potted plant inside your home, planning how to support the plants’ growth is essential. Factors like sun exposure, watering, and soil quality are crucial for flowers to thrive, and you may have a few trials and errors before you figure out the best combination.

Photo Courtesy Nature Uninterrupted Photography

Think about adding native plants to your garden

Native plants are any greenery naturally found where you live and not brought to your region by outside members. Native flowers are proven substantially better for the environment, especially for bees and other pollinators, by providing nectar. In addition to helping insects, they are generally more low maintenance and will help you conserve money, time, and water. Head to The Pollinator Conservation Resource Center’s guide to check out the ones in your region.  

Photo Courtesy Jael Rodriguez

You don’t have to do it alone

Community gardens are a great way to meet others in your neighborhood and learn how to hone your skills. These specialty spots are also great for making more fresh produce accessible to people since they grow more than just flowers.

Photo Courtesy micheile dot com

Be patient and remember your end goal

Gardening takes an immense deal of patience and care while honing a skill set that requires us to be ready for the unexpected. Like learning any new hobby, it takes time to track your progress and reap the rewards of your hard work — that is completely okay! Remember that the best things take time.

If you’re a beginner, some easy flowers to start with are marigolds, hostas, sweet peas, coneflowers, pansies, and catmint. The Earth gives us so many beautiful things and experiences, so give back and show some appreciation by planting something pretty today.