Gardening: Good for the Soul

A hidden treasure found inside my hanging fern... I am watering it carefully these days!

A hidden treasure found inside my hanging fern… I am watering it carefully these days!

By Karen Hendricks

As I’m writing this, a gentle spring rain is falling… music to my ears, because it means my garden is being watered. How many of our Off the Merry-Go-Round readers also maintain gardens? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s compare notes and exchange tips…

Every spring, I love rediscovering one of my favorite hobbies all over again–gardening. Through the long winter months, I enjoy dreaming about and planning my next gardening adventure, but it doesn’t turn into reality until I pull on the gardening gloves and actually start digging in the earth. What is it about gardening that draws me back year after year? There are many wonderful reasons, but one underlying and main reason: it feels good for the soul. There is something that resonates within me, deep down. And it’s certainly time spent “off the merry-go-round” of busy, hectic days.

I’ve compiled a free-form list of words, triggered by brainstorming about gardening and why it’s so good for the soul:

  • nature
  • peaceful
  • God’s creation
  • therapeutic
  • exercise
  • weeding
  • planting
  • nurturing
  • rewarding
  • earthy
  • healthy
  • beauty
  • green
  • growth
  • discoveries
  • wonder
  • sunshine
  • outdoors

Come with me and take a tour of some of my gardens, through photos, below… I hope it inspires you and touches something within your soul too.

Nothing says "spring" like a pot of pansies by your front door. This is one of my favorite spots to catch a cup of coffee or tea.

Nothing says “spring” like a pot of pansies by your front door. This is one of my favorite spots to catch a cup of coffee or tea.

 

"Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts." - Shakespeare

“Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.” – Shakespeare

 

The vegetable garden... a (mostly) blank canvas, waiting for this year's crops.

The vegetable garden… a (mostly) blank canvas, waiting for this year’s crops.

 

My husband built me this little "greenhouse" from our home's old windows. The top window is hinged so that it can be opened. It's the perfect place to grow spring lettuce!

My husband built me this little “greenhouse” from our home’s old windows. The top window is hinged so that it can be opened. It’s the perfect place to grow spring lettuce!

 

Nothing tastes as fresh as lettuce straight from the garden... Can't wait for it to grow some more!

Nothing tastes as fresh as lettuce straight from the garden… Can’t wait for it to grow some more!

 

Spring onions!

Spring onions!

 

Parsley in a pot, beginning to grow from seed. I can't live without fresh parsley for summertime dishes, and growing it in an pot makes it versatile because I can move it right to my kitchen doorstep.

Parsley in a pot, beginning to grow from seed. I can’t live without fresh parsley for summertime dishes, and growing it in an pot makes it versatile because I can move it right to my kitchen doorstep.

 

This little bed features white tulips and a thick bunch of mountain bluets... a very unique flower that's one of my favorites.

This little bed features white tulips and a thick bunch of mountain bluets… a very unique flower that’s one of my favorites.

 

A closer look at the mountain bluets... they remind me of bright blue firecrackers.

A closer look at the mountain bluets… they remind me of bright blue firecrackers.

 

Several of our bloggers have recently written about family ties. These irises are very special to me, as they are the same ones that grew in my great-grandmother's garden. A wonderful reminder of her!

Several of our bloggers have recently written about family ties. These irises are very special to me, as they are the same ones that grew in my great-grandmother’s garden. A wonderful reminder of her!

Since Iris is the Greek goddess for the Messenger of Love, her sacred flower is considered the symbol of communication and messages.  Greek men would often plant an iris on the graves of their beloved women as a tribute to the goddess Iris, whose duty it was to take the souls of women to the Elysian fields.”   -Hana No Monogatari, in The Stories of Flowers

What does gardening mean to you? Do you enjoy tending a vegetable garden or flower beds? Any gardening “secrets” you’d like to share? Thanks so much for stopping by for a tour… and perhaps I’ll share photos of my garden again, later in the season! 

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Gardening: Good for the Soul

    • Definitely – give the seeds a try! Some seeds are tricky so start with something easy like lettuce or radishes, or nasturiums (if you grow flowers). If your kids are into gardening, involve them… they’ll enjoy seeing the incredible variations in seed shapes, sizes, etc. Happy Gardening!

  1. Our 2 1/2 acre property ~ surrounded by preserved reservoir and woodland, is comprised of forest trees; flowers; bushes; and flower gardens which had been grown by previous owners. It has really transformed over the years since we moved here due to the incredible amount of time, work, and care my husband has dedicated to our land. It began with simply maintaining what had been planted by previous owners. Next, my husband spent weeks creating a natural walking path through the woods along the perimeter of our property — by hand! I hadn’t seen such a thing since watching Little House On the Prairie! Then, he called in an arborist to walk the property with him, and tell him about all the tree species, and plant and flower life, on our land; as well as how to care and nurture it all, and suggestions for future planting. My husband also put in a small garden a few years ago which has led to much experimentation on his part, and my son really enjoys helping his daddy with all of the outdoor chores! About three years ago, I designed and planted our upper deck space with flower plants ~ in pots, deck railing containers, and hanging baskets. I have since turned maintenance of this spot over to my husband as well. Even though I do not contribute much to the outdoor chores, I do sure enjoy walking our beautiful property! And THAT is good for MY soul! 🙂

  2. Digging in the dirt can be so cathartic and stress-relieving. Weeding, pruning, taking time to appreciate the minutiae of the natural world. I am dreadfully behind on my yard and garden this year! Our winter was so long, our crabapple trees and lilacs are only just blooming now!

    • Hi Kat! Wow – it was a LONG winter here in the east too… but I didn’t realize how different our growing seasons are. My crabapple tree and lilacs finished blooming about a month ago! And hey, it’s never too late to garden… you’re not behind at all! Just “dig in,” and get started!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s