10 Reasons Why I Garden Therapeutically

1) Creative Outlet: I am a creative person, but I am not creative. This is what I used to think, but I am beginning to change my mind. Gardening has been the activity that has helped me to better understand this and it has helped me haul my obstinate mind and kicking spirit over this hurdle.

2) Relaxation: I know there are folks out there who consider a week by the pool relaxing—and I am sure that works for some of you—but I have found that kind of relaxation dull. Gardening is my form of moving meditation.
3) Sharing: Gardeners are wonderful givers. They always have plant divisions on hand for others and they are always open to sharing their knowledge with gardening neophytes.
4) Connections: Through plants I am connected to both my past and my future. One of my white lilacs is from a cutting of a lilac once grown by my great-great-grandmother in Baker City, Oregon. Additionally, seeds from around the world have allowed me to travel to places I would never have been able to experience otherwise.
5) Curiosity: Not every gardener really gets into the fine details, but for me, our garden is a laboratory where I perform plant experiments. Collecting seeds that I then germinate is what makes gardening even more rewarding. I am simply in awe of seeds and the potential they hold.
6) Love of Nature: Whenever you’re unable to camp or hike, you always have your garden. Bringing birds to it, and providing room for all of the other little creatures is the least we can do to give back. When I need a quiet sanctuary, I go to my garden.
7) Preserve Dignity: Until you have to tell someone you are unable to work due to a disease, and that you are unable to have children, you may not understand how painful this encounter can be. My garden helps to preserve that last scrap of dignity in that it is a way for me to contribute something. In time I have discovered it is the best answer too when I am asked what I do for a living. I make and care for living things.

8) Sense of Perspective: Things are steady and the seasons dictate the rhythm of time. I hum whatever tune is needed and I can be inconsistent as the days pass. Nothing is lost, and nothing is truly gained. Every day is different and no plant is ever the same.

9) Sense of Pride: Yes, I do garden to grow things but I will not take part in any kind of foodie garden fad. I am an Italian-American and that means you grow your own food. I am also a descendant of pioneers, and in our family, if you couldn’t grow food, and save seed, you’d die in the wilderness. Better to be prepared, to grow well, providing for your family and sharing your knowledge with those who may need your help.

10) To Provide Relief for Grief and Loss: My words cannot yet fully describe the feeling of losing the sense of yourself once the process and experience of disease begins. Mourning the loss of what life was like before is something that never fully goes away. I can be the cloud on a sunny day in my garden, and I can pour my heart out while toiling with my hands. Best of all, I learn from the garden. My garden has taught me how to renew myself daily, weekly, annually, and like it, I continue to grow, and shed, and change.

10 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why I Garden Therapeutically

  1. I can relate too well to much of what you have written. And I'm glad you're better able to see yourself as creative, because when I read the first part of that, my eyes bugged out of my head. My goodness! In addition to your prodigious gardening and garden related work, do you see the creativity in your photography and blog? I surely do 🙂


  2. Patricia,
    Thank you so much! This is still something I struggle with but I am pushing myself to get over it. Outside of the blog, I have been working on my photography more and I intend to begin selling some of my photographs in my etsy shop this summer. I try not to heavily advertise all of that on my blog, but I am excited to be going back to California at the end of the month so that I can take more pictures. I will be driving home along the coast again too and I intend to visit some different spots while revisiting a few others.


  3. Yep. My sister lives in Baker City and is an avid gardener as am I. You're so right about all of your points. I don't have physical limitations but I've had a lot of emotional ones and the garden is very, healing indeed.


  4. Barbara Hayes

    I can relate to your reasons—so beautifully put. Another pleasure I get out of gardening is showing children what happens when they plant a seed (beans are the easiest) and they see this inanimate looking object turn into a plant- with the addition of soil and water-which they have planted and can now watch grow. It is such a positive learning experience. For myself it is engaging with the butterflies and other insects and the flowers, fruits and vegetables plants bring—and you have helped make it happen. Great therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

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