The “Great Recession” has converted a lot of people to gardening out of necessity. Many have taken up vegetable and fruit gardening to provide less expensive food for the family. Some are expanding their horizons and enjoying the “other fruits” of their gardening experience.
Recessions have interesting impacts on gardening, landscaping and other horticultural businesses. New landscape installations naturally go down whenever building activity decreases. However, many other aspects of horticulture increase during recessions. When less income is available for expensive recreation, more attention goes to inexpensive activities which can be done at home or near home.
When people spend more time at home, they want to improve their surroundings, including their landscape. They get satisfaction from the improvements they have made with their own hands. This satisfaction is referred to as “self-actualization” by psychologists. For me, this is the most important benefit of gardening.
Another very important benefit is learning the “Law of the Harvest”. The Law of the Harvest is one of the most important laws we can learn for ourselves and teach to our children. Many people who flounder through life have never learned this law of nature.
Farmers and ranchers know this law very intimately because it is right in front of them every day. But gardening is an equally good teacher. The Law of the Harvest can be defined very simply as “you harvest what you plant.” But gardeners know there are many steps between planting and harvest. In following these steps we learn many other important principles along the way.
It requires regular attention and effort to be successful in growing plants if we are going to enjoy the harvest of food, flowers and beauty. Negative emotions and actions like anger and shouting have no effect on plants. On the other hand emotions like patience and attentiveness bring positive results.
One of the best applications of these principles is in marriage. Marriages also require regular care and light from each partner to develop a happy relationship. The weeds of argument, infidelity, inattention, and lack of communication can destroy a marriage. Nutrients like smiles, hugs, concern, and thoughtful acts will also make a marriage thrive.
I find that my physical as well as emotional well-being is improved by the exercise involved in gardening. A half hour in the garden burns calories and improves muscle tone.
I have only mentioned a few of the most important benefits of gardening. The longer you garden, the more benefits you will discover. The more you associate with other gardeners, you will find that almost all of them are pleasant, considerate, happy people.