We all have our own reasons for “digging in the dirt”. Here are my top ten.
10. IMPRESS THE NEIGHBORS with your green thumb and/or landscape design skills. Maybe your garden will be on the neighborhood garden tour one day.
9. DEFINE YOUR SPACE with green hedges (blackberries make a nice screen) or a stand of bamboo. I’m drawn to a strawberry wall as a divider right now.
8. MEET PEOPLE: neighbors stop by to admire the garden and meet the gardener. Since our veggies are in the front yard right now (the sunniest spot in our yard) AND we live on a corner in an urban neighborhood, we’ve met most of our neighbors through our garden.
7. PERFUME THE NEIGHBORHOOD: if you’ve ever driven around orange groves in Florida, you’ll know what I mean by this one – the smell is intoxicating. You can choose plants for scents: jasmine is a good choice, or old roses or salvias. They’re all very distinctive. Find your favorite and indulge in your own brand of aromatherapy.
6. MAKE THE BUTTERFLIES HAPPY by planting their favorites and delight in watching them flit around in your garden (this one goes for hummingbirds, too).
5. CREATE A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO HANG OUT: whether your preference is flowers, food or bamboo forests, sitting among your most favorite kind of plantings is extremely restful.
4. GROW YOUR FOOD: nothing tastes better than a fresh tomato, peas straight from the pod, or an ear of corn picked and cooked within minutes.
3. EXERCISE: bending and digging and pulling and lifting.
2. SAVE THE WORLD by providing food for bees and oxygen for humans.
1. FREE THERAPY: anyone who loves to garden knows this one. Getting your hands dirty, connecting with the soil; it does something to your soul that doesn’t come from anywhere else. Could be physical or psychological. Doesn’t matter – it works.