Gardening is good for the soul

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. 
~May Sarton

I can almost hear my mother laughing and saying "I told you so" as I write this.

I have finally learned what countless others before me have already known: gardening is good for the soul.

My family and friends won't consider this news as a surprise, but I've never considered myself a "gardener" before. For most of my life, I've struggled to keep any plant alive-my mother will attest to this- (seriously, I killed a cactus....) and I made it a habit to stay far away from garden centers. 

Flowers are pretty, but my knowledge regarding plants was (and still is) limited and I really had no interest in learning. However, my do-it-yourself nature combined with my desire to be able to live off the land, to lead a simpler lifestyle, and to make every acre of our little farm useful & beautiful has led to a change of heart in recent years. 

Growing my own food was a natural progression. Bill and I love cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients that we can afford, and you just can't beat homegrown food in quality. 

I didn't grow up with a home garden, so everything I've learned so far has been either from Bill's teaching, trial and error, and a massive amount of googling. ;-)

This isn't our first garden, but this is the first year that we've invested this much time & effort. From browsing the seed catalogs, to making lists of what we consume the most and would like to try and grow, designing our expanded garden, building & filling the beds, ordering seeds, and planting, I've really fallen in love with this way of life. 

I've mentioned before that this was our first year starting our garden plants from seed, and all I can say is WOW. It's been so amazing watching these plants sprout up from the tiniest seed and take off. 

We spend hours each week weeding, pruning, and watering, but they are hours well spent. 

Our little home garden has become so much more than just a place to grow food. It's a place for us to dream, a place to relax, and to enjoy nature.

Gardening is how I relax. It's another form of creating and playing with colors. ~Oscar de la Renta

I love the early mornings and late evenings the most. It's the perfect place to begin and end my day.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. ~Alfred Austin

As an introvert who desperately craves quiet, the time I spend in the garden has become integral to my well-being. I can feel the calm seeping in almost immediately. (It's the perfect anti-anxiety remedy!)

If I'm feeling frustrated, I go pull weeds. Yanking those suckers out of the ground is an incredible stress reliever, and I'm accomplishing something productive to boot. Win-Win! 

If I want to feel alive, I simply need to connect with nature- a walk around the beds, talking to the plants, feeling the breeze, listening to the birds, watching the fruit grow and flowers bloom, it's exactly what my soul needs. 

So, I'll leave you with this thought....

The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. ~Gertrude Jekyll

Happy weekend friends, and thanks for coming along for this journey with me! 

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