All day long we try to control our environment and at greater speed: drive faster, eat faster, cram as many things as you can into the shortest span of time, in a seemingly endless cycle. When you work with plants, you must let go of that mindset because there's no good way to speed up the growing process.
Gardening is pure potential, starting with a tiny seed and following its stages with wonder and care.
Seeing it bloom into completion, we are gratified. Planning a garden calls on our creative and artistic design sense. It might just be for purely aesthetic reasons (creating beauty), for food, herbal or medicinal purposes or just for fun -- there are so many reasons to do it.
Gardening brings out our nurturing tendencies, and we're rewarded with bounty. Tending a garden can be relaxing mentally and emotionally and also good exercise physically. It can be a meditation. We cultivate our mind, body and spirit at the same time. Plants react to violence and tenderness just as we do.
Gardening is a wonderful thing to teach (and to do with) children. If you don't have a patch of land, you can grow in containers, on windowsills, force bulbs, etc. Even very young children can learn to care for, respect and revere nature and our environment and how they fit into the grand scheme of things. Gardening boosts our self-esteem and our sense of accomplishment.
CONTACT JANET BERG to suggest topics for this column: firstname.lastname@example.org.