Why Start A Garden: Benefits Of Growing Gardens

Two People Trimming Hedges
why garden
(Image credit: michaeljung)

There are as many reasons to start gardening as there are gardeners. You might look at gardening as adult playtime and it is since it’s a joy to dig in the earth, plant little seeds, and watch them grow. Or you might view gardening as an economical way of getting healthy food with gardening chores as part of your responsibility.

One thing is certain: the benefits of growing gardens are many and varied. Regardless of your primary motive for starting a garden, the process is sure to bring you many rewards.

Why Start a Garden?

The act of nurturing plants in your backyard is good for the mind and also good for the body. Don’t take our word for it. Scientific studies have established how gardening helps reduce or prevent both anxiety and depression, offering a therapeutic and calming experience.

And it helps the body too. Digging and weeding burns calories and assists in creating and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. It may well be helpful in lowering your high blood pressure and fighting osteoporosis too.

Practical Reasons to Start Gardening

The word “practical” leads us to the household budget. Most of us prefer eating healthy, organic vegetables, but good quality produce is expensive. In a family garden, you can grow delicious, organically grown food for very little money. Be sure to include food that stores well in winter.

Gardens and finances can be linked in other ways as well. You may be able to sell homegrown flowers or veggies at farmers' markets or, as your gardening skills improve, get a job at a garden center or landscape firm. And landscaping your property adds to its curb appeal, which increases the resale value of your home.

Benefits of Growing Gardens

Other benefits of growing gardens are more ambiguous but equally powerful. While you can measure your blood pressure or balance your budget, it’s hard to quantify the benefits of feeling connected to nature, to the land, and to your community that comes from gardening.

Starting a garden gives you common ground with other gardeners in your neighborhood. It provides a creative outlet that puts you in touch with the cycle of life and the plants and animals in your backyard, as well as giving back to the earth by tending it. The sense of satisfaction is hard to match in any other activity.

Why start a garden? The real question may just be, why not?

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.