Why Do We Garden?

For Christmas this past year we traveled to our various offspring’s homes to celebrate with them. Each of the three we visited are gardeners. It is true that their mother was always working in the yard, trying to grow things, not always successful but learning along the way.

One by one the offspring have taken up the mantle of growing things in the earth.

Even the offspring of the offspring have dug holes and planted whatever they could find, even pine seedlings.

Why do they do it? Is it because of their exposure early in life? Neither of my parents were gardeners, but both grandmothers were. Not my mother, but her sister, my aunt, was a very accomplished gardener. Is there a gardening gene?

It is so very satisfying to see what is chosen and where it is planted in the offspring’s gardens.

There were artful arrangements of stone, moss and sedum, highlighted with a little snow. Good work, offspring.

They seem to all love the same plants, and live in areas where it is possible to grow them well.

Why does anyone garden? There is the food obtained from working the soil of course, but it seems to be more than that. There is the love of flowers, but it seems there is something else at work here. Is it the nurturing, seeing how love and caring can give something what it needs to thrive?

How about you? What is that force deep inside that makes you want to dig in the dirt, is it evironmental or is it in your blood?



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18 Responses to Why Do We Garden?

  1. chickenpoet says:

    There is the nuturing aspect as well as the challenge of creating a work of art. Watching the lives of our respirating reciprocals, we learn patience and a pride is instilled that otherwise is impossible to teach. It makes coming home all the better; It is a sensory celebration. Much love and many thanks. I am glad I finally decided to join to party.

  2. Frances says:

    chickenpoet…welcome to the party. It is hoped that gardening will give you the life long satisfaction and joy it has given me.Love.

  3. jim/ArtofGardening says:

    I was thinking about why I enjoy my garden as I read your post, but Chicken Poet summed it all up better than could.

    There’s also the hobby aspect to it. It’s where I spend my time and money. I don’t golf, I don’t build furniture, don’t spend time in front of the TV watching sports. My wife says the only thing I collect is dust…

  4. Frances says:

    jim…and dust can go into the compost bin to improve the soil! It is a wonderful hobby, gardening. Thanks for commenting.

  5. brokenbeat says:

    the reasons gardening rules are as follows:
    – i get to play outside all day instead of being sedentary indoors.
    – there is a whole universe of botanical knowledge to explore.
    – everytime i go places i’m hunting for ideas, which makes trips (even to the market) more exciting.
    – it is a suitable way to express my style and creativity.
    – it gives me more opportunities to talk with frances, semi, and chickenpoet.

    i would like to touch on the genetic aspect of why we garden, but that would mean getting into a philosophical discussion. once i start philosophizing it’s hard to stop me so i’ll spare you all.

  6. Frances says:

    brokenbeat…another time and place perhaps for the philosophy discussion, but your reasons for gardening are sound.Love.

  7. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    I’m a firm believer in nature & nurture. Most of my ancestors were farmers, my mom loves to garden & she got me started early. There’s something about being connected to nature, the earth, & recognizing that, although there’s much a gardener can do, most of it is up to nature. Gardening teaches patience & delayed gratification, 2traits in short supply these days.

  8. chuck b. says:

    For me it started with a general appreciation for nature. My father took me to every state and federal park and open space in every nook and cranny of northern California and beyond. He didn’t know much about the plants and animals we saw there, but I learned enough just being there and seeing it all.

    We also had a big backyard full of trees, shrubs, rocks, frogs, birds… Although no one gardened in that yard for very long–it was rather unmanageable. The backyard was always a place of interest to me.

    And then I studied science in college. That’s when I really came to appreciate this astonishing world we live in, and how amazing and precious life is.

    By the time I got my own house, with my own little yard, the dye was cast. Gardening is my way of connecting with the living world, if only on a very small scale.

    And of course it’s a pleasurable creative outlet. Although everyone in my family appreciates plants and beautiful landscaping, noone really gardened. So the learning part is fun for me too.

  9. Frances says:

    MMD…you are lucky to have learned gardening from your mother, that makes it even more wonderful a pastime.

  10. Frances says:

    chuck b…It sounds like your father did a good job instilling the love of nature, you are a model gardener!

  11. semi says:

    Pretty flowers, time outdoors, hard work,endless conversations to be had, and finding treasures everywhere you look. What’s not to love!I vote to call the gardening gene GG! Love semi

  12. Frances says:

    semi…that is very sweet. thanks.love.

  13. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    My Grandfather was a farmer. My Mother was a gardener. So I think it is in my blood. I don’t hardly remember not wanting to grow something. I definitely don’t remember ever wanting to be inside for much of anything but eating and sleeping the doors were locked with hooks way high where I couldn’t reach them when I was very small. I would go outside on my own at any time of day or night. Tee hee… I am still like that only I can reach the locks. 🙂

  14. Carol says:

    I think there is definitely a “gardening gene” and how nice that all three of your offspring inherited it. My mom did not garden, but her mother did. My dad gardened and I worked along side him in the garden starting very young. Those are some of my earliest memories.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  15. Ewa says:

    There might be something in genes that first drives you to that direction, then the rest is pure pleasure.
    Gardening is one of rare activities, that makes completely forgetting the world and problems. As result brain and soul gets ventilation 🙂
    Creativity gets nourished as well 🙂

  16. Frances says:

    lisa…that is funny, they tried to keep you in with the high hook. You sound like there is a drive within you to be out of doors, uncaged! Thanks for commenting.

  17. Frances says:

    Carol…there are four offspring, the non gardening one will someday have a place of his own where he can get his hands in the soil. Your memories of gardening beside your dad must be among the best. Thanks for sharing that.

  18. Frances says:

    ewa…our brains do need ventilating, don’t they? Thanks for your input, and welcome to Faire Garden!

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