Why Do We Garden? Reasons and Results

 

I don’t know what it is a garden that has always drawn humans to them. But they’ve always been very popular, and an important part of peoples’ lives. Most religions feature gardens as the settings for some of the biggest events. According to Christianity, humanity was started in a garden and the son of God was resurrected in a garden. The Buddhists build gardens to allow nature to permeate their surroundings. Almost every major palace and government building has a garden. But what’s so great them? They’re just a bunch of plants, after all, right?

Of course, the reasoning is fairly obvious behind why grow food in gardens. It’s to eat! If you live off the fat of the land and truly survive mostly or even partially on produce from your garden, it’s easy to understand the reasoning. But what about those who plant flower gardens just for the sake of looking nice? There’s no immediate benefit that I can see; you just have a bunch of flowers in your yard! However, after thinking extensively about the motivation behind planting decorative gardens, I’ve come up with several possible theories.

I think one of the reasons people love gardens so much is that while we have a innate to progress and industrialize, deep inside all of us is a primal love for nature. While this might not be as strong as the for creature comforts, it is still strong enough to compel us to create gardens, small oases of nature, in the midst of all our hustle and bustle.

Being in nature feels like regressing to an earlier (and simpler) stage of humanity, and in a garden, we too can regress to a time of comfort and utter happiness. This is why gardens are so relaxing and calming to be in. This is why gardens are a such good place to meditate and do tai chi exercises. A garden is a way to quickly escape from the busy .

I’ve thought at times that perhaps we as humans feel a sort of responsible guilt driving us to restore nature and care for it. This guilt could stem from the knowledge that we, not personally but as a race, have destroyed so much of the natural world to get where we are today. It’s the least we can do to build a small garden in remembrance of all the plants we kill every day. It’s my theory that this is an underlying reason why many people to take up gardening as a hobby.

Gardening is definitely a healthy activity though, don’t get me wrong. Any hobby that provides physical exercise, helps the environment, and improves your diet can’t be a negative thing. So no matter what the underlying psychological cause for gardening is, I think that everyone should continue to do it. In the USA especially, which is dealing with obesity and pollution as its two major problems, I think gardening can only serve to improve the state of the world.

Of course I’m no psychologist; I’m just a curious gardener. I’ve stayed up for hours wondering what makes me garden. What is it that makes me go outside for a few hours every day with my gardening tools, and facilitate the small-time growth of plants that would grow naturally on their own? I may never know, but in this case ignorance actually is bliss.

So how do you go about starting your own garden, especially if you barely know a hoe from a trowel?

This article is the first in a series designed to provide a step-by-step guide to starting your own sustainable garden . Whether you are working with limited space, or have a large area available, whether you are interested in fruit, vegetables, or flowers, I hope you will find these tips helpful. For more in this series, you can also visit our blog or website listed below.

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