Top 10 Reasons to Garden
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
URBANA, Ill. - In our hurry-up, busy world filled with
electronic gadgets such as iPhones, tablets and android devices, where does
gardening fit in, asked a University of Illinois Extension horticulture
April 14, 2014
"The gadgets of gardening aren't flashy – a shovel, pruners,
hoses, and bags of seeds," said Martha Smith. "All are simple yet practical and
guaranteed to bring satisfaction and sustenance."
A National Garden Bureau survey asked gardeners why they
garden and their responses are inspiring.
Below are the top 10 reasons for gardening:
1. Garden for safe, healthy food
Reports of foodborne illnesses and contamination in foods
have been widely publicized. Interest in organic gardening and the
availability of organic produce has increased. Consumers are aware of additives
and preservatives found in processed foods. An easy solution is to grow your
own fruits and vegetables. It's estimated that during World War II 20 million
homeowners had victory gardens that produced close to 40 percent of the fresh
produce consumed in the United States. Start your own garden and know that the
foods you and your family eat are fresh and safe.
2. Garden for exercise
You can get all the exercise you need in your own backyard
for free! Gardening activities provide both cardio and aerobic exercise.
Studies show that an hour of moderate gardening can burn up to 300 calories for
women, almost 400 calories for men. Mowing the grass is like taking a vigorous
walk, bending and stretching to plant a garden compares to an exercise class,
and hauling plants and soil is similar to weightlifting. As we age, gardening
can help reduce osteoporosis. If you have physical limitations, there are
adaptive tools to help you get the job done.
3. Garden for beauty
A garden can enhance any outdoor setting. A house with a
nice yard is a pleasure to look at and satisfying to live in. Simply adding a
container of colorful flowers to a patio brightens your spirits. Trees
and shrubs not only provide color and shade but shelter for birds and wildlife.
Think of the garden as another room to be enjoyed whether you are inside
outside the house.
4. Garden to learn
You can learn by reading and you can learn by doing! Getting
out and working with plants builds your gardening knowledge. Gardeners find
that the more they learn about plants and gardening, the more they want to
know. Plant problems lead to learning solutions. Removing a problem plant
allows you the opportunity to try something else.
5. Garden to make money
The love of plants can lead to a rewarding job at a local
garden center or a large landscape firm or to owning your own business. Whether
growing flowers, vegetables, or herbs, there are opportunities to sell your
products at local farmers markets or craft shows. Landscaping an investment
property can add to the resale value by as much as 15 percent. This "curb
appeal" could make the difference between your house selling versus the house
6. Garden to meet people
Gardeners love to share their gardens and their knowledge.
Gardening is a great way to expand your social circle. Whether it's with a
neighbor who lives next door or an internet pal on the other side of the world,
gardeners love to talk about plants. Meeting other gardeners through garden
clubs and sharing surplus plants is an easy way to share information, ask
questions, and get involved.
7. Garden to be creative
Gardening provides an outlet for creative and artistic
expression. The serene contemplative mood of a Japanese garden or the romantic
feel of a cottage garden – let your creativity flow! Try something new
every season. How about a new annual or a new spring-blooming bulb? Who knows,
it may become your all-time favorite plant.
8. Garden to win
For people with a competitive streak, gardening is a
friendly way to show off their skills. County and state fairs provide an
opportunity to show everyone the giant pumpkin, beautiful bountiful beans, or
the perfect zinnia. 4H clubs promote gardening, offering educational
opportunities for kids and a healthy avenue for recognition.
9. Garden for emotional needs
Gardens play an important part in our well-being. A garden
might serve as a tranquil retreat or private escape from the demands of
everyday life. A beautiful bouquet can lift the spirits. Pulling weeds
can be a great stress reliever. A healthy harvest provides a sense of
achievement and feelings of success. Gardening builds confidence and
10. Garden for lasting memories
Gardening is a great activity that can be shared with
children and grandchildren – the gardeners of tomorrow. Memories of past
gardens and gardeners are cherished. Help build these memories for the next
generation. Today's kids are missing the joy of cutting a bouquet of flowers
for their mom or tasting the sweetness of a cherry tomato picked right from the
plant in Grandpa's garden.
"Whatever your reason – get out and garden," Smith
said. "Turn off the television and put down that electronic gadget. Don't
tell yourself you don't have the time. Find the time and enjoy."
Source: Martha A. Smith, Extension Educator, Horticulture, firstname.lastname@example.org