News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Lots of reasons to become a gardener

Do you consider yourself a gardener?  What kind of gardener are you? 

Are you a person who appreciates the visual, culinary or functional gardening that nature and plant people provide, or are you one of the plant people? 

Studies all around the world reveal that people who garden generally live longer than those who do not.

Gardeners develop a healthy lifestyle. While providing for plant needs they provide for their own needs, physically and mentally. 

Gardeners get more exercise (most of the year), enjoy the oxygenated outdoor air, and eat better with fresh nutritious foods. They spend less money on groceries and add fresh quality foods to their diets. There is peace of mind knowing where and how the food is grown.

Gardening provides mental health benefits. 

When plants actually grow according to plan there is a sense of accomplishment. A homegrown tomato always tastes better than the hydroponic tomato shipped from far away. There is comfort in knowing the food was grown safely with no or minimal chemicals. There is security in having food available when the family is hungry. 

Planning a garden not only exercises the brain’s decision-making ability, but allows the gardener to create a sense of order in a chaotic world. 

Garden design is a creative process. Garden maintenance is a problem-solving process. The world in a garden is a peaceful place to meditate or let the mind wander.

A gardener’s mind sharpens while observing the intricacies of nature: growth, interaction of plants and insects or animals, daily changes, effects of weather and more. 

Just sitting on a stump or stool, watching natural life happen brings basic satisfaction and relaxation. 

A gardener becomes a botanist, an entomologist, and a meteorologist. Gardening is a lifelong learning activity, constantly beginning again, with new challenges every season.

Social interaction is enriched when friends or family garden together. There is little to argue about and a lot to feel proud of. Sharing the results of a pleasant environment or nutritious home-grown meal brings happiness and a feeling of accomplishment that encourages positive relationships.

What kind of gardener will you be?

Hobby, leisure, culinary or financially frugal? 

Yard maintenance for neighborhood pride? 

Indoor, outdoor, front yard, back yard? 

Community, family or solitary? 

Flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables, fruits, perennials, annuals, houseplants or combination? 

Full landscape or a dedicated space? 

Sustainable, native natural areas, artistic design, manicured? 

Are you a planner, supervisor, worker? Do all your own work or have help? 

Don’t have time to garden? How are you using your time now? 

Is there any advantage if you substitute gardening for some other (in)activity in your life? 

Is there more value in exercising the body and mind in a garden or sitting unproductively?

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