Love, Always

A public love letter to my garden. (And: why getting dirty is good for your health.)

Good news!

Scientific research now confirms what (most of us) already know to be true:

Plants make us happy and healthy.

One study suggests that patients who get to enjoy a view of nature through hospital windows recover better after surgery than people who are staring at brick walls.

Other experts report that taking a leisurely stroll through a green setting — like a forest — can reduce blood pressure levels and improve mental clarity and focus, even in children with ADHD.

And puttering around in your garden? That’s one of the best things of all!

Indoor plant_Dr. Suzanne Gelb
[If you don’t have a garden, indoor plants can also bring a lot of joy. Just plant something in a pot, and watch, with amazement, as this living plant grows + transforms, before your eyes!]

Regular gardeners tend to have a lower risk for dementia, lower risk for heart disease… and they receive an all-natural serotonin boost, too.

Gardening is so therapeutic — and more research to prove it seems to pile in by the truckload, every day.

If you’re going to add something new to your self-care regime, I say: make it gardening.

And to convince you, just a little bit more…

This is a public love letter to my garden.

(I know that plants can’t read, but… I think they’ll get the message, somehow.)

Thank you, beautiful garden…

… for giving me a terrific reason to get outside and enjoy some sunlight and fresh air, every day.

… for helping me bond with my neighbors. (Every time I water the plants, out in front of my home, folks come over to chat!)

… for giving me the pleasure of “instant gratification.” (In a healthy way!) I love the fact that I can see a scruffy-looking bush or a tree that needs pruning, and fifteen minutes later… voila! Such a difference.

… for reminding me, also, that good things take time to grow. When I feel impatient, I think about my garden and remember that big, strong trees and lush plants don’t spring up in a day. Patience is necessary for new life to thrive.

… for all of the wonderful exercise! Some days, when I don’t feel like running or dancing or practicing yoga, I can always count on my garden for a little bit of sweat.

… for providing me with endless inspiration for photography! (A practice that helps me to notice + reflect on all of the simple pleasures + beauty, that surround me.)

Blog_Photo__1 O

Blog_Photo__2 O

Thank you, beautiful garden (outside or indoors.) For keeping me healthy, happy and just a little bit dirty… (In the best possible way. :)

PS. Do you have a garden? Outside or indoors? What’s your favorite thing to grow?

10 Comments
  1. I’m inspired, thanks! So easy to stay glued to my monitor but my little garden awaits. Outside I go.

  2. There was a time when I ran my own business. It included going early in the morning to clean and set things up — but I’d take a little time out each morning to water the plants that grew along the side of the facility. That was the best part of my morning! I was taking care of the plants and it made me feel so good. Eventually I brought in cuttings and really created a beautiful garden area — so I know what you’re talking about in this blog — and I agree!

    • Hi Gertrude: What a lovely way to start your day. I hope you’re still enjoying nature in the mornings, even if it’s not related to the business you used to run. :)

  3. Although I have a yard, I do most of my “gardening” inside. I love orchid plants and I buy them when the flowers are still in buds and then spend the next few weeks (or months!) enjoying watching the flowers open.

    Then when the flowers are gone, I stick the plant in my garden until, maybe 9 months later, a new branch or 2 of blossoms starts the process all over again.

    It gives me great pleasure to see these beautiful plants in my house. [BTW — nice orchid plant on this blog!]

    • Hi Cindy: Sounds like you have a system that really works for you. It’s amazing that such relatively small plants can give us such a BIG amount of pleasure. Mother Nature is very generous. :)

  4. I have begun recently to have more plants in my home and my office. I found that once I got one then two, I kept buying more! It can be a healthy addiction when you suddenly see the beauty of nature and greenery. What I really enjoy about having plants is the act of caring and nurturing something. It makes me feel closer to myself somehow.

    • Hi Melinda: There’s nothing like caring and nurturing something, to remind us that we truly are capable of caring and nurturing ourselves. May all of us ‘gardeners’ be as attentive to ourselves ,as we are to our plants.

  5. Your post makes me remember that I have been taking my plants (and myself?) for granted. I feel inspired to change that starting now. Thanks.

    PS. I love growing herbs in pots on my kitchen window sill and also outside. It amps up my meals especially salads.