“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin
Why do we garden? Everybody will have an answer for this, but how much you have understood about the value of gardening is a big question mark. Few people say that they garden for just to have the pleasure of happiness, others garden on the point of harvesting their own fruits and vegetables, few others make their garden to show their financial status sometimes. But the essence of garden and gardening is immense. We cannot measure the healing power of garden. Here is an interesting article written by Sue Stuart-Smith, where she has talked about the garden and mentioned the value of gardening. I felt it was very interesting and want to share it with you.
“Most gardeners would prefer to be busy in the garden, rather than thinking about how tilling the soil and growing plants affect the mind. But as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, I cannot resist reflecting on these things. This is partly because of my own gardening experiences but also because there is a renewal of interest in horticultural therapy.
Recent research carried out by the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) showed that more than a third of people questioned (39 per cent) said that being in a garden makes them feel healthier, while 79 per cent believe that access to a garden is essential for quality of life. The survey coincides with the NGS Festival Weekend (June 7-8) when more than 350 gardens will be open, with proceeds to charity.
I turn to gardening as a way of calming my mind, a kind of decompressing after a hard week in the consulting room. The jangle of competing thoughts inside my head somehow clears and settles as the weed bucket fills up, and ideas that are barely formed take shape. A session in the garden can leave you feeling dead on your feet, but strangely renewed inside.”
“In the plant world, regeneration is a matter of course, but psychological repair does not come so naturally to us. While we have an innate capacity to form strong attachments, we are less well equipped to deal with trauma and loss. In our secular and consumerist world, we have lost touch with many of the rituals that can help us navigate our way through life. Gardening is a form of ritual; as well as creating beauty around us; it works within our minds, as a symbolic act.
One of the things that set me thinking about gardening and the mind was a patient of mine who suffered from severe, recurrent depression. In her childhood she experienced emotional neglect and violent abuse and as an adult had great difficulty in forming positive relationships. She started to feel that her life was blighted. The discovery of gardening in her 40s made a huge difference to her. She told me, with conviction: “It is the only time I feel I am good.”
What did she mean by this feeling of goodness? Could it be linked to the perception of gardening as a virtuous activity? I think it is more than that, and reflects a deeper kind of change, linked to the discovery of being able to make things grow. Gardening was not a cure for her, but it gave her a source of stability and self-worth.
Plants are much less frightening and challenging than people, so a garden may be an accessible way of reconnecting with our life-giving impulses. Background noise falls away and you can escape from other people’s thoughts and judgments, so that within a garden there is, perhaps, more freedom to feel good about yourself. I think this relief from the interpersonal might, paradoxically, be a way of reconnecting with our humanity.”
Credit: telegraph.co.uk, Sue Stuart-Smith
Now you go to your garden or even a plant. Spend time with your plants, talk to the plants if you feel like. Take time to do all the gardening activities, do not rush up. And tell me what garden and gardening exactly means to you.