This is what the neighbor across the street said to me the other day as I was working in the yard. I tried to explain that I actually enjoy working in the garden. He just looked at me like I was crazy. He then said, "you're making us all have to keep up." I think he was joking, but wasn't really sure. There aren't many people on our street that seem to enjoy gardening. They are usually out there doing the weekly mowing, trimming a few shrubs or doing some occasional weeding. Our next door neighbor is always doing something in his yard, in fact when he's not out there the littlest gardener asks where he is. He's pretty much the only other person that seems to find it enjoyable.
Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium)
Later that day I started thinking about what my neighbor said. What else do I do? Do I have a problem, am I addicted to gardening? Obviously I spend the majority of my time with my family. I also spend time driving my daughter to soccer practices and play dates and household chores have to be done. Getting together with friends or family is something I like doing when I have time.
Nasturtium 'Whirlybird Mix'
I guess a lot of my spare time is spent on garden related activities, but I have thought about why that is too. Working in the garden is a time I can think about things that are bothering me, get some exercise, breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the birds and trees and flowers. I can feel, see and touch nature and that makes me feel really good. Many times I don't think about anything at all except what I'm doing at that moment. I've often told my husband after spending a couple of hours outside that I feel like I just came back from a really good therapy session. I feel renewed and ready to handle whatever stresses are going on in life.
Peach-leaved Bellflower (Campanula persicifolia)
Another great part about the garden is that many days our whole family is out there. We can talk, help each other or end up in a really good water fight (which somehow I always lose)! My girls have learned so much about our world and why we need to take care of it from being outside in the yard.
Erodium (who's tag blew away during the wind yesterday)
Gardening is not all I do, but it's a big part of who I am. It makes me feel good on the inside as well as seeing how pretty it looks outside. It's so rewarding to see how all the hard work we gardeners do pays off. I think if more people found the enjoyment of gardening and didn't see it as "work" they would find that it's so much more than digging holes and dragging hoses around. It's a time to experience the world around us and release some stress.