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.
Catherine, I do agree with what you say about why we garden, it fills so many needs without leaving the home. Reading blogs is so nice because it makes up for not having any like minded neighbours, friends or family. We can all have a good 'chat' and compare notes on plants and garden.ReplyDelete
Thank you for all our little chats! Best wishes Sylvia (England)
lol. I could have guessed a statement like that would have originated from a non-gardener. If you don't like gardening, you would definitely perceive it as more work than fun. I feel exactly the same way you do about it and I couldn't agree more on how it teaches children such valuable lessons. We are getting a lot of pleasure from your garden, so keep it up!ReplyDelete
Thankfully, people have different interests and hobbies are life would be very dull!!! Like you, I can forget most of my worries when I am in the garden and just enjoy the sights, sounds, and fragrance. With you, I think you are teaching your children valuable lessons about how to care for God's world - lessons that they will always keep. I hope you get someone to take photos of you and the girls working in the garden together for when they get older.ReplyDelete
I have neighbors like this too. They are just jealous, believe me. My husband says we could have a lot worse hobbies!! Keep up the good work Catherine!!ReplyDelete
Hi Catherine, what a thought provoking post, thank you. Your photos are beyond superb, BTW! Non gardeners just cannot understand how what looks like work to them is so relaxing and rewarding to us gardeners. I do believe your last shot is called Erodium? maybe.ReplyDelete
Gardening is such a good hobby. I can think of far worse believe me. I always have felt it was a good stress reliever-it surely gets those endorphins going. Your neighbor was kidding, he was actually paying you a complement. A nice thing for sure.ReplyDelete
Hi Catherine! Good post. When people ask me why don't we hire a crew to take care of our garden I ask them: "Do you like to golf (play tennis, etc.)? Would you hire someone to play it instead of you? They would play and you will watch them and moreover, pay them." No more questions after that.ReplyDelete
Great post! And I LOVE the feverfew! Beautiful! they are like fluffy daisys!ReplyDelete
I believe you've expressed very well why we garden. Your neighbour would probably like a garden like yours, but just doesn't see the act of gardening the way you do.ReplyDelete
I don't know how I found your blog, but am sure glad I did! Your garden is just beautiful. My husband and I just took a trip to the Pacific Northwest and really enjoyed it. Right now, I'm trying to start (save?) my garden in Central CA...it is hot here!! Today it will be 104 - yuck! But, the snails are voracious! I've been battling with them, but think I have won for the time being. I'm hoping to restore the flowers devoured by the snails...Your blog has inspired me to not give up.
Have a great day!
Hi, the garden means the same to me. It makes me feel SO GOOD! I do love those pictures of yours to/ gittanReplyDelete
Hi! I knew you all could relate. I agree much worse hobbies for sure.ReplyDelete
Frances - You're right, I realized my mistake when I saw them at the nursery just a bit ago. I guess my brain was too tired to think :)
I wonder about myself too. Although I don't have time to garden as much as I'd like, it seems I'm always thinking about it. I'm just amazed at people who don't garden. I think they are missing out.ReplyDelete
Your flowers assortment is very photogenic. I like the flowers very much.ReplyDelete
Could not agree with you more Catherine. I feel completely at peace with myself both in the garden and at the allotment. Long may it continue :)ReplyDelete
You're so right. Gardening is satisfying in so many different ways.ReplyDelete
I love growing plants from seeds (although it can be really frustrating), and I love trying out new plants, I love the artistic aspect of gardening. I love it all. I even love the break we get in winter because that's spent planning next year's garden.
Good evening, Catherine!ReplyDelete
"I can feel, see and touch nature and that makes me feel really good... like I just came back from a really good therapy session."
You said it all there! Even the smell of the soil triggers joy deep inside for me. I, too, have the best garden on our entire street, and it's not at all because I want to be the best... it's because it's therapy for me. I used to also have a neighbor who would think I was trying to make the rest of the neighborhood look bad, so I let the grass grow too unkempt and tall quite often to allow him to feel superior and relieve his stress...
quite funny, but it works.
Great words and thoughts Catherine. Too bad more people don't get into gardening. I think it's wonderful therapy. I'm so glad you do what you do so we all can enjoy it!ReplyDelete
Great photos! Your neighbor doesn't appreciate nature. I find that so sad! It's amazing to me that everyone doesn't find joy in nurturing crops and watching butterflies. Oh well - at least the rest of us found each other on the 'net so we can vent/bond/gang up! :)ReplyDelete
You said it so well, Catherine. I am so happy that in addition to the few fellow gardeners in our immediate vicinity, we have so many soul mates online.ReplyDelete
As Jane Austen once wrote:ReplyDelete
"One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other"
I agree with Darla that there are much worse things we could all be doing ;-) Amazing isnt it to be criticised for educating oneself and ones family and providing a beautiful environment for them and wildlife in this day and age.
Ive never met anyone who has criticised my gardening hobby to my face,but then in England its such a common "vice" non comprehending gardeners are in the minority ;-) My other obsessions have people shaking their heads here ( and before you ask its Jane Austen and well,...Jane Austen !)
Keep on keeping on darling ;-)
There really is so much to gardening isn't there and so many of you brought up different examples. I'm also very glad I've found lots of gardener soul mates online. It's good to know we're not alone :)ReplyDelete
It certainly is a good way to change your attitude. Spending time working in the garden. My youngest child can name all our plants by sight. Amazes me, but spending the time together is so great. When the little one says "I used to think potatoes came from somewhere but now I know how to grow them" it fills me with pride. You're doing a good thing. Stay out there and tend your garden. Good job.ReplyDelete
I totally agree with you. For me gardening is a stress buster. I need to garden to cope with the day to day stresses of working full time and bringing up two lads on my own. I rely on it so much that if I cant get outside for even 30 minutes over a couple of days I start to get cranky.ReplyDelete
Interestingly, I have dragged my boys to various gardens and nurseries over the years and now in their late teens they are very knowledgeable, though this isnt something they share with their friends!!
This is one of my favorite posts on your blog. Working in the yard makes me forget about everything else except the task at hand. And look how you're adding to the value of your neighborhood with all your beautiful plantings.ReplyDelete
Wonderful post! I'm surprised at how few people garden, and feel sorry for those who don't!ReplyDelete
Amen to that, sister! I feel the same way about gardening, and it has the same effects on me. It's just beautiful therapy slash exercise!ReplyDelete
Isn't it great how our kids learn so much from gardening. It's pretty neat when they came name off plants better than many adults.ReplyDelete
I think people should be prescribed gardening to help relieve stress.
Thanks again to all my fellow gardeners :)
I too have had similar remarks said with a bit of disdain over the years. I think your words sum up well how I feel. However your photos sumhings up even better who would not want to spend time creating such beauties and what a loss to those who can't enjoy gardening.ReplyDelete
What a thought provoking discussion. Our closest neighbors love gardening..both of them and we've often nearly wondered whether they did anything else!! I'm gardening more lately than I have in the past, because I have the time and actually the talent. I prefer it over many things. Gardening shows that you have pride in your lifestyle and the place where you live.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the post, I enjoyed the different comments.
Love your blue bellfowers. Ooops, I think I have been calling them balloon flowers.Oh well after the waistline the brain is next to go ;-) Every time I put out some new junk garden display or planter there is this neighbor who well have the same thing when she can find it. It really gets comical sometimes. I have been threatening to put an old commode in the yard and plant flowers in it to see if she gets one too. :-)ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing about gardening. I too love to garden and enjoy my time outside with my plants.ReplyDelete
Your photograph of the nasturtium...knocked me over with its beauty! What a wonderful color and image; all of your photos are stellar! ...I find that folks who don't know have a passion for something, have the hardest time understanding gardening or blogging! gailReplyDelete