Gardening has given me many teachable moments in having patience and there is a tranquility to it that anyone can truly enjoy. When I garden, I am more observant of the flowers I plant and what is drawn to them. It is a simple, yet extremely complex process from seed to sprout. The weekend is personally my favourite time to garden, but there’s also something nice about getting home for the day and gardening just before the sun sets.
Gardening is a way to connect with family, friends and even build a small community. I like to share tips on what has worked, and I also like swapping tips with other fellow green thumbs. It’s satisfying and motivating when it’s time to move a plant to a bigger space to stretch its roots. Knowing that a plant is growing strong and healthily leaves you feeling fulfilled about your work. Being responsible for a plant’s growth makes you feel accomplished.
There are a few optional, useful plants for beginners. It’s amazing to imagine a sunflower’s height potential in a tiny little seed. It has been my favourite flower to grow, by far. And as far as surprises and seeds, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. There are different types of sunflowers, but most of them do grow pretty tall. Bees love them (which is good for all of us!) and sunflower seed sprouts are also a tasty way to use some of the extra seeds from the flowers. Herbs are also fun, and mostly simple to grow. Basil is an awesome first starter herb that I have grown consistently over the years. It makes homemade pizza and spaghetti sauce just a little more flavorful. Finally, lemongrass is like a huge lion’s mane of a plant and does take up space, but it makes the best iced tea!
I live in a region where I can pretty much garden year round, but in colder climates, this is not usually an option, so choosing indoor plants such as amaryllis, jade, evergreen or philodendron is a great way to keep a sign of life going during the winter time. And an awesome benefit to indoor plants is that they will purify the air in a home. I am not big on using artificial chemicals when I garden. For those that feel the same, ladybugs and neem oil offer natural ways to deter pests.
Some nurseries often have plants marked down considerably and after some pruning, fresh organic soil and a new position, many plants come back from the brink of death! Gardening helps you put things into perspective. It soothes the soul and helps the gardener stay grounded. Gardening shows us that everything goes through cycles in life and growth is imperative for healthy, vibrant plants.