Gardening: The Fine Art Of Soul To Soil

August 10, 2015

"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

Living on the shelves in the "hobby" section of the local bookstore are rows and rows of books with covers of gardens -- gardens that are so breathtaking, alluring and vivid that even the most talented of artists or expensive of cameras have trouble capturing their beauty. Some believe the topic of gardening is misunderstood; that these books have been misplaced and stored on the wrong shelves.  Some believe the art of gardening is much more than an American past time.  Some believe gardening is much better suited for the "lifestyle" section of the bookstore.

Unless you are raised in the garden or taught from a young age to appreciate the smell of the soil or the dirt beneath your fingernails, it is easy to overlook the benefits of gardening. The truth is, the pure motion of digging is known by seasoned gardeners for its exceptional health benefits over the mind, body and soul. Here is a list of benefits you just can't ignore.

Gardening for the Mind

  • Time to trade in your novel and cup of tea for a shovel and bag of soil. That's right! Gardening, proven to drastically lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone), is more effective at lowering stress levels than indoor reading! 
  • Getting "down and dirty" in the garden requires cognitive skills that protect the brain from aging -- significantly reducing the risk of dementia and increasing memory retention.

Gardening for the Body

  • An intense session of gardening can translate into meaningful exercise. 3 hours of moderate gardening = 1 full hour in the gym! (Yes, please!)
  • Getting up and gardening on a regular basis has also been proven to significantly reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
  • Chances of developing obesity is less likely for avid gardeners. So if the doctor wants you to get that BMI down, a great way of doing it is to hit the dirt.
  • There is a beneficial bacterium in soil (it has a scientific name, but we'll just call it the "happy bacteria") that when inhaled improves mood.
  • Fact: People who grow fruits and vegetables, consume more fruits and vegetables. 

Gardening for the Soul

  • Gardeners are 70% more satisfied with life than non-gardeners. (It must be something in the soil!)

So let's head out to the garden! Our project: Begin cultivating a healthier and happier lifestyle.