140 Middletown – Lincroft Road, Lincroft, New Jersey 07738 Hours: Monday-Tuesday 8-5, Wednesday 8-6, Thursday-Saturday 8-5, Sunday 9-4

                                                                  

Why I Garden: To be Outside With Nature

After a long winter, it is all that a faithful gardener can do to stay inside, even though the season of rest is an important one. The ground has to recover nutrition, and the perennial plants need a chance to focus on root growth instead of producing leaves and flowers. But as soon as there are signs of spring, it is a rush to find some excuse to go outside. Most would agree that any task will do. Perhaps, small branches from the last storm get picked up out of the flower beds. Or the rocks along a winding path of shrubs are lined up neatly again after tumbling about in the snow for three months. All of this seemingly unimportant drudging about on days when there are more clouds than sunshine seems to happen for several reasons.

First of all, though it probably has never been proven by scientists, many gardeners feel connected to the plants that they grow outdoors. And why wouldn't they? They nurture and care for them daily for years on end until they reach their final state of maturity. So the beginning stages of spring are nerve-wracking for them, especially if the winter was a particularly brutal one. While performing menial odd jobs outside, a gardener's eyes suddenly have the perception of a hawk as they search for their old friends to wake up from their slumber.

Gardeners feel better when they can stay outdoors for more than a few minutes. It could be the boost of Vitamin D that the sun gives a person after ten minutes or so of exposure to it, but none of them admit to that. They give all the credit to the plot of earth that they get to care for and the bountiful beauty that it provides.

Being outdoors in the garden helps encourage communion with neighbors near and far. While one of them is working steadily on ridding an area of weeds, another will pass by to greet them and exchange a knowing look. It's imperceptible to those that have never developed a green thumb, but nonetheless, it's still wholeheartedly felt when two or more gather to discuss the coming weather patterns and how they might cause the spring flowers to bloom early.

The time spent outside with nature also reaches a gardener on a primal level that isn't explainable. Humans were never meant to sit under fluorescent lights in a cubicle for the majority of the day. It affects their inner spirit so deeply that they yearn for a chance to get a glimpse of the world outdoors hidden away from them.

So the next time that you feel the urge to garden just so that you can be outside, indulge in it. It will make you a happier, healthier person. And the plants won't mind at all if you spend extra time with them.

 

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