Why garden? Here's 10 good reasons
SMART phones, computers and MP3 players have become the tools of our modern lives.
But it wasn't so long ago that a shovel, a patch of soil and a bag of seeds were the only tools needed to provide sustenance and satisfaction.
Gardening was a part of daily life. Ask any gardener today why they garden and you'll get a variety of reasons why it's important to them.
1. Garden for safe, healthy food
Reports of food-borne illnesses and contamination regularly appear in the media.
Growing concerns about pesticides in our food supply have led to an increased interest in organic gardening and availability of organic produce.
Processed foods contain additives and preservatives many consumers want to avoid.
An easy solution is to grow your own vegetables. Start your own garden and know the food you're eating is fresh and safe with fantastic flavour.
2. Garden for exercise
Tired of the gym routine? Get a good workout without even thinking about it.
Gardening activities provide both cardio and aerobic exercise.
Studies show an hour of moderate gardening can burn up to 300 calories for women, almost 400 calories for men.
For older people, especially women, gardening can help reduce osteoporosis.
Mowing the grass is like taking a vigorous walk, bending and stretching to plant a garden compares to an exercise class, while hauling plants and soil is similar to weightlifting.
Adaptive tools help those whose physical limitations prevent some activities.
3. Garden to add beauty
A house with a nice garden is a pleasure to look at and satisfying to live in.
Your home can be made more inviting simply by adding a container of colourful flowers near the front door.
Herbs in the kitchen add freshness to the room, as well as flavour to daily meals.
Trees and shrubs not only provide colour and shade, but shelter for birds and wildlife.
4. Garden to learn
Gardeners find the more they learn about plants and gardening, the more they want to know.
Problems with insects or spots on leaves provide the opportunity to find out the cause and understand how to keep plants healthy.
There are a variety of ways to increase gardening know-how such as seminars, television programs, internet, formal degree programs at TAFE or uni or talking to the staff at your local garden centre.
5. Garden to make money
For some people gardening is a lifelong hobby.
For others, the love of plants can lead to a rewarding job at a local garden centre or production nursery, or even owning their own business.
A garden can be a source of flowers, vegetables, herbs, and other crops that can be sold at local farmer's markets and roadside stands.
And whether you live in your dream home or plan on moving soon, gardening adds value to your property.
Real estate agents estimate that attractive landscaping increases a home's value by as much as 15%.
It also creates interest in the house and can mean the difference between a potential buyer simply driving by or stopping to take a closer look.
6. Garden to meet people
Gardening is a great way to expand your social circle.
Whether it's with someone who lives down the street or halfway around the world on the Internet, gardeners love to talk about plants.
Surplus tomatoes, a bouquet of flowers, or an extra plant, are gifts to be shared with friends and neighbours.
Meeting other gardeners through garden clubs, plant organisations, and gardening websites is an easy way to share information and get involved.
7. Garden to be creative
Gardening provides an outlet for creative and artistic expression. A garden's design can reflect a personal sense of style such as a romantic cottage garden or a peaceful Japanese garden, as well as provide a showcase for art and sculpture.
Like to try something new?
With the wide variety of seeds and plants available in garden centres, it's easy to experiment with new plants or change a garden's colour scheme every year.
8. Garden to win
For people with a competitive streak, gardening is a friendly way to show off their skills.
Local shows provide an opportunity to show everyone the giant pumpkin, beautiful beans or luscious tomatoes harvested from the garden .
9. Garden for emotional needs and spiritual connections
Gardens play an important part in our well-being.
A garden might serve as a tranquil retreat or private escape from the demands of everyday life.
The beauty of flowers can lift spirits, while pulling weeds can be a great release for stress and excess energy.
A harvest of colourful flowers or tasty vegetables provides a sense of achievement and feelings of success, while neighbours and visitors often express their appreciation of those efforts.
10. Garden for lasting memories
Blocks where once grew gardens have been replaced with pools and driveways.
Today's kids are missing the joy of cutting a bouquet of flowers for mum or tasting the sweetness of a cherry tomato picked right from the plant.
Gardening is a fun activity that can be shared with children and grandchildren, even if the garden is a single container or small spot in the yard.
Become a gardener, forget that excuse about not having enough time.
Gardening takes less time than that new television show and is much easier than getting a new game to work on your computer.
Gardening is a satisfying activity that provides a lifetime of benefits.