It wouldn’t be spring if we didn’t talk about gardening. For those who live in apartments and condos, you’re included! There’s been a growing interest in balcony gardens, container gardens, and urban community gardens over the past couple of years, particularly with people staying home because of the pandemic. And now that spring is finally upon us, it’s a great time to explore some new projects and try out some things you’ve never tried before!
Ask many gardeners and they’ll tell you the same thing: somehow, digging in soil reduces stress and calms the soul. Researchers on the topic also confirm, gardening brings peace to those grappling with grief, depression, and anxiety.
Planting something and caring for it through to a mature plant can create a sense of purpose, satisfaction, and joy to be able to see something flourish. Especially in times of uncertainty and anxiety, having even a small balcony garden or community plot can refocus our thoughts on something new, positive, and growing.
There are other benefits to gardening as well, including fresh air, exercise, getting out in the sunshine, and meeting others in the community. Across Canada, there are hundreds of horticultural societies or local gardening clubs full of friendly “garden people” looking to share conversation about a plant they grew, or a plant they replaced that is now thriving. We all get a lift when we see beautiful flowers or healthy vegetables growing that we’ve planted and tended. The Widowed Friends community also has many active gardeners as well as those that just love the season and the beauty of flowering plants and trees and are always happy to share their gardening news!
Gardening is one of those hobbies you can start small before you decide to really dig in (no pun intended). Even something as simple as a couple of hanging baskets can be a good first step. Nearly anything that can be grown in a traditional garden can be incorporated into a small patio or a balcony. Lettuce, strawberries, herbs and tomatoes work well because they don’t require much space. The same applies to cucumbers, beans, and vines.
Whatever you decide, planting and growing and watching new life grow is a great way to greet the spring and move into the summer by adding your own special corner of life and hope to the world.
For most of us, there’s great satisfaction knowing that we’ve grown something beautiful to look at and/or delicious to eat. After a few minutes tending to your plants following a spring rain, most of just can’t help but feeling just a little more joyful about the world around us.
We hope you’ll think about some new plants this summer and maybe trying growing something you’ve never done before and let us know how it turns out. We meet regularly on zoom and soon more in-person and we’d love to hear how your garden is growing! Join us!