It is completely befitting that there is a day set aside to celebrate the earth and how wonderful it has been to all living things especially us- human beings!

The gifts of nature are such that whenever you are in their presence you leave aside your worries and pain and become engrossed in just how beautiful it is.

Today is earth day and we can’t help but feel so much love for the earth and what it means to us : garden junkies. Hold on, we’ll explain.

Japanese garden

Research has revealed that gardening has a positive effect on the emotional state of being. As a matter of fact, what you are seeing, hearing or experiencing during the moments you spend in your garden do not only change your mood; it also changes how your nervous, endocrine and immune systems are working.

Don’t agree? Let’s take a look at how the garden performs these wonders.

Nature heals you

When you are standing amongst beautiful flowers and viewing the scenes of nature, it reduces your anger, fear and stress and increases pleasant feelings.

Credit: Consulus

This healing is not just about making you better emotionally, it plays a big part in your physical wellbeing too. By reducing your blood pressure, heart rate, and the production of stress hormones, you are several steps closer to a healthy life.

Backing this up, scientists Stamatakis and Mitchell have said gardening may reduce mortality. So what do you say? If you can’t garden how about a simple plant in your room to reduce your stress and anxiety?

Nature is a soothing balm

As humans, there are inevitably times when we go through pain. Because the human brain and senses find trees, plants, water and nature in general beautiful, we are engrossed by nature scenes distracting us from our current pain.

Credit: Homosthetics

Robert Ulrich, a physician who conducted a study on gallbladder surgery patients revealed that the patients who had a view of trees tolerated pain better and left the hospital faster than those who had a view the wall. You can see more here.

Now we’ve seen just how helpful the garden can be.  But let’s explore what makes horticulture so healing!

1 You have a sense of responsibility when looking after plants

Caring for plants is a good way to learn responsibility for people especially for children growing up. It is very effective in developing an appreciation for the magic of nature. Plants are living things and when you know it is your responsibility to nurture them, you won’t exactly feel comfortable seeing them die or wilt away.

Credit: 123Kindergarten

2. When you garden, you nurture

It doesn’t matter the age, gender or how good you are with gardening. The point is as long as you are involved with plants you are a nurturer. Especially useful for those with mental health problems, being able to tend to them will go a long way in boosting their self-esteem.

3. Gardening keeps you connected to other living things.

Sometimes, we all need a gentle reminder that we are not the center of the universe. Self-absorption has been said to contribute to depression. Focusing on your garden – which could be potted plants in your kitchen can encourage you to look outside yourself and witness the wonders of other living things.

credit: contentzone

In 2003, a research showed that group gardening helped those in mental health units and prison. This is because it is centered on collective skills and goals as against just individual symptoms and deficits.

In the same vein, digging in a walled or fenced garden keeps vulnerable people within boundaries and gives them that feeling of being safe at the same time as they try new things.

4. Honestly, gardening is easy

If you are new to gardening you may be anxious you won’t have magic hands and grow the kind of luscious gardens you’ve seen and heard about. But one thing you need to do is start small.

You don’t need a huge garden to enjoy these benefits, you could simply start with a potted plant! Let’s make it simpler, if you are interested in starting your garden, the tips below should come in handy:

Have an idea of what you want: Is it going to be a vegetable garden? A flower garden or a herb garden? Whatever you want the trick is to start small.

Pick a spot with some sunlight: Almost all vegetables and flowers want access to sun every day. If you don’t have a lot of sun, don’t worry, some plants can tolerate shade.

Clear the ground, give your soil a boost: you can do this by adding a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost, decayed leaves, dry grass clippings, or old manure.

Pick your plants: Since you are just starting, you don’t need to look too much at the elaborate flowers in magazines or ads, ideally, you should start with something small and easy to manage such as cosmos, marigolds, impatiens, geraniums, Calendula, sunflowers, and zinnias.

Put them in the ground, water them up, keep weeds out and well, keep it up!

Happy earth day!