Gardening is a time-honored practice, that beautifies the environment while providing a connection to the natural world. When our hands are in soil or tending to plants, we align ourselves with mother nature and her rhythms. It is grounding, nurturing and healing.

How is gardening healthy?

It’s easy to build a strong body when you’re an avid gardener. Gardening requires that you engage in a wide variety of intentional actions that’ll have you bending, stretching, and lifting your way to a better body. As you weed, lug hoses and plants, prune trees and shrubs, and dig holes, you are engaging your entire body. Your heart, lungs, muscles and joints all benefit. And, the extra sunshine will boost your vitamin D production.

Being out in the fresh air surrounded by nature benefits you physically, psychologically and spiritually. Gardening is a scientifically proven stress reliever and mood elevator. It also helps you feel more balanced and relaxed. Many people find that it even contributes to a better night’s sleep.

How can we all benefit from gardening?

Gardening is a soul-nourishing endeavor, particularly for people who are bored with the more rudimentary methods of exercising and physical activity. The actions, scenery and inspiration of gardening change every day, making the practice a creative outlet as well. What’s blooming today? What needs pruning? Have the butterflies arrived? Gardening represents the ever-changing, cyclical nature of our earth, and time there can teach you many lessons, including patience, persistence and how to let go.

A regular gardening practice ensures a consistent connection with the changing seasons, helping you cultivate a higher awareness of your environment. You’ll also become more keenly aware of your yard as its own ecosystem. You’ll learn what types of insects and pollinators are coming into the garden. It’s fun to look up which plants they prefer.

How can city-dwellers garden?

If you don’t have a yard or gardening space outdoors, turn your attention to indoor options. Kitchen herbs can grow in a window or room with access to sunlight. There are also numerous ornamental indoor houseplants that assist with toxin removal, improving the air quality of homes. Window box gardening can even go over a railing, giving you an instant gardening space to grow and enjoy anything from small tomato plants to decorative flowers. Many cities also have community gardens, so investigate options in your area.

Gardening is a mind, body, spirit workout that offers many rewards. In a world that seems to continually speed up, it’s wonderful to be able to return to something so basic and satisfying as time in the garden.