The Hidden Power of Gardening

The word “power” seems an unlikely metaphor for gardening, however the energizing force of spring’s arrival creates a drive within us that is indeed powerful. What is so compelling about gardening that motivates so many of us to endure the aching muscles and dirty fingernails that seem to be a part of the endeavor?

Perhaps the most basic of our needs as human beings are somehow met in our interaction within these spaces that surround and become a part of our homes. Our gardens provide opportunities for creative expression, physical activity, a harvest of food and a connection to the forces and the beauty of the natural world. Every garden is unique as we are individually and this individuality gives us a power to  . .

pursue gardening to our own best purpose.

Growing something is the best proof of the power of positive thinking. Planting a seed is an act of faith. Nurturing the seedling brings confidence in our ability to enable the growth and development of a plant. The payoffs come in the form of colorful flowers, delicious fruit, fabulous lawns and stately shrubs and trees. The rewards multiply when we consider the greater benefits of our gardening endeavors. The pure physical work of gardening is good for the body as well as the soul. Although muscles may ache, the tensions of everyday stress diminish as we cultivate our domestic domain. Our goals may vary from a long-term vision for our landscape to the short term harvest of lettuce, green beans and tomatoes for the table. Whatever the goal, faith in the future is an important element of the process.

There is something of power for all ages in gardening. The fascination of watching seeds sprout and develop true leaves is as much a wonder to the toddler as the retiree. The sweet, crunch of homegrown corn is savored by any of us who appreciate good and wholesome food. The satisfaction of creating a beautiful sanctuary for the enjoyment of our family and friends is a reward well worth a few torn nails and sore backs. Imagine our world without plants; it is unthinkable. Our homes without gardens would seem empty and sterile. This spring, as we take on our gardening adventures, consider the power we gather as we plant, nurture and harvest; it is a gift to ourselves as well as for future generations. 

About the Author: Harriett McMillan, CCNP, is a Colorado native and works at Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center in Arvada, where she plays several roles as a plant doctor, customer educator and outreach coordinator. She has served as president of Garden Centers of Colorado and was named Nursery Person of the Year by CNGA in 2004 and by GreenCO in 2010. Harriett has been active in the development of the Plant Select® program for the past 20 years and has served on the CNGA Certification Committee as well as the Programs Committee.

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