What do gardening and gratitude have in common? They’re both good for you! While perhaps not surprising news, it is certainly welcome on the eve of Thanksgiving Day when we are reminded to be particularly thankful.
A study conducted in April by Paul Mills, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, found that the feeling of gratitude helps manage stress, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
For gardeners, there is often much be thankful for this time of year. Recently we at the Cultivating Roots Garden were reminded of the bountiful harvest from this growing season (see below).
Published by the National Garden Bureau, here are ten reasons gardeners are thankful:
1. We’re thankful for the flower and vegetable companies who continue to bring us new and improved varieties of flowers and vegetables every year.
2. We’re thankful for the catalogers and mail-order companies who send us their beautiful tomes of tempting goodies every January, just when the winter doldrums start to set in.
3. We’re thankful for the retailers who so expertly know which flowers and vegetables will grow in our local area and stock them at the appropriate time.
4. We’re thankful for the garden supply companies who create new and innovative products that make gardening easier and less painful for aging or physically-challenged gardeners.
5. We’re thankful for the patient horticulture experts who tirelessly answer our many questions in order for us to be more successful in our own gardens.
6. We’re thankful for the garden writers and bloggers who offer such a wide variety of inspiration and advice that keeps us dreaming and wishing for a garden “just like that."
7. We’re thankful for our families for having the patience to put up with our many failed attempts at gardening, but also who benefit from our many successes.
8. We’re thankful for our friends who "ooh and aah" over our gardens no matter how many weeds we forgot to pull or how many sprouts the bunnies ate.
9. We’re thankful for our bosses and co-workers who put up with our Monday-morning aches and pains after a tough weekend of spring and fall garden cleanup.
10. We’re thankful for the sun, the rain, the change of seasons, the cool temps, the warm temps and everything nature provides to make our gardens grow.
And to add just one more of the many reasons gardeners have to be thankful: a recent study from the U.K has found that people who garden in a community gardens at least 30 minutes a week have improved health benefits! The study stated that gardeners enjoy higher levels of self-esteem, better overall moods, and lower body mass indexes (BMIs) as well. Of course, gardening also leads to lower levels of tension and stress much like the feeling of gratitude.