Thoughts about Gardening

Submitted by Faye Mahaffey

OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer

It finally happened! The Marigolds and Zinnias were killed by the frost and the large Bushel Gourd vine that was trying to eat my garden is now a brown wilted mess. This time of the year brings a mixed bag of emotions for me. I have regret about what I didn’t accomplish, but at the same time, I am already planning for the next growing season! It’s time to pull the tomato cages, straighten up the potting shed and clean and oil the garden tools.

Have you ever been asked why you garden? As I talk with other gardeners about the “joy” they find in this hobby the reasons include: 1) It’s my exercise, 2) I want more control over what my family eats, 3) I enjoy growing my own food, 4) I like having a beautiful property I can be proud of, 5) I like being and feeling healthy, 6), It gives me piece of mind, 7) It relaxes me, 8) I like being connected to the natural world, 9) I love flowers, and 10) I enjoy spending time outdoors and around plants. What can you add to this list?

A National Garden Bureau survey asked gardeners why they garden, and their responses are inspiring. The top 10 reasons include:

  1. Garden for safe, healthy food. Start your own garden and know that the foods you and your family eat are fresh and safe.
  2. Garden for exercise. You can get all the exercise you need in your own backyard for free! Gardening activities provide both cardio and aerobic exercise. As we age, gardening can help reduce osteoporosis. If you have physical limitations, there are adaptive tools to help you get the job done.
  3. Garden for Beauty. A garden can enhance any outdoor setting. Trees and shrubs not only provide color and shade, but shelter for birds and wildlife. Think of the garden as another room to be enjoyed.
  4. Garden to learn. You can learn by reading and you can learn by doing! Gardeners find that the more they learn about plants and gardening, the more they want to know.
  5. Garden to make money. The love of plants can lead to a rewarding job at a local garden center, or to owning your own business. Landscaping an investment property can add to the resale value by as much as 15 percent.
  6. Garden to meet people. Gardeners love to share their gardens and their knowledge. Gardening is a great way to expand your social circle. Join a Garden Club or consider training to be an OSUE Master Gardener Volunteer!
  7. Garden to be creative. Gardening provides an outlet for creative and artistic expression. Try something new every season. Keep a project folder or notebook and add to it when you see something that catches your eye!
  8. Garden to win. Gardening is a friendly way to show off your skills. County and state fairs provide an opportunity to show everyone the giant pumpkin or perfect zinnia.
  9. Garden for emotional needs. Gardens play an important part in our well-being. A garden might serve as a tranquil retreat or private escape from the demands of everyday life. Gardening builds confidence and self-esteem.
  10. Garden for lasting memories. Gardening is a great activity that can be shared with children and grandchildren – the gardeners of tomorrow. Memories of past gardens and gardeners are cherished. Help build these memories for the next generation.

I have wonderful memories of working in the garden with my mother. She loved to grow flowers and create beautiful arrangements for church each Sunday.

Interested in learning more about a noxious weed that has been put on Ohio’s invasive list? Doug Dyer, OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer, will talk about Poison Hemlock and other invasive weeds at the November 15thgarden seminar at the Mt. Orab campus of Southern State Community College. Remember that all seminars are free and open to the public and are held in Room 208 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Enjoy putting your gardens to bed and start planning for next year!