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This week's editorial

This week's editorial from senior editor Joan Ritchie.

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul". – Alfred Austin

You don’t have to have a ‘green thumb’ to enjoy gardening. Sometimes gardening knowledge is acquired over the years as we get hands-on experience and glean knowledge that only working in the dirt can do for us.  

The benefits of gardening far outweigh the effort it takes to get the job done. 

I absolutely love to be in the backyard and I take such great pleasure in planting my flowerpots that usually don’t have much for flowers but mostly just every shade of greenery and other non-flowering plants of interest.  For example, I love King-tuts and they make an absolutely gorgeous tropical statement to any backyard. I love bamboo grass as it grows so thick and lush down taller pots.  Well, I must admit, I love plants and the more the merrier!  Every year I try and find some new ones that are interesting and beautiful. 

Unfortunately, the credit cards get a going-over and my husband threatens I am going to get ‘plastic surgery’ if I don’t stop the buying.  Just to clarify, he means he is going to cut up the credit cards with no physical repercussions to myself.  So far this year, so good!    

Speaking about the benefits of gardening, it’s so therapeutic to do that even a person’s immune system benefits from it.  Every time I go into a greenhouse it’s like I get revitalized and the stresses of life just seem to evaporate while there.  

Gardening is one of the healthiest hobbies a person can have. The bending and stretching are an absolute benefit as we are able to whittle ourselves into shape, not to mention that when we are working with shovels and other tools, our strength increases.  Have you ever noticed that when you are in the fresh air and doing something physical, sleep seems to come easy? 

Unfortunately until our muscles get over the extra daily workouts, our butts, legs and arms feel the effects but everyone wants to have a tight-butt right?...and there’s no better way to see some results than exercise.  

Apparently, our minds benefit from gardening, as well.  It is believed that gardening activities may spur growth in a brain’s memory-related nerves.  

“Researchers in Korea gave 20-minute gardening activities to people being treated for dementia in an inpatient facility. After the residents had raked and planted in vegetable gardens, researchers discovered increased amounts of some brain nerve growth factors associated with memory in both males and females.

“In a 2014 research review, analysts found that horticultural therapy — using gardening to improve mental health — may be an effective treatment for people with dementia.

In fact, in the Netherlands and Norway, people with dementia often participate in groundbreaking Greencare programs, where they spend a large part of the day working on farms and in gardens.”  

In the same article it says, “Whether your patch is large or small, a raised bed, community garden, or window box, getting dirty and eating clean are good for you.”  

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication. 

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