Why I Garden: Confessions of a Lazy Gardener

Green beans ready to plant

Gardening is therapeutic. It helps soothe my spirit and reconnects me with the miracles of this world. In each little seed is everything it needs to grow and flourish, given the right temperature, moisture, and soil.

Gardening connects me with God and with life all around me. The ground is teeming with life. The birds twitter in the trees around me. The sun warms my spirit. Even the process of composting renews me – as everything breaks down, becomes food for the worms and for my plants.

Whatever problems I may be mulling become insignificant in the cycle of life that happens out in my garden beds.

Even when I didn’t have garden space, I have always grown something in containers – usually tomatoes (you can’t beat the flavor of a vine-ripened tomato!).

Spinach & Peas

Spinach & Peas in my Garden

I prefer to garden in containers or raised beds, for simply the ease. There’s little weeding, or hoeing, or anything else to do. Simply plant, water, and grow. Then when that plant is done throw in some more compost and start again.

I love to go out to the garden beds and graze. Pick off a fresh pea or broccoli stalk, pick a spinach leaf and munch on it. Even my pickiest eater will eat from the garden.

I don’t grow all of our own food, but I grow enough during harvest time to be able to pick fresh veggies and herbs for dinner. It connects us with the earth and with the knowledge of where our food comes from.

Kids preparing their new garden beds

Kids preparing their new garden beds

The kids each have their own garden beds and are free to grow what they want in it. In our last house my oldest son grew the largest artichoke plant we had ever seen. Now they are planting their new beds.

11 yr old planting Marigolds in her garden

11 yr old planting Marigolds in her garden

Each brings their own personalities and likes/dislikes to their gardening.  My oldest has eight watermelon plants, and the rest is herbs and flowers. My youngest son is planting only “Food”. While my youngest daughter is planting mostly flowers. My oldest son is mixing both flowers and veggies, eagerly consulting the gardening books for inspiration.

I love this adventure with them. Their creativity combined with the opportunities to observe and discuss all the life we see – at each stage of its growth.
If you are new to gardening, I encourage you to try it. Gardening does not have to be done a huge scale, and certainly not in the traditional plowed row style. (If it did, then I would not be gardening at all!).  Here’s a few resources to get you started:

On the basics of Gardening from another Mom’s experiences: “Momma’s Guide to Growing Your Groceries” by Kimberly Eddy  (Note: until April 30th, 2009 this e-book is on sale for $5.95. Normally, it’s $7.95)

On an easy, no-fuss method of gardening in raised beds: All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew (Note: if you borrow this from a library, be sure it’s the “New” method not the original.)

On container gardening: Movable Harvests: The Simplicity & Bounty of Container Gardens by Chuck and Barbara Crandall. (Note: This book is out of print, so you’ll need to find a used copy. But it is a wonderful book on how to grow different types of veggies and fruits in containers. I love this book and have used it for my entire adult gardening life.)

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