Did you know that the oldest people in the world all have something in common? They all garden. That’s right, spending time in the garden is a transformative experience, bringing rest, relaxation, and a touch of beauty into one’s life But flowers and greenery have more than aesthetic value. Today, I want to share the most common reasons why gardening can improve your life, maybe even extended it, as well as share a few of my own personal reasons why you should consider gardening, too.
Both ancient wisdom and scientific research tell us humans are built to commune with nature, replenishing our spirit, mind, and body. I take this same approach myself in my own Foxhill Garden.
“Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.”
Gardening helps us reconnect with the Earth, filling our souls, mind, and body with joy, calm, and a sense of peace. We give ourselves a glorious gift when we bask in gorgeous floral scents and listen to nature’s quiet sounds.
Here are three simple reasons how gardening can improve (and even extend) your life.
Gardening is an Act of Mindfulness & Meditation
Experts have long observed the connection between gardening and mental health for decades. And it’s not just the calm and quiet of the activity that gives us much-needed repose.
Psychologists highlight that gardening also helps develop problem-solving skills. Because, as every gardener knows, good-ole mother nature may not agree with our plans!
Whether dealing with an influx of mold, an overgrown shrub, or invasive species, the simple act of managing these issues is, in fact, a form of practicing mindfulness.
Likewise, the stimuli of a garden – the scents, sounds, and textures – combined with the repetitive act of pruning, weeding, and planting can put a gardener into a meditative state that’s shown to reduce cortisol levels in our body, improving mental faculties and alleviating stress.
Gardening helps to alleviate many of the anxieties we feel from the hecticness of our day-to-day lives. Cultivating and caring for plants gives us a greater sense of control in our lives, which helps to build confidence and gain perspective when things feel uncertain.
Gardening is Surprisingly Good Exercise
If you’ve ever had a landscaping job or have known someone who did, you also know that gardening is hard work.
Robert Hutchins, MD, MPH, observes that gardening has huge cardiovascular benefits because digging, pruning, and planting require us to lift, move and stretch in ways that make us both flexible and strong.
Gardening gives you a full-body, low-intensity workout. Consider this — only 30 minutes of digging and tilling burns 200 calories. And pruning with garden shears burns 160.
Sure, gardening is not a rigorous gym workout. But it does get you moving outside, building muscles, and burning calories. Plus, you get to do it in the fresh air and warm, vitamin-D-rich sun.
Gardening Makes You Live Longer
The oldest people in the world have one thing in common — they garden. From the centenarians in Okinawa, Japan, to the vital great-great grandmas in Sardinia, it would appear that gardening is their favorite past-time.
The combined physical and mental benefits of gardening offer a holistic approach to health and well-being, enriching our day-to-day lives and extending of life-expectancy by decades.
If you want to live longer, garden.
And if you want to live well, garden!
“Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors.”– Oscar De la Renta
From the oldest people in the world to some of the most successful people in the world, gardening gives people the ability to create, learn and commune with the natural world.
You don’t need much to start. Begin with a small plot of land and find a flower variety that’s easy to care for but adds a maximum flourish.
Want a little more inspiration for your own garden? Download our free Foxhill Garden’s Garden Planning Calendar. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the journey of a life-long (and maybe longer-living) gardener. And don’t forget to show our own, tried and tested favorite gardening tools, supplies and bulbs in our curated online garden shop.
Laura Hooper Design House was established in 2002, to create classic and timeless stationery, specializing in graceful calligraphy and hand drawn illustrations, offering full-service wedding and event stationery design and production. When not designing stationery or teaching calligraphy classes, Laura is also the head gardener at her own Foxhill Garden. Shop her personally curated collection of unique and high quality gardening tools, accessories and floral bulbs to enhance the beauty and ease of your garden.