Garden your Way Through it: How Gardening Helps Me

I created this place in order to both document my own gardening journey & to help others with their own gardening adventures. My normal posts consist of tutorials, recipes, or essentially journals of what I’ve been doing in my own garden. But, I haven’t really gotten into why gardening is so important to me or how much it helps me when the world just doesn’t make sense to me anymore. I received some really awful news earlier this week & it’s hard for me to think about anything else, let alone come up with some new fun gardening activity to talk about. I figured I might as well just go with it & talk about what I’m going through since I know that a lot of people also turn to gardening during difficult times.

red amaryllis flower
Amaryllis in full bloom is one of my favorite things to look forward to during the winter.

Gardening has always been a part of my life in some fashion because it’s one of my dad’s hobbies. However, I never got really into it until a few years ago during one of my mom’s battles with cancer. During that time it was really hard for me to find something that gave me joy when I was in the midst of so much bad. Someone gave us a poinsettia for the holiday season & once it started to wilt after New Year’s I wondered how I could help it out. Off to YouTube I went, where I found this video from MIGardener which explained how to turn a poinsettia from a Christmas plant only to a year-round houseplant. The dye was already cast. I just didn’t realize it yet.

snow covered hydrangea flowers
Hydrangeas mascarading as snowcones.

That following spring I ended up buying a bloomerang lilac & a few annuals because I thought they were pretty & cheap. Then came the fabric grow pots & the tomatoes. The following year, I created a rose garden & a raised bed veggie garden. After that, I kept going & growing more. Then I created this website & my love of gardening only intensified. 

floret flower seed packets
Retail therapy: Gardening Edition

People ask me why I love gardening so much & it’s hard to give a succinct answer. But during hard times like this, the answer becomes crystal clear. I love gardening because it makes the world make sense in a world that doesn’t make sense a lot of the time. I’m the type of person that likes feeling like I have control of things around me. So, when bad things happen I feel like if I just can just learn everything about it, then I can solve it. As if every problem is just a puzzle that I can put together. But that’s not the way the world works & I can’t turn every terrible thing into a puzzle that I can solve.

shrub covered in snow
I’m not a fan of snow, but it sure is pretty to look at.

Gardening is different though. It is a problem that I can solve. I can put a plant in the right place, where it will get the exact amount of light that it needs & I can give it just the right amount of water & the right amount of fertilizer & that plant will thrive. If it doesn’t thrive, then I can adjust so it does. Nearly all of the process is entirely in my hands. If something isn’t working, I can usually fix it. That’s comforting to me. It makes the world feel like everything is in the right place. 

red amaryllis about to bloom
When the almost about to bloom is almost as pretty as the bloom.

There’s something to be said in regards to just getting your hands into the dirt & getting to work too. Just working through your problems while working through your garden. It’s such a satisfying way to get through all the bad in your life. Studies have shown that gardening helps people get through grief & depression. I think it’s because there’s so much nurturing involved. You feed the plants & in turn, they feed you back literally & figuratively. I need that now.

hydroponic tomato seedlings
The tomato seedlings are thriving!

I hope that gardening does the same for you. I hope it feeds you as much as you feed it. Also, if you’re new to gardening or if you’re on the fence about it, I really encourage you to lean into it if you need something to lean on. I definitely need to lean on gardening right now. With it being winter right now, I really only have my houseplants to tend to, but it still helps. Seeing my indoor tomato plants grow bigger by the day is a welcome distraction. Planning my spring garden & figuring out where I plan to plant all the seeds that I have acquired is also a welcome distraction. Here’s to hoping gardening brings you joy!

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