“Show me your garden and i shall tell you what you are” said Alfred Austin”. Gardening is any way, is humans and nature coming together to create beauty.
It is always exciting to open the door and go out to the garden for the first time or any day. Gardening is a medicine that does not need a prescription…with no limit on dosage it is a nature, made to order. There is no end to the refinement which can be brought about in a garden through the myriad shades of colour of plants and flowers and the fragrance associated with them.
Keats has captured the excess of a garden’s charm in his famous “ode to a Nightingale”
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet
Or what soft incense hangs upon the boughs
But in embalmed darkness guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket and the fruit tree wild
White hawthorn and the pastoral egalantine.
Fast fading violets covered up in leaves
And mid-may’s eldest child,
The coming muskrose, full of dewy wine
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Garden is a domain to many a species of butterflies which lend charm to the verdant looks of the garden. Some beautiful birds too, make the garden a transitory home. Their heartening sounds distract us from the monotonous regimen of our daily lives. A garden lover tends every plant and shrub as his child. He waters it, prunes it, trims it and watches it with a throbbing heart and loving gaze.
The first ray of the rising sun brings him to his garden to see the progress of some of the favourite plants of his has made during night. He does not mind spoiling his cloths and limbs while weeding out the enemies of the plants from the garden. When we sit at a desk all day, there is something about literally putting your hands in the dirt, digging and actually creating something that’s really beautiful, says Aldrich, a magazine editor.
Aldrich is not the only one who feels that way. Many gardeners view their hobby as the perfect antidote to the modern world, a way of reclaiming some of the intangible things we’ve lost in our busy dirt free lives. Even the most sophisticated ones will find something precious and enriching about seeing the birds and butterflies, the colours, scents and wildlife, up close and in all the seasons.
Humans have a finite capacity for the kind of directed attention required by the cell phones and email. Andrea Taylor, phd a horticulture instructor has argued that we can replenish ourselves by engaging in “involuntary attention”, an effortless form of attention that we use to enjoy nature.
Practical and spiritual aspects of gardening are shown in an impressive body and literature. In the western countries, manuals of instructions date to classical Greece and Rome. Images of plants and gardens are profuse in the works of the major poets from Virgil to Shakespeare and on to the some of the moderns.
Early gardening was largely for utility. The emergence of the garden as a form of creative display probably began in the 16th century, especially took firm root in Elizabethan England which notably developed the idea that gardens were for the enjoyment and delight. The enthusiasm was accompanied by an earnest search for knowledge and the period saw the rise of botanical gardens. In the 2nd half of the second century, interest in gardening brought in new adherents in unprecedented numbers. They were advised and encouraged by numerous publications by television and radio programme.
Communing with nature also has other, less spiritual rewards. In addition to being a source of fresh, healthy produce, gardening can ease stress keep you limber and even improve one’s mood.
In a study conducted by Norway, people who had been diagnosed with depression, persistent low mood, spent six hours a week in the gardens. The participants experienced a remarkable improvement in their depression symptoms. Besides obvious weight loss benefits of gardening has been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, ease muscle tension and an added and effective drug for cancer too!!
It might sound trivial, but gardening is a great way of augment an exercise regimen, so we get exercise benefits as well. digging, planting, weeding and other tasks require strength and are excellent forms of low-impact exercises. The combination of physical and mental activity involved in gardening may have a positive influence on the mind. And people who are already experiencing mental decline, even just walking in a garden can be therapeutic. And we can go green to reduce the ecological imbalance that is being created due to the constructions of high rising towers.
The sights, smells and sounds of the garden are said to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Through colours and textures gardeners can invoke emotions of calm, tranquility and happiness. The trick is not to try to slavishly copy others, but rather to garner a sense of what is appealing to them or how any of the ideas could effectively translate into your own world. So go ahead and enjoy the dirt. Happy gardening!!
- Usha Srinath