Gardening brings us a benefit, well actually two benefits, quite apart from the beauty of the plants we grow, the vegetables we enjoy or the herbs that season our meals. I am not talking about curb appeal either.
All these and so much more come from spending your time gardening but perhaps the most long-lasting and least considered benefits are those that come from the act of gardening itself. The mental and physical exercise you get when you garden.
The mental exercise takes two forms. The first one is the getting away from it all, leave all your cares behind and get lost in the garden: when I am working in my garden, the world slows down and the rush and worry that is all too often a regular part of life goes away.
It feels as though I have stepped out of time and am reconnecting with something more ancient, more primal than the asphalt, concrete and electronic world that devours so much of our attention and our time.
This is a release and clears the mind so that when it is time to return to other business, I am calm and focused.
The second mental exercise is the planning and decision part of gardening which usually takes place during the winter months as I look at seed catalogues, pictures of last year's garden, images of plants that interest me and otherwise conjure up images of what my garden will look like next year.
This exercise will, in time, turn into a plan on paper that will serve as a guide when spring comes.
This work exercises the imagination and creative aspects and allows me to consider what could be.
Not only, is this an enjoyable way to invest my time in the long, dark winter months but it energizes me and enables my work to grow.
No need to diet, just get out and garden.