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A thought-provoking question, fakel!

Each garden is, to its gardener, an individual paradise - regardless of whether it looks like a show garden or not. 

The thing is, whatever it may look like, it is that person's creation - and he/she is free to express their creativity freely in it.

The beauty and harmony of a garden is dependent upon the gardener and the gardener likes that feeling.

For some, it's less about beauty and creativity and more about growing food. There is something incredibly satisfying about growing things to eat. It all starts off by planning what you're growing, then sowing seed, growing on the seedlings, planting them out, tending to them every day to get the optimum yield, protecting them against the weather, pests and diseases and  against all the odds, harvesting your produce, deciding on what recipe to incorporate it with and finally eating it. The only thing is, after you've eaten it there is that feeling of "It took me half a year to grow and only a few minutes to eat", but its satisfying all the same.

For me, creating a garden is also the chance to create a bit of much-needed wildlife habitat. It pleases me to be able to share my own little heaven with the bees and all the other creatures. They make the garden feel full of life and add their dimension of sound and colour too. The hum of the bees foraging amongst the flowers on a summer's evening, the blackbird's rain song, birds flitting in the tree tops, butterflies perched  delicately over the flowers like Christmas decorations... I could go on!

Then, there's the magic of watching the first seedlings of the year germinate. It doesn't matter how many years you've been growing for, it's just so special.

I am at my happiest when in my garden and I think it has a lot to do with being a part of it. When you tend a garden, you become integrated with it. You are not just a spectator, admiring the play. You have a role in it yourself and see it from the inside.

You can live a stressful, busy life and have no time to go anywhere or do different things, but you can come home and spend a few moments in the garden, even if it is only a patio or a balcony with some pots on, and unwind a bit.

You always seem to be able to make some time for a plant. Perhaps because it depends upon you. And in making time for a plant, you make time for yourself as well.

"I haven't much time to be fond of anything...but when I have a moment's fondness to bestow, most times...the roses get it." - Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone.

Gardening is valuable in teaching life lessons too, especially to children. Yes, a garden can showcase success and happy moments, but also failures and disappointments. A garden can illustrate that such failures are not the end of the world - yes those seedlings may have been growing well after taking ages to germinate and now they've all damped off, but never mind, you'll either just sow some more or grow something else instead.

Gardening and the appreciation of plants in general brings people together too. Take this forum for example. If we didn't garden, we wouldn't be sharing our views right now, would we?

I could go on and on... how gardening can improve our physical, mental and emotional health, the success stories of people turning their lives around after tending prison gardens... the list of what gardens do for us is pretty much endless, I should say.

These words of Sir Thomas More summarise my somewhat rambling dialogue better than I can, I think:

"The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden." 

I know that I couldn't be without one, that's for sure!

 

Gardening is a drug that I can not get enough of. From potting up some seeds that eventually grows in to a hardy mature plant totally depicts that nature will find away 

Just going out in to the garden and placing soil in my hands and smelling it's goodness. Watching my garden grow over the years and the pleasure it gives to my family and friends 

Gardening is life, it is in my genes, it connects me to my Father & Grandfather( who I never knew) & all those before. It connects to the wider natural world & is the perfect antidote to our crazy modern world.

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