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Why do you garden?

It sounds like a silly question, "Why do you garden" but I feel like a lot of us probably have one or two very specific things that got us involved in horticulture and/or agriculture. Share your story if you've got one...

For me, I would say the #1 thing that got me interested in gardening was my grandfather. He passed away from lung cancer several years ago but I think he would be proud of me for not only gardening for myself but pursuing it as a profession (I manage a research greenhouse). My fondest memories of him were helping him pick green beans or lift potatoes in his garden. If I grow old to be half the man my grandfather was I'll be happy with who I am.

My mom is also an avid flower gardener. My parents house won "yard of the month" from their HOA so many times they were asked to join the judging panel to render them ineligible and give someone else a shot at winning. :lol: She was also very supportive of my early gardening including driving me to the store to buy parts to build hydroponics systems before I was old enough to drive and helping me install a modest raised bed in the yard to grow a few veggies. I think her investment paid off because now the student has become the master.

What about you- why do you garden?
Gardening is mostly an issue of your enthusiasm holding up until you get used to the work.

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I garden to stay connected with nature and the cycles of the seasons and of life. I garden to give something back to the earth, to preserve native wildflowers and a little bit of wildlife habitat here in the city. I garden because it keeps me out in the fresh air and sunshine and doing physical tasks. I garden because I love to eat clean veggies fresh from the garden. I garden because it is a mindful, prayerful thing to do:

and probably a million other reasons. It keeps me learning new things all the time.

How did I get started gardening? Probably the reverse of most people who start composting because they are gardeners and discover how good compost is for their garden. I was in my 20's and a first time home owner and started a compost pile to recycle scraps and yard waste. I was immediately taken with the magic of composting, how garbage turns itself into lovely sweet smelling rich soil. So then I had to do a little bit of gardening to have something to do with my compost.

But I became a serious gardener some years later when I was caretaker for a 5 acre partly wooded property. Lived in a mansion on 5 acres in the city for free in return for taking care of the house and grounds. Very nice! So at that point I was sort of a semi-pro gardener.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: Facebook page I manage for them: Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Location: middle Tennessee

I suppose one reason is because it keeps me occupied. There is always something new to learn, try, enjoy, and appreciate about gardening... I find the whole process endlessly fascinating.

Also, to me, the taste of truly fresh organic produce simply can't be beat; and I believe that the positive benefits to one's health can't even be quantified.

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Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

My mother and grandfather got me hooked early; I garden because I delight in watching things I've planted grow, flower, and produce tasty, edible things (well, for the most part - I'd never call Okra tasty or edible, but I do love to grow it....)

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I began gardening in earnest when I quit breeding horses and was forced to move to the city. I'd dabbled in gardening before, but never seriously. Once I found myself stuck in one building after another, day after day after day, I knew I'd go crazy if I didn't find some outdoor occupation.

That's what I like the most about it: having a great excuse to spend my days outside! Playing with dirt is another bennie :lol:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I garden because when I plant these itty bitty things, they grow.
So I keep planting them too see what they turn into. :flower:

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I am a Hobbit and it is our nature to grow things.

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i garden because I enjoy the beauty of plants. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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lorax wrote:... well, for the most part - I'd never call Okra tasty or edible, ...
You've just got to learn to "bread" the Okra in cornmeal and fry it in a skillet like we do here in Tennessee... yum !!! :D

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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:22 pm
Location: Orange County, California

I find gardening relaxing; yes even those times when I come outside in the morning to find the snails have held another all-you-can-eat party in my basil overnight. And I love being outdoors. I used to work outdoors, but now I am mostly stuck inside at work unless I am grilling or gardening.

I also love to watch things grow, plants, birds, baby praying mantids...

Oh yeah, having fresh fruits and vegetables is nice too. :)

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At first I did it to save money. I started with a few herbs and tomatoes and it has now grown into an obsession that I can't stop. My kids are afraid to go anywhere that might have a garden center :lol: This is my 3rd serious garden year and I am dedicated to doing everything from seed and I will save more seed this year so that it will actually save me money LOL I do find it relaxing as well and I'm not an outdoorsy person, so it's good for me to get some Vitamin D 8)
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom ~Anaïs Nin

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I wrote part of an answer to this thread in the bonsai forum under "I never meant to do this".

In answer to the greater question. Because, my family has always gardened. My grandfather swore his mother gardened. So that goes back to 1840's and the Tslagi diaspora.
Think like a tree
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:49 pm
Location: Missouri, usa

Well I choose to give it a whirl for a few reasons.

1. after a hospital stay (28 days) in march 2010, I found I wanted to eat tons of veggitables and so I thought a garden to eat from would be nice.

2. I have allways loved learning new things. (Jack of all trades master of none,,, LOL)

3. I found I needed something to occupy my time besides video games and tv or sleep.

Why I believe I will continue working the land from gardening to landscaping is purley simple. My depression has been at its lowest in 12 years (Since my first major heart attack. I am continually trying new ideas and keeping busy. My activity level is higher than it has been in years and it is making me feel great and more energetic. the grandkids love asking questions and helping out. In short even though it requires patience and a lot of work it has been a great life style change for the better and the grandkids also learn a thing or two.

Thank you so much for getting me totally interested


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because my kids,girlfriend,housework,work work,yardwork,my HEMI and bonsai don't occupy every second of my time...OCD much :) plus it looks nice. i'v started to collect hostas and huchera plus any other perenial thats unique and interesting

Charlie MV
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I eat, therefore I garden. There is no force on earth that could make me endure this heat except for food.

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