I love the gift that April brings Alaska – the sun. I love knowing that summer is right around the corner. For my family, summer brings the busyness of fishing and camping and out-of-town guests. Sometimes that busyness is just too much. The length of days is overwhelming and I look for something to ground me.
I love my garden. I have many plants and flowers, but my favorite are the iris, when they bloom it is spectacular. There is a little courtyard with a bistro table. I work there often. There are gnomes. It’s a unique garden for our block. We have spent many years moving and waiting and changing and hoping. It’s peaceful and beautiful.
April is I when know my neighbors will break out of their winter cocoons.
We will see each other more often as they bring their greenhouses out into the sun during the day, then roll them into their warm garages overnight. Weekends will hold many trips for new dirt, fertilizer, plants and seeds. People will start to lean out car windows to chat about, “What’s going in this year,” as they drive by.
I have a neighbor who smiles, always, and says to everyone, “Good day to you!” She is a teacher, cultivating children to they have a better future. She is a gardener in her soul. I think she must talk to her flowers. I’m not sure they would grow so beautifully if she didn’t ask nicely.
As we put this issue of the ECHO together I struggled about telling you about my garden, or about all the things gardens and gardening does for others. I never came up with an answer.
Gardening is good for the soul.
There are volumes written about the beauty and solace gardens have brought to people throughout time. There are volumes more discussing how gardening reduces anxiety, stress, and emotional distress of many kinds. It’s good exercise – you burn about 272 calories per hour of gardening.
If you have children I encourage you to grow something together. Kids are more likely to eat what they grow. It teaches responsibility, respect and patience. It builds self esteem when a child takes care of something, and gives them a sense of importance.
I encourage you to garden this spring. Even if it’s just one little plant in a pot. Let your inner green thumb out.
Thank you for reading,