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The Magic Spell: Gardening, beneficial for mind and body

Updated on February 26, 2013
My oldest daughter Veronica enjoying the roses
My oldest daughter Veronica enjoying the roses | Source

As Howard Dolf pointed out in his beautiful Poem “The Gardener’s Morning”, there is nothing more joyful, relaxing, and beneficial for many people than to spend a few hours outside in nature. Gardening is not just an activity that improves the landscape of your home, or produces fresh vegetables for you to eat, but more importantly, is a practice that brings endless benefits to your mind and body.

Being in contact with nature is always a meaningful and rewarding event, but gardening can also be the perfect stress release activity after a taxing day at work. When you work physically in the garden your mind forgets about your everyday problems as you only concentrate on the task at hand. Gardening is an escape that keeps your mind and body in shape. There are many tasks in the garden like raking, digging, weeding, carrying dirt or mulch, that are very demanding on your body. It has been proven that working in the yard can be equal to aerobic exercising and can burn many calories. It can also lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and keep your muscles strong, among other physical benefits.

Caring for Orchids at the U.S. Botanical Garden
Caring for Orchids at the U.S. Botanical Garden | Source

Smelling the sweet flowers and hearing the birds singing are all helping you relax and renew yourself, while creating something beautiful in your garden. Experiencing the first bloom of a particular difficult plant or watching your garden grow and flourish because of your hard work are rewarding experiences that give you a sense of accomplishment and optimism.

The garden teaches us so many life lessons. Patience is one of them, and it is a lesson you will need throughout your life. Nature cannot be rushed nor forced, you can only help nature and hope for a better outcome.


Caring for a garden is reciprocal. A well cared garden will reward you with beautiful blooms and vigorous plants for you to enjoy. It is not a one-sided pursuit, a garden is a gift back to you; you will receive as much as you invest just like anything else in life.

A garden is never finished, never will all the weeds be picked up, never will all the leaves be raked, and never will we stop watering, planting, digging. Our garden might go dormant in the winter, but come spring it will renew itself; and observing this rebirth, gives us hope and a cheerful sense of anticipation.


The Gardener's Morning

The robin's song at daybreak
Is a clarion call to me.

Get up and get out in the garden,
For the morning hours flee.

I cannot resist the summons,
What earnest gardener could?
For the golden hours of morning
Get into the gardener's blood.

The magic spell is upon me,
I'm glad that I did not wait;
For life's at its best in the morning,
As you pass through the garden gate.

- Howard Dolf


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