‘Why’ always comes first because it’s the most important question for pretty much everything we do in life.
Asking why helps us figure out if the thing we’re thinking of doing is something we really want to do.
If we decide it is, knowing our ‘why’ helps tremendously when it comes to figuring out the who, what, when, where and how.
When you know your purpose for doing something, it makes every decision easier from then on because you can choose the direction that’s in line with that purpose.
So why grow a garden?
Maybe for you it’s:
- To get more physical exercise
- To relieve stress and exercise your mind
- To explore your creativity
- To sequester carbon and water while creating oxygen
- To increase the value of your house
There are plenty of other good reasons. Today I want to share my own top three:
- Organic Food. That’s the big one. Flowers are wonderful for cutting and giving to the one you love, and for attracting butterflies and other beneficial insects, but organic vegetables and fruits are the major players in my organic garden. And not just any food, but nutrient-dense, organic food. If we’re putting in the work, we might as well do it intelligently to grow food that is much more nutritious than that which is available in the grocery store… Knowing this ‘why’ makes plant selection much easier because 90% of what I buy is either edible or in some way supports the edibles.
- Peace. I called this peace, but it could have been called love or calm or “it’s all gonna be okay” or maybe you’ll have your own word. When you’re digging in your garden and your hands touch the earth, the craziness of life takes a short nap, and for awhile it feels like everything’s alright… Knowing this ‘why’ makes my garden design much easier because I use colors/shapes/textures/etc that promote peace and calm (as opposed to promoting more energy and vibrancy, which would be more appropriate for a party-focused garden).
- Learning. When working in my garden, I’ve learned that I know very little about anything at all. And that feels good. I can finally be myself, a person who knows nothing! The best part is that knowing that I know nothing has allowed me to learn a few things. Like how sometimes, a plant’s older leaves will turn yellow, and that means something different than when its younger leaves turn yellow. And how life is hard sometimes, but if I wait a while, it gets easier again… Knowing this ‘why’ has been an end in itself – learning about the impermanence of both joy and pain has been one of the most important lessons of my life.
What I want for my life is just to be happy and healthy. The above 3 things help with that.
When you grow a garden over the course of many years, it becomes a timeline of your life. Each year is a new chapter.
Brené Brown said “Maybe stories are just data with a soul.”
I wonder if a garden is a story of your soul?
I’d like to know a little more about your story. Why do you grow (or want to grow) a garden (whether it be in your backyard, window sill, balcony…)?
Let me know in the comments down below.