In a stress-filled world, many people turn to nature for relief. But due to the particular circumstances brought upon us by the pandemic, we have to spend more time at home to reduce our exposure to disease.
Gardening is a great way to satisfy our needs on both fronts. But if you’re just getting started, and juggling this hobby along with all your other family responsibilities, here’s how to make it easier and still satisfying.
Whenever you’re just getting into a new skill or activity, the best way to sustain your interest and enthusiasm is to take it easy. Leave the out-of-climate exotics, such as orchids, to the experts. Stick to resilient, low-maintenance plants such as hydrangeas, and you can have a thriving garden while still learning the ropes.
Another way to lower the learning curve is by allowing native plants to flourish. Look up which species are endemic to your region; those plants have evolved to become perfectly adapted to local conditions. They are disease-resistant and will require minimal intervention. You might need roof gutter protection and frequent pruning to keep them from growing too much!
In keeping with the low-maintenance, budget-friendly introduction to gardening, you can also take a DIY approach to various tasks. Create compost from your kitchen leftovers; it’s better than fertilizer and way more environment-friendly. Make your flower planters out of repurposed cans or picture frames. Turn recycled rubber tires or shoe soles into mulch. The possibilities are endless.
Make it work indoors
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get into gardening. All you need is sunshine, water, and some good soil. For most people, that also means a suitable piece of land. But if you live in a small urban space, don’t despair.
Residents of apartments and condos have typically been limited in their options to enjoy the presence of nature. They might visit the local park or take care of an indoor plant. But you can push past those restrictions and grow an indoor vertical garden.
All you need is some sunlight entering your room, water, and a wall against which you can stack some hanging planters. Fill these up with soil from a garden supply store, and mix up a variety of indoor-friendly plants, such as herbs, ferns, and bromeliads, to create interesting shapes and texture.
While many homeowners seek to add a touch of beauty to their landscape through gardening, it has always had a more practical side to it. Who hasn’t considered sourcing some fruit and vegetables straight from their own gardens?
Growing crops in your yard can have a certain rustic, back-to-basics appeal. For the employee who spends eight hours a day sitting down and staring at a screen, it can be incredibly satisfying. You get your hands dirty working the earth, and enjoy the taste of home-grown produce.
It’s also a great way to get added value out of your garden. Many crops will require a step up in terms of your gardening effort, which is an excellent way to test your skill and be more physically active. At the same time, you’re putting healthy food on the table; it brings some return on investment and supplements your family’s nutrition.
Involve your family
Thus, if you take the right approach to gardening, it can be highly accessible and rewarding at the same time. You don’t have to aim for a picture-perfect, well-manicured lawn of mono-cultured grass. You aren’t competing in any horticultural contest.
Tending a garden renews your connection with nature, arguably even better than visiting a park or going outdoors. You’re not just stopping by to soak up the scenery; you’re taking responsibility for nourishing a little ecosystem.
You can make the most of this hobby by turning it into a family activity. Your kids, in particular, will benefit a lot from spending time in the garden. Sharing in this responsibility takes them away from screens and devices, keeping them active and developing a strong work ethic.
It’s also an opportunity to sneak some extra education into your child’s daily routine. They will get hands-on experience with concepts that they will study later on in science. They also get a better understanding of where food comes from, what goes into a balanced diet, and how to practice sustainability.
The size of your home can be measured in square footage, but the value of a garden can be immeasurable. If you put effort into it, everyone in your family will reap the benefits.