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Gardening Goodness

Even though it’s moving right along, summer is in full swing! There’s still time to get out there and enjoy the rewarding endeavor of household gardening. Whether you’re planting flowers and shrubbery or herbs and vegetables or all the above, opportunities remain to see the “fruits” of your labor.

Gardening, simply put, is good for the body, mind, and soul. We have a tendency to move through our days in a rush – taking little notice of the beauty around us – then the unexpected wonder of a gorgeous, fully blooming flower bed takes us by surprise and we are instantly paused. Even though nature is always moving forward in ways we can’t even imagine, there is something about our environment that is always encouraging us to stop and smell the roses. We must make the time to do this.

When we can contribute to the life around us then we begin to realize the things that make life worth living with greater appreciation. This is true when we invest in our relationships with others and even when we plant a flower. It’s one thing to experience the beauty of the botanical gardens as a visitor. I imagine it’s a totally different thing to experience the beauty of the botanical gardens as the grounds keeper! Both are able to enjoy the gardens but the grounds keeper's enjoyment goes quite a bit deeper for obvious reasons. Sure, there is a lot of work and downright discomfort to gardening of any sort but the rewards are just as plentiful.

Of course, you don’t have to create the botanical gardens in your front yard to reap the benefits of tending the soil! You can have a garden on an apartment balcony, patio, back deck, or anywhere your ideas carry you. Container gardening is an especially easy and handy way to maintain the beauty of a garden without all the work. You can avoid all that bending and strain by putting the container on a table when planting. Once started, the upkeep is much easier and you can move your plants, flowers, herbs, or vegetables at your leisure.

You can have as many plants as you desire, depending on your needs or wants; without all the tilling or hoeing. Be creative with your containers. For instance, purchase an inexpensive kiddie pool and you instantly have a large container to plant a small garden in. These mini-gardens will also attract butterflies and small birds.

With all plants, whether green foliage or blooming, you will have healthier plants if you maintain a schedule for watering and fertilizing. This maintenance will enable plants to be more tolerant of insect attacks. Read directions on the fertilizer bag, and never over fertilize or over water. Good pot drainage is a must. A basic rule-of-thumb for watering plants is: if leaves droop, you need to water more; if leaves yellow, slow up on the water.

There’s still time to plant and ENJOY!

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