Gardening through your stress…

It’s amazing to me how that time goes by so quickly with each passing year. I had told myself that this summer I was going to do some weeding of my garden bed in front of our house and also take a look at a garden space at the back of our fence as well. Well, the end of August came and none of this had gotten accomplished.

Why, you may ask? Well, because I have let too many other things take precedence such as stressing over my job, household duties, etc., etc. For the first time since last March, I finally had 5 days off in a row again this past week over the long Labor day Holiday and on Wednesday morning I decided enough was enough.

At the very least I wanted that front garden bed to look better going into the start of the Fall season. So, off my husband and I went to Menard’s to buy mulch. He enthusiastically told me that we could buy 14 bags if I wanted. I looked at him somewhat surprisingly and wondered who had taken over my husbands body and mind because the typical male wouldn’t be that excited about buying mulch and laying it out on the ground.

Anyway, the point is that we settled on 10 bags of a medium chocolate color and loaded them up and brought them all home. Needless to say, it was a little less hot on Wednesday or I could not have withstood doing all this work.

You know, I had forgotten just how hard it is to work in your yard. We sweated, toiled, bent our backs, knees, and other parts of our bodies that hadn’t been used much this whole summer, at least not in my case anyway. After a few hours of spreading mulch, trimming bushes, mowing the grass, using the weed-eater, and so on and so forth, we were finally done.

Now, I must admit that we ran out of mulch for the backyard space, but that’s okay. It is so much smaller and should be much quicker and easier to handle so that’s not so bad. We can always take care of it a little later.

However, it’s the front space where I am truly proud of our back-breaking efforts. I took several photos of our work after the sun had gone down and I must say that I think it looks pretty darn good for amateur gardeners.

The best thing about all of this though is the stress-reducing benefits that I gained through this whole exercise. You know, I used to laugh at my mother in my teenage years when I would see her toiling in the heat, grime, and messiness of outdoor gardening. Now I understand where she was coming from.

She always told me that gardening was a release for her, a way to let go of all the troubles and stress in her world at that time. She also truly enjoyed and had a passion for flowers, plants, etc. I always have said that if my mother had been given the chance to go to college way back then that she would have made an awesome botanist or horticulturist of some kind.

I can vividly remember her standing in the kitchen mixing up strange-looking potions to put on the plants to make them grow and prosper. She really does have an immensely wonderful green thumb and is very willing to share her knowledge and abilities with anyone.

As a librarian, I have often consulted with her on certain questions that I have been asked about plants when I wasn’t sure of how to answer it myself. She is in her early 70’s now and still loves to garden, although she doesn’t put out quite as much as she used to.

Nonetheless, I get it. I understand what she was trying to tell me years ago when I was too naive and thought I knew everything. Gardening is a wonderful, nature-inspired process that opens you up to just being free of all stress right in that very moment of planting and spreading mulch.

Yes, I looked like something the cat dragged in afterwards and felt like it too. I didn’t realize just how many muscle groups are affected by gardening but I can tell you it’s a whole lot. I just don’t care though.

I am proud of my mulch-spreading efforts and for getting the chance to gain back some sanity in the process too….Image

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