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Green Therapy: How Gardening Can Improve Your Life

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

My Mum has always loved gardening. I vividly remember watching her through the
window as a little girl. The small patch of grass where she would remain for days,
come rain or shine. And then, seemingly overnight, from the ground would spring
patches of delicate pink, shocks of scarlet or plumes of green. The once sparse yard
had become a nook of technicolour, around which was a constant thrum of wildlife
and excitement. As I got older, I began to help my Mum with the weeding, the raking,
and the planting. Such a simple and mundane act has turned into something that has
become essential to my well-being during the summer months. 
Embracing slowness. 
In a world where our need for instant gratification consumes us, it is safe to say that
most of us crave impulsivity, things which will satisfy us immediately. But you can’t
wrench flowers forcefully from the ground, willing them to bloom. You must wait.
Waiting may feel strange initially. With so much effort put into the process, it can be
disheartening not to see immediate rewards. Embracing the slowness, the journey of
the flower as it begins to slowly climb from the soil you patted down, is so rewarding.
The nurture you provided will give life to something beautiful; it really is a lovely
feeling. Applying this slowness to your own life can also be beneficial. Giving
yourself the time and the patience to grow at your own pace is vital to blooming into
your fullest, most vivid, and unapologetic self. Growth doesn’t happen overnight; it’s
the same for everything. 
If you grow your own food, it’s going to taste better. 
The best fruit and veg grow in the sunniest spots of the garden. Like us, they thrive
on warmth and light, becoming juicy and plump. Tomatoes are my favourite, despite
them having a longer growing season. I find it is always worth the wait when you sink
your teeth into a fully formed and delicious vegetable, which was once a tiny seed in
the palm of your hand. Since supermarket fruit and veg are riddled with harmful
pesticides and chemicals, there has never been a better time to grow your own fresh
fruit and veg. Being self-sufficient has soared in popularity, with countless internet
tutorials on growing food from what you buy. @simonakeroydgardenwriter is the
ULTIMATE garden influencer. He provides step-by-step tutorials on multiplying your
supermarket produce by planting it. Don’t forget the enormous financial impact this
will have, saving you loads of money on supermarket fruit and veg each year you
continue to produce your own. 
Noticing the worms. 
Okay, I understand your confusion: what do these squirmy, gelatinous creatures
have to offer for me? You’ve probably never even given these tiny beings a second
thought (after the initial shudders of disgust), but this is why coming across them
when gardening is so fascinating. You become exposed to not just the worms but the
worlds of other tiny creatures when unearthing some soil or peeking underneath a
leaf. A ladybird scuttling up the stem of an angelica, perhaps, or a caterpillar heaving
itself across a bottle-green leaf. I have often sat and wondered about these creatures
in the garden, these tiny things whose lives we will never fully comprehend.

Appreciating each one of these has become one of the most gratifying experiences
of my gardening journey, as I have noticed much of my androcentric perspective
decreasing with each new creature, I find appreciation for. By de-centring myself and
focusing on the minutiae of the garden, I find my everyday problems slipping into
Allowing your senses and curiosity to be consumed by the garden can be a very
meditative experience, as you are focused without distraction, surrounded by the
rustling of leaves and the simplicity of the soil, contrasted with the intricacy of the
flowers. Then, when it’s all finished, you can sit back with a Pimm’s and admire your
work. It’s the perfect summer activity. 

Written by: Daisy Morrow
Edited by: Aimee Missen