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Greening up with gardening

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I have a saying “The garden is no place to stress for success but to soak up some sun and renew your spirit”.  I really do feel this way.  Not only does gardening relieve stress but it gives us a wonderful opportunity for fresh air, some exercise and fresh produce.  I love the feel of soil in my hands, the thrill of harvesting that first juicy tomato.  I pop that in my mouth without even a thought to sharing it!  I know there’s more to come!

carrot tomatoe pepper squash

From suburban to urban, sprawling landscapes to highrise patios.  More and more people are interested in growing their own.  That means that hybridizers from seed and plant companies are busy creating more compact plants with high yields.  It also means that people are more and more aware of their environment and want to “make a difference” or “be more healthy themselves which leads to a better environment.  With that, the science of creating vegetables with higher nutrient values and more antioxidants has exploded.  Those same companies are offering a multitude of new varieties aimed at the demand for the above qualities plus flavor.  Case in point is the ‘Honey Bear’ squash below:

Squash 'Honey Bear'

Squash ‘Honey Bear’

Compact plant size, high yields, powdery mildew resistance and sweet squash flavor make Honey Bear one amazing variety! Honey Bear’s super healthy plants reach 2-3 feet tall and only spread 4-5 feet without vines. The 1 pound, dark green fruit is ideal for baking in the half shell and serving. A 2009 AAS award winner!

Flowers offer beauty but what more do they give?  Research suggests that they actually bring us happiness.  At Rutgers University they found the effects of something called the ‘Duchenne Smile’ – it’s the smile that reaches the eyes, a real smile, happens when people see flowers.  They discovered that the sight of fresh flowers can even help people with depression.

Daylily 'Big Smile' - Wayside Gardens

Daylily ‘Big Smile’ – Wayside Gardens

 

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