Greening up with gardening

Fri. Jan. 3, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Greening up with gardening

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!


Gardeners now come in all habitats.  From suburban to urban, sprawling landscapes to highrise patios. 

Photo by ICOR

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.  American Meadows has some suggestions for small spaces. 

Bleeding heart ‘Red Fountain’ – grows to just a foot tall!

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. Cherry tomatoes come to mind!

Sungold cherry tomato

They’re also working on varieties that are easy to grow. Keep in mind, that that’s relative. Easy to grow for some, isn’t always easy for others. Our climate sometimes makes gardening an extreme sport! 

I pruned this dogwood a week ago and we had about 7 more inches of snow since! Photo from 2018

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’ – Bluestone perennials