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Four Surprising Benefits of Gardening

Summer is right around the corner and soon the fruits of Spring-time labor will be in full bloom. As most avid gardeners know, getting out in the garden is a wonderful way to connect with nature and take a pause from the business of life. Aside from the beauty and tasty food that gardening can produce, there are a few personal benefits that it can provide. In the Seattle area, we don’t really need much encouragement to get outside when the weather is nice, but if gardening isn’t your thing, consider the benefits outlined below!

It Builds Community

Shared spaces like community-vegetable gardens, sidewalks, and roundabouts that bring people together around a shared goal, can create lasting memories and enrichen neighborhoods. Working on something together that beautifies your neighborhood, is an excellent way to foster friendships and combat loneliness. Families can even join in on the fun and give jobs like planting seeds to small children. In fact, the city of Edmonds has a program called “Adopt a Corner”, where you can band together with a few others to beautify a specific spot of town. To find out more, you can go online to

It Boosts Your Immune System

We live in an age in which our exposure to microbes is more limited than it ever has been. And while a certain level of cleanliness is necessary for our health, sometimes the scale tips a little too far into completely sanitized. Exposure to a certain number of microorganisms is important for our gut health, allergy sensitivity and more. That is where gardening can swoop in to save the day. Just one square inch of soil contains approximately 4 billion living organisms, which includes bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes! Digging in the dirt and getting your hands a little messy, can go a long way in keeping your immune system in tip-top shape.

It Increases Your Self-Esteem

As it turns out, that instant satisfaction you get from pulling weeds and pruning back a tree, is actually a scientifically backed phenomenon. Studies have shown that being outdoors and tending to plants actually lowers cortisol levels, which in turn, directly impacts mood. Moreover, planting bee-friendly plants, carbon converting trees, or native wildflowers directly impacts the earth in a positive way. Knowing that you are making an impact like that can be truly rewarding.

It Helps with Mobility

Gardening requires the use of a variety of tools, such as clippers, trowels, rakes and more . Many of the squeezing, pulling and releasing movements that you do while gardening are similar to exercises that you might do with a physiotherapist. As you age, maintaining strength and dexterity becomes even more important, and gardening can be a fun way to accomplish this. Just be sure not to overdo it and make accommodations when necessary, such as using a kneeling bench or a non-dominant side of your body to do the work.

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