"Gardening makes us happier and healthier."

 "Research shows gardening makes us happier and healthier.   


FARGO — If anyone doubts gardeners are a happy bunch, just visit a garden center in May. Shoppers high with spring fever swarm greenhouses, giddy as they fill their carts with the fervor of a rabbit eating a fresh rhododendron.

Claiming that gardening improves people's lives is a fine thing to say, but can it be proven? Texas A&M University assembled a list of gardening's positive life effects, and it's based on well-cited research.


Following are their fascinating evidence-based findings:


• People who spend time around plants tend to have better relationships with others. Gardening and working with nature causes measurable increases in compassion for fellow humans. People who care for nature are more likely to care for others. People who tend plants are more willing to help others.

People who have flowers around their home, yard, business or office are happier than those who don't. Flowers improve mood and reduce stress-related depression, while fostering an optimistic outlook.

• Gardening improves concentration and memory by 20%. Being around plants, indoors or out, improves work quality and accuracy.

• Hospital recovery rooms that have plants or window views of attractive gardens help patients heal faster. Patients interacting with plants have shorter recovery times after medical procedures.

• Children who spend time around plants learn more easily. Plants help children with Attention Deficit Disorder to focus, concentrate and interact more.

Being around plants makes people better at their jobs by increasing their energy and feelings of vitality.

• People who spend time gardening outdoors have better mental health and a more positive outlook on life than those who spend most of their time indoors.

• Gardening helps people channel stress and frustration into something constructive. Working with plants reduces stress and helps cope with negative feelings.

• Access to parks and outdoor recreation areas increases people's physical activity, which improves their health and mood. When people are healthier, the overall cost of healthcare decreases. Residents of neighborhoods with beautiful parks are healthier.

Parks and public gardens foster an appreciation for nature that inspires people to take greater responsibility for the care and protection of their environment.

• Neighborhoods with parks and gardens have lower crime rates. When people are involved in public gardening, they tend to be more politically active, and the communities become more closely knit.

• People associate beautifully landscaped areas with a higher quality of life, which in turn attracts businesses and opportunities.

• Beautifying roadways not only makes them more attractive, but it improves driver's moods and attitudes. Driver safety increases, and well-landscaped roads have less accidents.

• As parts of a community improve their beauty with increased gardening and beautification, it starts a ripple effect of self-improvement. When adjacent neighborhoods or communities see the improvement, competition usually begins, causing what's termed the 'upgrade' effect.  It's no wonder gardening, with all its forms, has been called America's number one pastime


Research simply backs up what people who work with plants have always known: there's a secret ingredient that somehow makes lives better."

                         By Don Kinzler on Dec 23, 2017 at 9:05 a.m. 


 https://www.agweek.com/lifestyle/home-and-garden/4377035-research-shows-gardening-makes-us-happier-and-healthier 

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Great Gardening Websites

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Spring Hill Nursery

Clematis Website

Shade Loving Plants

 https://www.sunset.com/garden/flowers-plants/color-plants-for-shade#caladium-leaves 


You will never find a better site for COLEUS than the one below!

 I think coleus are one of my favorites because they are so colorful, and you can break off a stalk, place it in the dirt, and it will rejuvenate and grow into another plant!

 https://www.swallowtailgardenseeds.com/annuals/coleus.html 

More pictures with Long Island photos to come!

There are a TON of great gardening and flower purchasing websites and local gardeners I will share as time permits. Just a note, the lupine above that are very colorful and stalk flowers are not mine, I got the photos online. I love those flowers. Very striking! The bouquets were photographed from a store in Floral Park! I will share more of my own beautiful gardens as time permits. If you love pretty flowering trees, try Crepe Myrtle. The prettiest colors, to me, are pink and peach. However, I gave mine away as it overpowered my front yard.

My favorite flowers:

Hydrangea

These come in all sorts of colors, but I love purple hydrangea and limelight!

Lilies

Yellow lilies are gorgeous. My favorite is called The Jury is Out, bright yellow!

Caladium

Caladium are grand because they don't get flowers so no bugs either!

Clematis Vines

These are awesome vines that grow anywhere from four to twenty feet.

Coneflower

Coneflower has a long bloom season, from July into September! COLORFUL!

Hosta

Shade loving, some tolerate BRIGHT sun like JUNE, the best hosta ever!

It was the year 2017. We had a dog and a parrot.

And along came Cinder and Morris!

 

There were two little homeless cats in our neighborhood, younger than one year, and they would visit many of our neighbors from time to time including us.  They had longing looks and would sit on my stoop looking into our glass storm door hoping to be invited inside. I told my grandson NOT to feed them although everyone in the neighborhood was probably doing it.  Well, you know how that goes. Before I knew it, they were coming around more and more.  Then the freezing winter came. It was so cold that there was no way I wanted them to be so uncomfortable when a few nights it was below zero.  So what did I do? We made houses from kitty litters boxes with tops and made it as warm as possible, shielded from the biting wind. 

 

Before I knew it, they ended up inside our house because even those little houses we made were not sheltered from the terrible cold of 2017.  November and December were brutal and below zero. People were running out of heating oil because it only lasted two weeks!  One night with the wind chill, it was said to be about minus 10 degrees outside which was too cold even for a cat! People think cats can live outdoors, but they have no idea that there are too many dangers: weather, cat fights, cars, mean people too.  Most live only a few years. 

 

Before long, Cinder, who we thought was Cinderella, came limping up our driveway, face bloody, and hardly able to walk. My grandson was very upset, so we took Cinder to the vet. My daughter offered her credit card for the bill. The vet said he was probably hit by a car, might have a concussion, and he wasn’t sure he would recover. The bill ended up being about $650.  At this point, we had kept them in our house at night and would let them back out during the daytime when the cold wasn't so bad. Then I noticed Morris’ had diarrhea. He also had his visit to the vet, and it was worms. So, another $650 or so.  I told my daughter, "With the money that you spent for vet bills, we cannot let them out again -- they will only get hit by a car, and you will have wasted all that."  Cats outdoors and cars don't mix; It's just not safe.
 

So, there you go. They became ours and joined our dog and a parrot! Our house is very interesting.  We do love them, and they love us, but perhaps they love the food!  And now they have a warm, comfortable home.


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