gardening environment health
Homes & Gardens Living

Gardening improves our environment and health

Our environment expert explains how taking up gardening improves our environment and everyone’s health.

In the Beginning

We are living in a time where we choose to build skyscrapers over parks and gardens. We uproot majority of our natural plant life to make way for our buildings and other modern structures.

The word “garden” is not a new concept to us. Everyone dreams of having gardens in their homes. For our kids to run around in. For us to throw parties in. To generally have a relaxing time with nature. For most people, however, the word “garden” connotes just one common form called a residential garden.

A garden in its proper form is a planned space; usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation, or enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. This is not to say that garden owners cannot incorporate man-made materials when designing the layout of their gardens. The perfect garden does not exist as it is subjective to the tastes and preferences of each individual.

What is gardening?

Commonly known as the activity of tending and cultivating a given size or plot of land, gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture. The garden contains two types of plants and shrubs – the decorative and the useful.

Decorative plants are often grown for their flowers, shrubbery, or overall appearance. Useful plants – such as root vegetables, leaf vegetables, fruits, and herbs – are grown for consumption, medicinal or cosmetic use.

Gardens come in many different varieties and scale. Fruit orchards are trees and shrubs intentionally planted and maintained for food production. They can also be scanty plantings with one or more different types of shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants. Residential back yards can be converted to gardens. Gardens can be planted in a lawn. There are container gardens which can be grown indoors or outdoors.

Types of home gardening

Gardening may be specialized i.e. growing only one type of plant. Or it may involve growing a variety of plants at a time. For homeowners and home managers looking to start a garden of their own, there are various approaches available to choose from.

These include:

Container Gardening

This type of gardening is, as the name implies, normally carried out inside containers. This option is favored by home owners who lack enough space for their gardening activities or home managers who simply want the convenience of having their plants being more mobile.

One benefit of having container gardens is that these plants can either be placed indoors as a form of interior décor for the home or they can be placed outdoors for decorative purposes.

Container gardening is also preferred by landscape artists who find it convenient to plant/grow their seeds in smaller containers, making it is easy to resell to customers who may need them. Plants such as Aloe Vera and lemon grass are usually gown in containers.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

This type of gardening involves the outdoor planting of fresh fruits and vegetables usually for the purpose of consumption by the family unit. Home mangers love this type of gardening as it enables them have readily available fresh fruits and vegetables for their families to enjoy.

Apart from the obvious nutritional benefits, this type of gardening is also a fun type of activity that the whole family can partake in, especially children. Pumpkin leaves (Ugu), garden egg leaves (anara), bitter leaves (Onugbo), oranges, watermelons, corn and papaya (pawpaw) are some of the favored fruits and vegetables that can be planted in our homes.

Herb gardening

Herbs are aromatic plants cultivated for the sweet-smelling scent and taste they add to foods and other products. Home owners love herb gardening because of the unique fragrance it contributes to their surroundings.

Herbs are also loaded with antioxidants and are nutritionally beneficial in nature. Thyme, curry, rosemary, sage and scent leaves (Nchanwu) are some of the herbs that can be cultivated in our households.

Gardening improves lifestyle

There are various ways that gardening can help improve the quality of our lifestyle but they all can be classified under two main fronts: the benefits for the environment and the benefits for our health and wellbeing.

Gardening & Environment

We are living in a time where we choose to build skyscrapers over parks and gardens. We uproot majority of our natural plant life to make way for our buildings and other modern structures.

This does not mean that all displaced plant life must remain as is. There is an ever-present need to make our surroundings beautiful again. Re-planting of trees and flowers in our immediate surroundings helps us to achieve this objective.

The presence of more trees also translates to cleaner air for us to breathe in. Plants ingest carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce oxygen which is essential for the survival of the human race.

Gardening & Nutrition Health

Gardening enables us to have convenient access to fresh fruits and vegetables in our homes. Ingestion of these fruits and vegetables provides us with various nutrients; such as vitamins and minerals, and helps us attain a more balanced diet.

The constant intake of these nutrients will inevitably improve our health, keeping our bodies strong and making us less susceptible to illness.

In an Australian study, gardening was found to be better than walking, education and controlling alcoholic intake in achieving lifestyle.

We hasten to add that, no matter the space one has, it is possible to grow a garden that will beautify the space and provide food as well.

Conclusion

The activity called gardening is one in which every homeowner and home manager should partake in. Because it is relatively easy to begin, maintain and to enjoy. It provides a fun outdoor activity that the whole family can partake in. And it can be therapeutic to individuals who are involved in it.

No matter the space available, it’s possible to grow a garden that will beautify the space and provide food also. In subsequent posts, we shall share many other things connected with this. Some of the benefits of gardening. Tips to starting a garden on a budget. How gardening can improve family life as a whole. And a lot more.

Keep a date with us.