Gardening and beekeeping go hand in hand. Both activities are ideal for people who want to spend time outdoors in nature, and they complement each other in a perfect cycle. The bees benefit by having fresh flowers at their doorstep, while you get help with pollination. However, gardening isn’t just good for the bees, it’s also extremely good for you. Read on to learn more about gardening and your health.
Gardening and Physical Health
Anyone who has ever done a day of gardening can tell you that it is hard work. All that digging, planting, mulching, watering, mowing, clipping, dragging bags of soil, and pushing wheelbarrows quickly adds up, and before you know it, you are collapsing after a long day in the garden feeling like you’ve run a marathon.
Turns out, gardening as a whole is very good exercise. Depending on what activities you are doing and how long (minimum 30 minutes), you can count your gardening as one of your recommended weekly exercises. It is a full-body workout and great for strength and flexibility, which can be extremely beneficial for bone, muscle, and joint health. Regular exercise also reduces your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes and can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight—all this while enjoying fresh air and without setting foot in a sweaty gym.
Gardening and Mental Health
Gardening is an extremely peaceful, relaxing activity. It is easy to forget about your worries when you are tending to your plants and helping them grow. When you combine this with the powerful therapeutic effect of nature (and its power as a workout), you find that gardening can have a greatly beneficial effect on symptoms of depression and anxiety. Though those two tend to affect the most people, the benefits of gardening are also being applied to rarer mental illnesses such as PTSD and dementia.
Gardening can act as a form of meditation, making it an excellent mind-body workout. In order to get the most meditative benefit from your gardening, check out The New York Times’ short guide to being mindful while gardening. This encourages you to disconnect from technology for a few hours and truly focus on the physical sensations of gardening, setting yourself a clear intention for the plants under your care.
Creating Your Own Garden
Your garden can be anything you want it to; it’s up to you to create what you want based on your space, free time, and budget. If you are just starting out, you may want to start small in order to avoid being overwhelmed. A wildflower garden is an easy first step and perfect if you are looking to help out the bees. For something slightly more challenging but still available to gardening novices, have a look at Better Homes & Gardens’ guide to beginner vegetable gardening.
If you have more gardening experience, you can start working on more ambitious projects, like for instance, having a greenhouse built and installed. According to ImproveNet, most homeowners spend between $10,500 and $21,584 to have a greenhouse built, so this is only for those who have a bigger budget. However, greenhouses allow you to grow a wider variety of plants and food and to be more in control of things like temperature and humidity, making them a worthwhile investment for a keen gardener.
Tending to a garden is one of the most rewarding and satisfying things you can do, as well as being incredibly healthy. For beekeepers, gardening is a way to give back to the bees and to keep them happy, creating a space where they can flourish. Gardening is good for you, good for the bees, and good for the planet. For nature-lovers, it’s a no-brainer.