Why Gardening Promotes Personal Growth / by Brittney Hogan

Growth - [Grohth] : The act or process, or a manner of growing; development; gradual increase.

Most of us know what the word growth means, but I feel like we often forget its true definition. The oppertive words in the definition above are process and gradual. Growth does not happen overnight. In the world we live in today, we are surrounded by tools and technology that promote instant gratification. Although we have come a long way as a society, we need not lose sight of where we come from and what we started from; we must enjoy the journey. We must accept the process -- gradually increasing and becoming something better. Reaching our full potential. Getting better, stronger, bigger every day. That is growth.

If you need to work on personal growth, try planting a garden. You'll be surprised at how tending to a garden can help you reflect, renew and grow as an individual.

Nothing humbles me more than growing a plant from a seed. Nothing reminds me quite like plants do that growth takes time. Growing a plant from a seed is a huge job. You must care for your plant. You must water it everyday. You must feed it and nurture it like you would a child. You are keeping the plant alive. Without you, it would die.

You must have faith to grow a plant. When you bury a seed under soil, it takes several days for that seed to germinate and sprout above ground. During that time, some gardeners get discouraged. They wonder if their plant will ever sprout. However, without knowing for sure if it will, they have faith and they keep watering it and nurturing it. Then one day it sprouts, and it is the most beautiful thing to witness, and you made it happen. It's rewarding and empowering. The beginning of life. The growth of a plant. The blooming of a flower. That is also how it feels when you grow as a person. It takes patience, hard work, perseverance, and faith. To experience true growth, you must not give up - even when it takes longer than expected.

Every morning I start my day by watering my vegetable garden with a cup of coffee in hand. The best time to water your plants is before the sun comes completely up. That is my favorite time of day. The birds are just waking up, there is a slight chill in the air, and my plants are happy and hungry. It is just me, those birds, the sky, and my garden. The strange thing is, I have never been able to keep a plant alive until this year. Maybe it's because I finally understand the true meaning of growth...

Or maybe I owe it to this guy...

You didn't know? In order to grow a successful vegetable garden, you need a guard to keep watch and terminate all of the pests! I named him Roscoe Fox. Thank you for your service LCPL Fox. 

If you are looking for a stress free and therapeutic hobby, try planting a garden.