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Dirt’s Good For You

You don’t have to be good at gardening for gardening to be good for you. Everybody knows we benefit from fresh air and exercise. But if you’re like me, working in the garden gives you a lot more than that. For one thing it’s peaceful and quiet…with today’s hectic lifestyle, I need a little more peace and quiet. I often start my day with a cup of coffee and a walk around. What is it about seeing things grow that gives us gardeners a buzz? You just plant a seed or a cutting in the dirt, pour on some water, have a little patience, and wow…it’s a miracle! OK…so the patience part sucks. Still, I’m amazed every time a flower blooms. I admit I’m greedy too. I always want more. I planted five, I think to myself. Why didn’t I plant fifteen. I’ll plant fifteen next year. Somehow the  garden always looks better next year.

I have great shade trees in my yard and plenty of seating areas. So on hot days it’s still pleasant to take a break and a cool drink and just sit and rest. All work and no time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak, not only makes us boring, it makes us tired…very tired!  So use your garden to relax. Just sit sometimes and enjoy what you’ve accomplished. I have some flowers that bloom for only one day. If I’m not careful I could miss them completely. I purposely plant good smelling things close to the seating areas. When I sit still I can enjoy the fragrance of gardenias, or honeysuckle, or confederate jasmine. And nothing smells as good as the daphne in February when those others are sleeping.

But I digress. I started this article because I wanted to tell you about another secret I’ve learned. Did you know they’ve discovered a microbe in the soil that’s equivalent to Prozac? Hallelujah! All we have to do is get dirty. We inhale it, we absorb it through the skin, we even get it in the blood stream through any little nicks or scratches we’ve gotten. Now I know some of you are skeptical, so if you don’t want to take my word for it, you can go read the article for yourself. Here’s the site (  I warn you, it’s long and boring. In a nutshell, this microbe stimulates serotonin and makes us feel relaxed and happy. Let runners enjoy their endorphin high. We gardeners can dose ourselves on serotonin.

They say gardening is cheaper than therapy…looks like it’s also cheaper than antidepressants. Plus, it has no side effects, and you get flowers. What could be better than that? So go play in the dirt…it’s good for you!

Happy Gardening!

Linda Newber

Below are some results from playing in the dirt


Passion Flower