Hard to believe how time has flown, but the16th DG annual photo contest has begun! Find the details here. Best wishes to all the entrants!!!

What do you like best about gardening?

There are a total of 407 votes:

Planning new beds or landscape ares.
(53 votes, 13%)
Red dot

I like the newest variety introductions and try to be the first in my area to get them.
(11 votes, 2%)
Red dot

Starting seeds indoors! (what do you grow?)
(24 votes, 5%)
Red dot

My first ripe vegetable of the season. (what is it?)
(27 votes, 6%)
Red dot

Saving and trading seeds and plants.
(11 votes, 2%)
Red dot

Seeing my beds and containers blooming at their peak.
(221 votes, 54%)
Red dot

Other. (Tell us!)
(60 votes, 14%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Actually, I like tending my gardens. I love to weed - what other occupation involves so much destruction and gets so much praise? I also like deadheading, it gives me a chance to get up close and personal with the plants and see what's really going on.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

A combination of things: looking at all the catalogs, seeing ALL the pictures of things here at DG, making new friends, being part of co-ops, planning, planting, and reaping. But the MOST enjoyable thing has to be seeing the joy it brings to my mom, who can't garden anymore. On good days she can get out on the deck and sit amongst the containers. Mostly she looks out her window to see the changes.
Growing up, I HAD to work in the garden and resented it. Hence, some spinach got weeded. :) But now, it is a joy! Sure wish I had paid more attention to my dad's wisdom.

Kannapolis, NC

I voted other because I enjoy all of the activities listed. The first tomatoes, wow, and my first roses, double wow! Daylilies haven't started blooming yet, but when they do, I'll be in heaven for sure.

Eastern Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

- It's healing and rejuvenation properties. ☺

Saint Petersburg, FL

I went with "Other" too because there's so many things I love.

I love being able to snip fresh herbs or clip a pepper for dinner whenever I need it.
I love being able to harvest fresh and exotic fruits that are unavailable at the Supermarket.
I love the first flowers in the Spring, and the first new leaves on my new plants.

Most of all though, I think I enjoy watching the butterflies in the butterfly garden, the bees working my flowers, and the birds nipping in for a quick bite to eat or a bath. It brings me great joy to see how nature has been encouraged in what was previously a bare urban patch of lawn.

Katy, TX(Zone 8b)

I used to love working in the garden but since I can't do that and have to satisfy myself by getting someone else to do the grunt work after I have planned and bought, can stand back and say to myself "That's kinda pretty even if I do say so myself."


Chepachet, RI

I never had much time to dabble in my yard and poorly set up gardens,(although I wanted to). Now that I've retired, I'm replanning my entire yard. Less grassy areas and more gardens, both vegetable and flower.The smaller grassy areas mean that I can tend to them properly. It gives me a great sense of pride and accomplishment when people make comments like, "this looks like a beautiful golf course" or "your property looks like a fantasy garden". I owe a lot to people like on this site that care & share.

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Other............the satisfaction and sense of achievement I have when I watch something from early spring just peeking up from the dirt and caring and nurturing every bed, every seed and witnessing the beautiful colors, and blooms and the birds and the butterflies, and the blooms and the birds and the butterflies and I'm repeating myself.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I voted other. For me the best part of gardening is 'firsts'.
First seed catalogues...
First spring plants at the feed & garden stores...
First sprouting seeds...
First new growth on cuttings...
First buds...
First blooms...
First fruits & vegetables...

I find it all exciting and am saddened when the season winds down.

Opening this morning... first daylily!!!

Thumbnail by podster
Paris, IL(Zone 6a)

I voted planning and landscaping. Seeing the fruits of my labor [blooms] was a close second.

I can't remember a time I was disappointed with my flower bed planning and planting. When finished I could stand back to admire the work that went into it. The reason blooms came in second is sometimes the color or effect wasn't achieved that I had planned. Sometimes the plant doesn't grow up to be exactly like the picture that enticed me to plant it where I did.

Alamogordo, NM(Zone 7b)

I picked seeing the beds in bloom. I love weeding too!

Thumbnail by cactuspatch
Perth,, ON(Zone 5a)

I voted starting stuff from seeds.

It's the first part of the annual garden journey.

Tulsa, OK(Zone 6b)

I have to say podster said it best. Specifically I enjoy watching my cuttings grow and become a beautiful plant

West Chester, PA(Zone 6b)

I voted other. There is so much to gardening, you can't just say one thing is the best. The excitment in the morning on a planting day. The planting itself...I tend to side track, I go to get something I need looking at all the other gardens along the way. Looking what is growing, how much its growing , something I forgot was there coming up, something I can't yet find and thinking what I am going to plant where and end up somewhere else weeding. Gardening is my passion and my therapy. All the troubles and worries of the day seem to disappear and you find yourself surrounded by the wonderment of nature. The wild life you see while planting. I just love it all........

Thumbnail by kastrol
Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

I voted for the first ripe vegetable. The first tomato of the season is my favorite thing. I stalk the likely candidate for days awaiting the moment when I can stand in my garden barefoot (it must be barefoot) while I scrunch my toes in the warm dirt and eat the sun warmed fruit. That bite of tomatoey essence is pure joy!

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 5a)

I voted for "other", also.

Propagation is my favorite gardening activity; although, I also like to be the first in the area to try some of the new plant introductions.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

"seeing the bloom at it's peak" is the reward for all the effort and money :) and of course my favorite part!

Lubbock, TX

Putting out all my cacti and seeing them wake up!

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Aside from seeing things blooming, which is great, I voted 'other' because what I enjoy most is to just putter around in my garden! Take some cuttings, pull some weeds, pot up some seedlings etc etc. I think it's what keeps me sane.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I picked "Other". My favorite thing about gardening is buying new plants every year, regardless of the fact that I don't have room for any more. LOL. I love growing my own stuff from seed too, but nothing beats a trip to the greenhouse or nursery, especially after our looooong winters.


Isles Bay, Montserrat(Zone 11)

I voted "other" Because there are so many reasons I love to garden. The beautiful plants, hearing why others think a certain plant is their favorite and seeing that a plant in a new light to the point of "got to have it". I love the hard work involved in gardening, the sense of accomplishment you get when all is done and you have your first bloom or the bed looks lush and green. I love looking at new plants and finding just the right bed for that plant. I love growing things from seed to see what you get.
I just love it all but the main reason I love to garden is the emotional side of it. What ever mood I am in it can either be dispelled or accelerated by gardening. You are in a good mood, you walk in your garden and see all the beautiful plants thriving and your mood gets better by a million times. When I am depressed I go out and dig in the dirt, the warmth and energy coming from the earth tends to soothe me. If I am mad I clear a plot, there is nothing better for releasing anger like beating the heck out of a dead tree or yanking up a bunch of weeds or that invasive vine choking the life out of one of your favorites. But most of all I pray while I am gardening, this is the time I feel closest to God, I can talk to Him until my heart is content. With nature around you birds, insects the breeze and the sunshine it is peaceful and you can open your heart and mind. Gods work at it's best so what better time to talk to Him.

Mesquite, NV(Zone 9a)

"Other" - I have a relatively small gardening area (with lawn it's only 50X40' in the back and 12X 50" on the side, yet I spend 2-4 hours a day digging, amending, puttering, deadheading, and generally savoring every plant and worm. People in the neighborhood call me "the dirt queen" since our desert soil need a lot of work to make it friable and fertile. This spring, because they had propagated so intensively in only two years, after the bulbs were thru blooming, I dug them all up and heeled them into an area in the back of my yard to mature. I won't be able to replant all of them, so homes will need to be found for the biggest and best ones, and the smaller ones can mature in their beds for another two years.
- Anne King

Hugo (Vicki), OK(Zone 7b)

my first harvest has been snow peas, love them in stirfry dishes. Also have had onions, kale, swiss chard,radishes, lettuce. small lasagna beds 4X8, have three of them so far. First year gardening for vegtables. I love to watch things grow and get in the dirt. Don't have alot but I do share with friends at the gym here in town.


Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

other....learning to listen to nature

Centennial, CO(Zone 5b)

rolling around in compost, and growing my roses.

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

Sure, enjoying the garden at it's peak, but also, just being outside and listening to the critters making their critter sounds!

Port Dover, ON(Zone 5b)

I voted other - for me (a recovering cancer patient) its the first blush of leaves and flowers on my trees and shrubs, the emerging perennials and the spring bulbs in flower. What better way to signal the end of winter, the beginning of spring and the promise of another summer!

This message was edited May 4, 2009 9:13 PM

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

getting dirty and sweaty and lost in my own thoughts from morning till night and then as i turn to go in, i do a double-take as i take a last evening look at the garden and think, "omg, it's so beautiful".

i also do that when i view the spectacular gardens of other dg'ers. whether it's a vegetable patch or a garden fairyland, they are all beautiful and reflect the pride and passion of the gardeners on dg.

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I voted other. I enjoy plant research most. I can do that from my desk in an air conditioned house ^_^

Next I enjoy the initial spring planting.

Third, it's the first ripe tomato.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Planning new beds and changing older ones. I have about 22 flower beds now, only four are in the front yard. Not all are full but I have lots to move around and play with now.

Coffs Harbour, Australia

I voted other, and if so many did, how come it's not top of the votes?
I love your picture cactuspatch!
I like to garden for the fresh air and to commune with nature. I see all sorts of wildlife and insects and there is always something new. I also do it for a job, so there is income involved also.
It keeps me fit and active and I always get my daily dose of viatamin D!
I love to see what is flowering and growing, and I also don't mind weeding. I love tidying up a garden and standing back to see my handiwork.
I'm in love with gardening!

Thumbnail by weed_woman
Garner, NC

I personally like trading seeds and getting exotic plants that are hard to grow in you're area and adapting them.

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Other...for reasons others stated...I love all of the aspects mentioned, but most especially just playing in the dirt, smelling the smells, delighting in the critters like worms and toads, and as WaterCan said, its healing and rejuvenative properties.

I like getting garden dirty, too.

Casselberry, FL(Zone 9b)

Other - I love being outside, yes even in 95+ heat (tho for a little at a time LOL) I love pretending that my garden is growing well. I actually enjoy sitting in a patch of yard and hand pulling the weeds. I feel satisfied when I see a nice pile of naughties wilting in the sun.

I love seeing the wildlife that visits my garden and leaves with a bit more in it's tummy than when it came in. I love playing in the dirt, I will make sand castles! I love squealing with delight at finding new critters and squealing in fright at finding new critters. I love teaching my son about the various facets of a garden - trees, plants, turf, soil, critters - those with various numbers of legs. I love watching him eat up my herbs and all the mulberrys of my small mulberry tree. I feel satisfied when I go in to wash up. It was a good day. :)

(Susan) Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

I voted "seeing it at the peak" but really start gardening before the snow goes, in April/May. I'm excited to be in Winnipeg and look @ the garden centers here - plan on bringing something home with me, to harden off then plant outside.
I don't know what, but I'll bring Something!!


Jim Falls, WI(Zone 4a)

I love doing all of them. There was no way I could choose just one!

Edited to add this is from last year as my Tulips are just starting to bloom now!This picture was taken inJuly/ August of 2008!

This message was edited May 5, 2009 10:59 AM

Thumbnail by ves522
Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

I am so sad that our veggie garden has had to be replanted twice already because of the drought and high winds damaging baby plants. If we get some rain, we are going to still plant much more.......
There are green tomatoes on these windblown plants, but normally we would have our peak season for the garden in May.......

Thumbnail by gessiegail
Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

Look how unhappy these tomato plants are.

Thumbnail by gessiegail
Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

I suppose something is better than nothing. We lost our complete grain and cotton crops.

Thumbnail by gessiegail

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