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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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 fruits & vegetables...
I find it all exciting and am saddened when the season winds down.
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.
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...
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!
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.
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.
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.
"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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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. :)
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!!
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...
This year, I'm enjoying every new bloom that I've never grown before. I've started so many different things, thanks to fellow DGers trades and swaps. It's really a thrill to finally see something you've been waiting for all winter/spring bloom!
I get the biggest thrill when my first seedling of the season (usually a radish) sticks its head up out of the soil and says, "Hello!" Then you know another season has begun, and all is right with the world.
If any of the folks that enjoy weeding want a special treat, I have weeds enough to share. :))
I just love playing in my greenhouse this time of year, babying my seedlings along, watching them grow. My tomatoes are at last looking great and the peppers and eggplants are coming along, too. I have lots of tiny basil popping up, some broccoli and cabbage. I even start peas in my greenhouse and transplant them at 2 or 3 leaves. Also have marigolds and other flowers, but the veggies are the most fun for me.
It's been a cooler and wetter year than usual. Some years I have planted the tomatoes out by now, but they are not even hardened off this year. Generally this means we will have a long hot fall, so there is no rush.
By the end of fall, after harvest and canning and preserving, I am pooped and always say I will probably not garden next year. When early spring rolls around the calling begins and I am again lost to the art of growing my garden. Sort of like having babies, I think. God has a way of making you forget all the hardships so that you will try again.
Spring is my favorite time of year because I can start tropical seeds for my greenhouse and eventually, outside after last frost. I discovered that after nicking & soaking hard seeds overnight (continually changing the water and keeping them warm,) that if I put them in a moist but not soaking wet paper towel & then in a ziploc bag, that germination is much better & there is little or no rot or fungus. I finally succeeded in germinating Canavalia rosea seeds that were dated 2005 that way. My very favorite is vines and have no difficulty in germination. But, I do have difficulty in germinating mucuna & other various beach beans and I am fighting fungus all the way. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.
I just love watching nature at work. The anticipation and the seedling emerging from the soil and the long wait for the fruit to ripen. The sweat, blisters, aching back, and sunburn. Seeing the changes that only a day can make. The intoxicating scent of the roses, lilacs and lavendar. Seeing the joy in my children's eyes each time they carry cut flowers or vegetables to the neighbors. The satisfaction of seeing a symphony of colors, forms and textures play out through the changing seasons and knowing that I had a small part in the magnificent production.
I love the planning aspect of it and even have future plans waiting to become reality(maybe I should become a landscape designer). I also love to see all the work I do pay off, so love to see everything blooming.
I voted 'other'. I can't contain my excitement for gardening in just one category. Even though I have arthritis all through my body, I take it slow and enjoy all aspects. I love getting cuttings from others or finding something growing in the wild that I can transplant into my yard.(nothing protected or in a state park,etc.) I have a field across the street from me with a small wooded area next to a lake. I'm always over there looking for a new plant. When my first veggie plant blooms, when I take that first ripe veggie off my plant, even seeing the first seeds sprout; these are all things that excite me! I love to water, weed and spend all day out in my yard trying to make it look better. I love sites like this one where I can get good ideas and get good info on different aspects of gardening. I love when the seed catalogs start coming in the mail. I love working my compost bins and making great soil. It'd be easier to tell you what I don't like and that's how hot it gets here during the summer. It drives me inside most of the day when all I want to do is go back out and play in the dirt!!
I find myself in agreement with the first poster, Kathleen . . . that freedom to destroy thingie can give you such a rush!
Seriously though, I find that my gardening time is also time for peaceful meditation as well as for contemplation of issues that are unrelated to me personally. It is a time during which I am caring for other living things, ones which have almost nothing in common with my own species save their need for water, sunlight and something to feed upon.
My garden beds provide me with infinite opportunities for wonder and to observe directly how, in some small measure, what I do as an individual really does affect other inhabitants of my planet and the environment thereof. Plus, the sights and smells are fantastic - - just ask all my bird and bee friends!
I picked "My first ripe vegetable". I grow diffent kinds of heirloom tomatoes. When i get that first taste of my first ripe tomato, i think to myself: "Ahh, such a refreshing change from those expensive cardboard flavored tomatoes in the stores!" I also love growing my Lemon Cucmbers :-)
the thing i like best about gardening is that it is a great stress reliever, especially deadheading and pulling weeds. i'm a bookkeeper and work in an office all day long. the first thing i do when i get home is go out to my patio to check on all my flowers and shrubs, because they usually need watering, even though i water before i go to work. everything i have planted is in containers. and with the heat here in the sacramento valley, i sometimes have to water twice a day. then after doing a little weeding and/or deadheading, i can sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty and fragrance of what i have planted, as well as watching the goldfinches that like to take a bath in my little fountain. and i enjoy using my fresh picked herbs in my cooking. i have yet to try container vegetable gardening again. i tried growing veggies a couple of years ago, and i wasn't very successful...maybe next spring!
Oh i really love container vegetable gardening, its really great when you dont have much room for things--such as myself. But like kathy said, you usually have to end up watering twice a day. I love growing tomatoes in those huge 5 gallon sized pots. My yellow cherry tomatoes are starting to bloom now...YIPPIE!! :-D