A well-executed and maintained yard looks great. It can be picturesque, a fun place to relax or play, or elegantly frame your house. We all know the many benefits of having green space or a garden in or around our homes. But, did you know that there are many benefits to actually doing the gardening as well? Many homeowners have taken on the DIY spirit and tackled projects in their yards, big and small. It’s about the journey, not just the destination! Here are some of the many ways managing your landscape connects you to your space.
What Are the Benefits of Gardening?
Gardening and Mental Health
According to an article in the 2018’s Clinical Medicine journal, there is an ever-increasing amount of evidence that gardening is beneficial to both physical and mental health. Especially after a year of pandemic lockdown restrictions, studies have suggested that gardening was an effective way of improving mental health. We need gardening more than ever!
Working on your landscape can lower stress levels. Help your garden and yourself by spending some time outside in your space. There are a handful of reasons why gardening is such a good stress reliever:
Firstly, it involves physical activity, a proven reliever of stress. The Mayo Clinic credits exercise with releasing endorphins, being meditative, and improving mood. It may not seem like much to some, but after an hour or two squatting down to weed, lifting bags of soil, and reaching for flower pods to deadhead, you might be skipping that day’s trip to the gym. Be sure to stretch before and after!
Next, sun exposure also lowers blood pressure and increases vitamin D levels in the summer. Many of us can probably use a little break from our indoor lives. So take a break and soak it in (with appropriate sun protection, of course).
Exposure to nature has shown to relate to lowered instances of stress-related disease, and stronger recovery from acute and chronic stress as well.
Feeling of Accomplishment
Any DIYer knows that satisfying feeling of seeing the fruits of your labor after a hard day’s work. There is nothing like it! Working in your landscapes leaves a feeling of accomplishment. Marvel at your crisp bed-edges, or tell a neighbor about how you arranged some potted herbs. It’s for sure bragging-rights-worthy… Invite them over for a cocktail and enjoy!
All Gardens Require Maintenance!
A common request at Tilly is for a low-maintenance landscape. We’re here to tell you that all landscapes require some maintenance if you want it to look a certain way. Plants are constantly changing, growing, competing, and dying. So, even a low-maintenance yard will require the occasional nudge in the right direction. Being able to give a trim here and apply mulch there will keep your garden in check and save you tons of time and money in the long run.
Connecting with Community
A funny thing happens when you spend more time outside gardening in front of your home: people stop to talk or ask about what you’re doing! This is not scientifically proven, but we swear it happens. A LOT. Whether you’re out installing some annuals around your mailbox or adding compost to a tree pit in the sidewalk, it’s not uncommon for a neighbor or two to pause and say hi. From experience, this can lead to more friendly hellos around the neighborhood or even new connections.
In cities, gardening on your block can be contagious. One neighbor pulling weeds can spawn networks of gardeners, block coalitions, or even a whole community gardening movement in the case of New York City’s Lower East Side.
No matter how civically minded you intend to be, gardening can make you feel more connected with the land and people outside of your home. Having happy neighbors is a win-win!
Learn About History, Land, and Place
If you asked our Tilly designers how they got their start in landscape design, the answers would be all over the map! That is because landscapes are such interconnected parts of our lives. Even just getting a simple soil test done of your lawn might open up a number of questions. Why is my soil this way? What rock formations is this land on? How did the previous landowner keep their lawn? What industries were in my neighborhood previously? Who were the native tribes that lived here? Being involved in your land can open up many doors of exploration. Have fun working in your yard and take a deep dive into an unexpected topic about your surroundings!
Let Tilly Help
A Tilly design can be the first step in beginning your landscape DIY journey. Once you have a plan, you have the steps to follow. You may need to hire a contractor to lay the initial groundwork (literally)! Check out What’s Next: Installing Your TILLY Plan for tips on taking the next steps after receiving a plan from Tilly. Also, scroll through our blog to see some client reviews, including how others are tackling DIY installation.