Living with cancer blog

Gardening restores the body and soul

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. July 28, 2012

I was reflecting this week about how much I enjoy having a little garden. As I thought about this, I couldn't help but think of all of the benefits a garden provides.

Think of the enjoyment as you plan your plantings in the spring, and then the anticipation of seeing the first sprouts of green peeking up through the soil. Then you look forward to the beautiful greens, flowers, vegetables or fruit that arrive as gifts from nature.

Having a garden in your life can be restoring. It gives you something to care for, celebrate, and later on, gives back by producing flowers, fruits or vegetables to nourish your body and your soul. A great idea is to also include aromatic plants such as lavender, rosemary, mint and other herbs to give your senses a treat as well.

Think of how you feel when you receive a beautiful bouquet of garden flowers or fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmer's market or maybe a few treasures shared with you from a generous friend or neighbor. It's priceless. Having a garden can nourish your spirit and your body.

If you don't have a lot of space, start a little potted garden in your windowsill or on your terrace or patio. If you have physical limitations, ask a friend or family member to help you get things started. Once the plants are in their place, it just takes a few minutes every day to water, prune and care for your plants.

I have also heard wonderful stories of gardens that have special significance, such as survivor or memorial gardens or neighborhood garden plots where people come together to plant and care for the garden. What an incredible way to keep in touch with others, get a little physical activity and stay healthy with fresh produce from the garden. The benefits are great, so give it a try.


Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

July 28, 2012