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Growing items like fruits and vegetables may be beneficial in a number of different ways. Even a little garden may produce enough vegetables to provide some variety to your evening meal. Even a sunny windowsill with enough space for a few pots may be used to grow some greens that can be used to make a salad or to top a sandwich.

The most compelling argument, however, is the sheer joy that comes from seeing their development and the enhancement of the aesthetic value of your yard. From the multicolored variety of peppers to the enormous and complex leaves of zucchini; from the gem-colored stems of rainbow chard to the exuberant vining of scarlet runner beans; there are so many different types of vegetables to choose from in the produce section. The whole process of creating something may generate a kind of delight that cannot be experienced by those who just purchase in supermarkets.

And the joy and pride of eating a dinner that was totally produced in your own garden is not something to be taken lightly. This is particularly true when you have had your children assist you out in the garden. Teaching children about the natural progression of life and the origin of food (which is the planet, not the supermarket) is an important life lesson that benefits not only the children but also the whole family. Even if you just do it for one year when the kids are little, cultivating a garden will provide them with memories that will last a lifetime.

Where to Look for Inspiration

The act of gardening begins with an idea: a mental picture of verdant fields and bountiful harvests, bright sunlight, and beautiful blooms. And there is no shortage of inspiration for gardening to be found everywhere you look. It’s possible that inspiration may come from anywhere, from the yard of your next-door neighbor to the National Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C. Not to mention the abundance of glossy periodicals, catalogs, and books on the topic of gardening that are now available.

One might even claim that gardening is the most prevalent activity; at the very least, it’s among the top 10 most frequent hobbies. Even if you only put the soil in a repurposed container and plant a fifty-cent package of carrot seeds, you may call yourself a gardener