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  • Writer's pictureKaaren Poole

Hard Work Gives Back to both Body and Soul

All through the winter, as weather permitted (which it usually did here at 1,300 feet in the northern California foothills), I worked in the garden each morning for a few hours. I pruned, weeded, amended the soil in the beds, fertilized, started seeds, planted, and so on. Each day working there has been a joy, but now that the roses and sweet peas are in bloom, it's a true delight to be in the garden, whether doing some chore like dead-heading, or just enjoying my surroundings.

Here's a close-up of the sweet peas. Aren't the colors scrumptious? And if only you could smell them! With sweet peas, the more you cut the flowers, the more they bloom. Once the plant starts setting seeds, it slows down with the flowers. Every day now I pick a big, huge bouquet and the house smells heavenly.

And here's a fun new component I added to the garden a week ago. It's another (I have many) miniature garden - a cozy, new home for a pair of stoneware dragons. I made the dragons intending to put them in my Etsy shop, but the standing one developed a crack around his midsection in the kiln (ouch!). So this little garden will be their forever home. At this point, the irrigation tubes are unsightly, but the plants will grow and the tubes will be far less visible.

I used to think of gardening as one of my hobbies, but now I see it simply as an important part of my life. It gives me joy every day, both in working in it and enjoying its progress and beauty. The working is good for my bodily health and the planning and observing and appreciating is good for my soul. If my life circumstances change in the future so that I can only have a tiny garden in a pot, I'll still be a gardener - always!

I hope you're enjoying your garden, or, if you don't have one yet, I hope you'll give it a try. being in a garden with the bees and butterflies and birds is truly a blessing.

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