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Why do you garden?

FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,424
edited January 2021 in The potting shed
I'm wondering what has most driven your gardening over the past five years. I realise there will probably be more than one factor below. Which would you consider your top three reasons? (There is a longer list but I'm only allowed to post ten options).

I've been pondering my own motives for spending such large amounts of time and money in the garden. I admit it's a bit of a mystery (I find it stressful and it hurts).  It seems to be a bit of an addiction.

Why do you garden? 40 votes

Success / satisfaction of watching your plants grow
Papi JoWorcesterParkNanniemoDirty HarryJennyJRubytooTerryannedhelkaSkylarksshane.farrell 10 votes
General enjoyment of exercise / movement / activity
MikGX 1 vote
Combating boredom
Being outside
chickyAuntyRachSuesynAstraeusHomemadeLook 5 votes
Growing fresh veg to eat / flowers for your house
Singing GardenerBlue OnionraisingirlEustacetui34JenniB83Biglad 7 votes
Supporting wildlife
Mark-ELiriodendronMr. Vine EyeGreenBeeWillowBark 5 votes
Addressing chronic health conditions
Creativity / learning in practice
Robmarston 1 vote
Creating and surrounding yourself colour
B3LoxleyBenCottoValley GardenerJackie 119OmoriPurpleRosegardenman91Wild_VioletTack 10 votes
Habit. You've always done it / family tradition
Mrs-B3-Southampton,-Hants 1 vote


  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,424
    .... Other reasons might include

    • Relaxation / meditation
    • Combating depression / anxiety / addiction
    • Socialility / creating a lovelier place for friends, family, visitors and community
    • Political  / societal importance of staying close to nature, growing, cycles and the seasons.

  • micearguersmicearguers CambridgePosts: 603
    I like the poll, but there's a multitude of reasons I garden ... impossible to pick just one! Is it possible to have a poll that allows selection of more than one option? As you've added more options in the second post, perhaps collate more reasons first?
  • steveTusteveTu UK - South Coast Retirement Campus (East)Posts: 2,239
    Legacy and fear of the ghost of my wife coming back to haunt me if I destroy her garden!
    UK - South Coast Retirement Campus (East)
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,800
    Creating and surrounding yourself colour
    'Creating and surrounding yourself colour' is about the closest; I want to have a place I can be outdoors where there's always something to look at, where I can feel immersed in plants (not necessarily just to do with colour); where I can plan out planting combinations and wait for them to either work as expected, or not, or where the plants work in a way I hadn't anticipated. So part meditation space, part design laboratory.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,424
    edited January 2021
    It's impossible to pick just one! Is it possible to have a poll that allows selection of more than one option? 

    @micearguers   No, there doesn't seem to be a way to choose more than one option. It's a dirty overview. I had a list of 20 most likely drivers - I'm sure there are 100 common motivators. 

    Maybe just choose the most glaring.

    For me gardening is glaringly not relaxing, I get very little sense of personal success, I'm never bored, don't like all the digging and lifting (I have chronic health issues) and I don't have strong family traditions of gardening. So my investment must be about something else.... something to do with creativity, learning, colour, politics and community.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,882
    None  of the above, I now garden because if I didn’t it would be almost an acre of bramble and stinging nettles and when I sell it no one would want to take it on,
    so I garden through necessity.   
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • micearguersmicearguers CambridgePosts: 603
    My core reason would be something like the quest to create and be in/part of a magical Eden-like space (aim high!). It's mixed up with being immersed in nature, but the nature I'm wistful for is that of vast forests, glades, valleys and such. Gardening connects us to that, but it's not the same. This reminds me how sad I find those garden presenters and writers telling us that gardens are now important refuges for insects, birds, and wildlife. How much we've lost, and how precarious is the state of nature if that is genuinely the case.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,424
    I can relate to all the above - trying to stop the garden eating the house; the magic of designing and creating a vision out of living matter on a large scale (and it sometimes, kind of, coming to fruition) - something only architects and parents get to do on a regular basis, perhaps; the longing to make an Eden, partly out of sadness for its loss.
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,787
    edited January 2021
    Creating and surrounding yourself colour
    The colour response works best for me. My primary reason is to create a place of beauty and tranquility which we can enjoy both from inside the house looking out and, particularly, actually sitting in the garden. Please excuse the conceit in saying this but I also get a tremendous buzz when friends visit and say how much they admire the garden and what we have achieved.
  • MolamolaMolamola BelgiumPosts: 99
    I garden because I love plants and greenery. I’d like to surround myself with them and create a little slice of Eden.

    There is also something humbling about stepping into a beautiful garden, and partaking in the toil and vision of others who came before you. 

    that is the idea anyway (: I don’t have a garden yet. 
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