Thanks Lou12. Sounds like you have very similar feelings about gardening to me. I also love the processes you mention and it has led me in different directions too.
Verdun - I think helping others through gardening is therapeutic in itself and I agree - it is a great leveller. Sounds like you're doing great work and really making a difference to others as well as yourself.
Hurray for gardening!! ☺
My friend had a mental health "issue " some three years ago and says it was the only thing that kept him alive and helped him to combat the NHS drugs he was given . He took himself off them and is 98% better by "using" the allotment as a stability device in crude terms
I work with educational adults all day on a Wednesday as below and it gradually helps us to "draw them out " of themselves over a period of months
When one of the young adults recently started a conversation it was excitedly but quietly passed all around the group in minutes
Such pleasure to us and of course starts / assists them back into society.
No mobile phones .or interweb or TV any where to be seen Just soil green plants and smelly manure !!
I think we may be getting carried away, here! I love gardening and all the aspects mentioned above. It has helped me through some very dark times, too and I am most happy and at peace out in all weathers, caring for my garden. However, my dad, bless him, hardly knew which way up to hold a plant. He HATED and resisted all gardening that did not involve heavy machinery and never went further than to say 'That's pretty, isn't it.' if really pushed. For him, stress and misery were the only outcomes of gardening and he would have concreted every inch of our garden, had my mum allowed him to. It is, as usual, horses for courses. He relaxed with a nice carburetor and some grubby spark plugs.
Newboy2 - glad you have seen such positive outcome from community gardening. That's certainly the experience I've had with it.
Posy - my grandfather was exactly like that with concreting every garden he owned, he was a car mechanic. And my Granny was my inspiration a although she didn't have a gardern she loved plants and foraging in the hedgerows. I agree about horses for courses, nit everyone will find gardening a release, but I think the fact that so many do, we might find in the future, is because of the chemical relationship between people and soil. Certainly that's what recent research seems to be suggesting. Who knows? :-)
It helped me get over my divorce from my first husband.That's when I started growing roses,i put all my energy into the garden.Put up my first green house and grew my first tomatoes and bedding plants.
Gardening is an optimistic hobby. You have to look forward, plan for the future, hope for success and everyone will have some small success quite quickly, even if it's just a seed germinating. It reconnects you to the cycles of nature, helps you to accept that things grow and things die and then grow again. Its raining today but it doesn't rain every day.
It's not the only hobby that can help people to be positive and face tomorrow with some hope - I think anything that involves creating something can do it, but it's one of the easiest for someone with no prior knowledge or skill to take up and succeed at.
That you end up being outdoors in the rain from time to time is just a bonus
Yes I think the cycles of life is key. And I like being in control of some of my own food - rather than relying on others to provide it all. Also makes me more thankful for what others do produce.
My husband loathes gardening Posy and you will not see him in it but that's great becasue it's mine all mine
He builds all our motorbikes and is as happy as larry outside tinkering with those which I would find soul destroying but we all benefit from the end results so hurray.