December 23, 2014
Now’s the Time—New Year’s Resolutions
The final days of 2014 are upon us. Quickly, they will fade into memories of yesterday as we prepare to start the impending new year. Many look forward to January 1st and the days and months that follow. It can be a chance for new beginnings, new challenges, new opportunities and most often, new goals. I have no idea how many people actually make New Year’s resolutions, but I imagine a staggering number of them are never fulfilled. If you’re looking for food for thought, perhaps a bit of inspiration or simply one resolution you may actually keep, then read on and print this blog post for reference later.
After a little research, I came across a list of the Top 11 Most-Popular Resolutions according to USA.gov. They are in no particular order, though you may have one in mind, and the majority of us can probably relate to a number of the ones on the list. For 2015, I am challenging you, (yes you!) to make these your resolutions as well. And to make things a little more interesting, I will illustrate how easy it can be to achieve each one of these goals by simply gardening. That’s right, gardening.
Everyone knows that at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity does a body good, so get up and get going. Cleaning up the garden beds and landscape can be a big task. Break it down to manageable time increments and devote 30 minutes every few days to rake the leaves, clean up garden and flower debris and shovel any snow, should we get some this year. Create a routine and when you’re not in the garden, add taking a brisk walk through the neighborhood to your workout. You may even be inspired by other gardens you see.
Volunteer to help others
Get involved! Seek out a local school or non-profit and offer to help create a veggie garden, flower garden or simply help with general weeding and pruning. No matter your gardening expertise or experience level, community-based organizations are always looking for a few good hands. And besides, the amazing feeling of helping others who help others is priceless!
I’m not a smoker but all I can say is nothing compares to the fresh air of the great outdoors. Increase your ability to smell fragrant spring blooms and taste scrumptious veggies in the summer by quitting smoking. And by planting annuals, bulbs, perennials, veggies and more, you’ll be getting a good dose of exercise. This can help combat the weight gain that sometimes occurs when smokers quit. Of course I’m simplifying the process, but gardening may be a great encouragement to quit once and for all.
Get a better education
Want to study something but not sure what? Try horticulture. The endless varieties of trees and shrubs, perennials and annuals, ornamentals and grasses, will keep you busy. Their growing habits, sun preferences, disease and insect control are fascinating and inspirational. If you like to design and draw as well, think about Landscape Design.
Get a better job
This one is easy. Join the team at Bucks Country Gardens. We are always looking for talented, energetic, hard-working people to join our staff. Visit the Employment page of our website to see what positions are currently available! http://www.buckscountrygardens.com/employee-app.html
Many of the tools used in the garden can really provide a great work out for your arms, chest, legs, back and shoulders. Short bursts of repetitive motion can strengthen and build muscle. Trimming and pruning shrubs is a great way to work the chest and bicep muscles. Raking helps the back and shoveling tones the legs. You know you’re doing it right when you’re muscles are a bit sore the next day. Remember, no pain, no gain. But, always in moderation–never overextend yourself.
Eat healthy food
The more you exercise and workout, the more you crave healthy foods and make better food choices. They go hand in hand and what better a way to take advantage of that then to create your own veggie garden. This year, instead of having a few plants and herbs in pots, create a raised vegetable garden. Plenty of room to plant some old favorites or to try some new ones and enough room and work to keep your workout routine going. Have kids? Get them involved! There’s a good chance they’ll eat more veggies at dinner time.
Much of the work to be done in the garden is repetitive: raking, digging, cutting the lawn…Let your mind relax as you complete your to-do list. Listen to the birds, feel the warmth of the sun, take a deep breath and let yourself escape from the things that cause you stress. There will be plenty of time to deal with life and work and family after you head indoors after some quality time in the garden. And perhaps, with a clear mind, you might be able to address challenging issues with ease and clarity.
Take a trip
Take a drive through your community and see what other homeowners are doing with their gardens and landscapes. Or, visit an arboretum or more formal gardens like Longwood Gardens for ideas, inspiration or relaxation. Or better yet, travel abroad and experience the lush and mind-blowing gardens of Europe, including the Borghese Gardens in Rome or the Gardens of Versailles in France. Here, the possibilities are endless and are only limited by your imagination.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Declutter your home for the new year and think outside of the box (or should I say house?). Can this chest of drawers become a planter in the garden? Can I insert a potted plant in this chair with a missing seat and make it a garden ornament? Read our blog on Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle.
Drink less alcohol
Well, when you are gardening, your hands are occupied and are probably a bit dirty, not the ideal time to have a drink. Also, you are busy exercising, getting fit and making better food choices which leaves less time for libations. Water is the best drink to have as it replenishes and hydrates. Save the treat of a tasty beverage for when the work is done and you’re comfortably resting on your patio furniture. I guarantee it will be worth the wait.
See, gardening can be the method in which we can all stick to most of our resolutions. And the bonus?? You’ll have an amazing garden all year long! Best wishes to everyone for a happy and healthy new year!
Adriene Vesci | Graphic Designer & Advertising Coordinator