I spent a recent evening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show and the theme of the week was “Spring Fever”. They even had vegetables planted in a canoe! Does anyone else feel that spring is in the air? Are you excited to start digging in the dirt?
I was inspired by a talk by Brian Minter who is the Co-owner and president, Minter Country Garden Store, an innovative destination garden center and greenhouse growing operation in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.
He discussed “The Fascinating Connection Between Plants, People and the Environment” which focused on the relationship and connection between plants, the environment and the many health and wellness benefits for both people and wildlife. He discused ways for designing gardens to be pollinator and bird friendly with a focus on urban environments. The theme of the talk was that we all need outdoor spaces (as humans) and having plants around us is really good for our health. As an edible garden owner I “shop in my back yard” nearly year round.
I started to consider what else I get from my garden. I find it peaceful and I love having a reason to get outside no matter what the weather. There is also no denying that I like the built in exercise that comes along with the space. When looking for research in this area I came across this article Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis by Masashi Soga et al.
organiclesson.com pulled the 8 page scientific publication into an infographic found elsewhere on this page.
What do you want to grow this year? Pick one thing that sounds interesting to you and give it a try! Maybe it will be a tomato plant in a container or a handful of lettuce seeds? The savings that can be found from putting in a few low maintenance herb plants (maybe some thyme or mint) in terms of actual cost of those purchases as well as the environmental costs in terms of packaging and transportation are immeasurable. If edible plants are not really your thing, maybe put in some flowering plants that will attract birds and bees to your garden space. Here is a resource from Green Seattle Partnership that suggests some great native options for pollinator gardens. We also have Urban Earth Nursery in the neighborhood at 1051 N 35th St which is a great nursery that has a wide variety of plants that do well in our climate and are appropriate sizes for urban gardens.
Our Spring frost free date in Seattle is coming up in mid-March, so it is a great time to start planning your garden. Starting from seed can be a bit daunting, but what do you have to lose? A pack of seeds and a little time? Think about all of the things that we spend our time on – watching those seeds germinate into plants that you will be able to eat in the future is also inspirational!
For more of my gardening tips and including a recent focus on starting seeds indoors, check out Good To Grow Seattle. And don’t forget about the great resource we have here in Wallingford at the Tilth Alliance at the Good Shepherd Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave N). They have amazing classes to help get you started. In 2020 Agriculture is trendy!