I don’t know about you, but for me, gardening is pure therapy.
Digging my hands in potting soil literally grounds me, connecting me to the earth. Starting seeds and transplanting seedlings gives me a front-row seat to the life cycle of plants. Watching things grow, slowly, teaches me patience and reverence.
Tending to my plants in all kinds of weather takes me out of my head and my worries, planting me (ha!) firmly in the present, at least for this moment.
All of it embodies the serenity prayer, ever reminding me to control the things I can control (soil, fertilizer, water, containers, pruning, pests when I can) and hand the rest over to the universe or god or Mother Nature … whatever or whomever you put your faith in. It won’t all work out exactly how you want it to. This is a life lesson wrapped in a basil plant.
There is no perfection in gardening, and that’s an important lesson too.
Aside from my actual therapist (hi Sarah!), gardening is my favorite therapy. Read on for some inspirational garden therapy quotes from others who also believe in the mind-garden connection.
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.Marcus Tullius Cicero
Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.Luther Burbank
The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.Alfred Austin
A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expanded effort on them.Liberty Hyde Bailey
To see a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flowerWilliam Blake
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.A.A. Milne
A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.Gertrude Jekyll
It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn.B.C. Forbes
I like gardening — it’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself.Alice Sebold
Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That’s the fun of them. You’re always learning.Helen Mirren
Gardening is a working meditation for me. It helps me remember process, and it helps me remember patience.Lizz Wright
We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?Wendell Berry
I do some of my best thinking while pulling weeds.Martha Smith
Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love.Sitting Bull
There is nothing I like better at the end of a hot summer’s day than taking a short walk around the garden.You can smell the heat coming up from the earth to meet the cooler night air.Peter Mayle
The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.George Bernard Shaw
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.Gertrude Jekyll
Gardens are not made by singing “Oh, how beautiful,” and sitting in the shade.Rudyard Kipling
Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors.Oscar de la Renta
A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.Dogen
Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.D.H. Lawrence
When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited.Ramakrishna
You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.Pablo Neruda
In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.Alice Walker
Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.May Sarton
A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.D. Elton Trueblood
My extravagance is my garden — it’s the first thing I look at every morning when I wake up. It gives me so much pleasure.Ina Garten
And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.Khalil Gibran
There’s something about taking a plow and breaking new ground. It gives you energy.Ken Kesey
I enjoy painting, cutting the lawn and working in the garden when I have time. That’s therapy for me. I enjoy working with my hands.Billy Williams
Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone.Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives.Gertrude Jekyll
Weather means more when you have a garden. There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking about how it is soaking in around your green beans.Marcelene Cox
How deeply seated in the human heart is the liking for gardens and gardening.Alexander Smith
I think this is what hooks one to gardening: it is the closest one can come to being present at creation.Phyllis Theroux
I need my friends, I need my house, I need my garden.Miranda Richardson
I always see gardening as escape, as peace really. If you are angry or troubled, nothing provides the same solace as nurturing the soil.Monty Don
There is a direct correlation between gardening and mental health, not just to maintain good mental health but to repair it as well — that’s anything in the gamut from depression to serious brain damage, schizophrenia or autism.Monty Don
I just think that gardening is about the future, a slow thing, that is deep and spiritual as well as spiritually rewarding.Monty Don
Gardening is inevitably a process of constant, remorseless change. It is the constancy of that process that is so comforting, not any fixed moment.Monty Don
Clarity is the most important thing. I can compare clarity to pruning in gardening. You know, you need to be clear. If you are not clear, nothing is going to happen. You have to be clear. Then you have to be confident about your vision. And after that, you just have to put a lot of work in.Diane von Furstenberg
Gardening does so much for your brain. You’re learning how a process works, and how important it is to do everything right so that you can eventually enjoy a tomato three months later. I’ve always been patient, but gardening really helps you with that.Marc Gasol