Horticulture is a basic human need

Research is beginning to reveal that nature relatedness and connection (think horticulture) is a basic human need. Growing plants is a process that grows people too. This is the beauty of horticulture-so why should you get into the garden?

Mind Benefits

Gardens are a restorative environment for the mind for many unique reasons. Nature and natural settings unlock and engage what we might call ‘fascination’ in our mind. Fascination is a form of involuntary attention that doesn’t tire us out but rather provides rest and restoration from the directed attention our mind must give most other daily actions in our lives which results in what we call ‘directed attention fatigue’.

Physical Benefits

Gardening combines physical activity, social interaction and exposure to nature and sunlight. Sunlight lowers blood pressure, increases vitamin D levels and the fruit and vegetables that are produced have a positive impact on the diet. Working in the garden can build dexterity and strength and the aerobic exercise gardening provides can burn as many or more calories than the gym. Raking, digging and mowing are especially calorie rich activities. Your landscape and garden really is a gym.

Stress Benefits

Indoor plants and natural green spaces have drawn the attention of the scientific community because they have many benefits: they are shown to enhance job satisfaction in office workers, reduce psychological stress, improve mood , and enhance cognitive health. These effects combined can help in preventing diseases and chronic stress

Community Benefits

Central Kansas District Extension Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who share research based horticulture knowledge and action with our community to promote the well-being and wholeness that horticulture brings to our lives all the way from birth to old age. Learn more about becoming a CKD Master Gardener volunteer here.


I enjoy connecting horticulture with real life. These past articles are the result of noticing some of these connections.

Tree rings of joy

Everything has its season it seems and in 2020 the season of life for my 50-foot-tall thornless honeylocust tree came to an end.  Talk about adding insult to injury.  In a year with a pandemic the one thing most of us wanted to do was to go outside and enjoy nature and gardening as a … Continue reading Tree rings of joy

Life is a seed

Seeds are small things but once you allow yourself to learn about their biology you will quickly be renewed with fascination and wonder at just how unique and intricate life in all its forms really is. Take a common garden seed such as a green bean.  This small package holds within it the past, present, … Continue reading Life is a seed