Do you enjoy gardening? Do you have a garden?  Whether you have a large garden or just a handful of potted planters full of vegetables, it can bring joy to you and those around you!  To me gardening has become a deeply rewarding and fulfilling activity that brings me tranquility, mindfulness and a much needed escape from the fast-paced world we live in today!  I truly believe it can enrich our lives in various ways! 

Did you know that spending time in your garden has been shown to actually have therapeutic benefits for your emotional well-being?!?  I didn’t know this until I moved to my dream property in 2021 and was blessed to find a fully established garden already planted full of berries including raspberries, newberries, blueberries and gooseberries! There was also a large patch of well-established rhubarb! I quickly became completely obsessed with my new bountiful 20’ x 60’ garden and found myself always wanting to be in there tinkering around, fertilizing, pruning, or just enjoying my morning coffee and looking at what’s new and how it’s all growing.

A year ago I decided I wanted more than just berries, which led me to adding raised beds for even more types of fruit, vegetables and herbs, as well as an addition of a garden for my 37 chickens (I will save that for my next blog ;)! Gardening has become not only one of my favorite hobbies, but also my 2.5, 6.5 and a 13-year-old enjoy helping in the garden! 

I now feel that having my kids in the garden with me is an essential part of each day, as it provides them with hands-on learning experiences that teach them important life skills such as responsibility, patience, and perseverance, not to mention how to grow their own food! Working with different plants instills a sense of pride and accomplishment as they get to witness the fruits of their hard work growing and then get to harvest it themselves! Just like for adults, being in the garden promotes physical activity and reduces stress, leading to an improved overall well-being!

Marigolds have been a lifesaver to my garden this summer! Incorporating marigolds into your garden not only adds vibrant splashes of color but also serves as a natural pest deterrent! These flowers release a scent that repels various insects, helping protect other plants from potential damage. I have them bordering all of my raised garden beds. The colorful blooms also attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies promoting a healthy ecosystem!

This summer has been a wonderful year for my garden and has been enjoyed by so many—my kids, niece and nephew, grandma, many friends, co-workers and their kids! This year I was finally able to expand my berry garden to a garden full of a little bit of everything! Here’s a list of what I have added so far: multiple types of beans, peas, corn, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, peppers, onions, garlic, potatoes, lettuce, strawberries, carrots, a variety of herbs such as basil, sage, parsley, dill, mint & spearmint! I hope my gardening adventure has inspired you to either expand your existing garden or start a garden of your own!

Blog contributed by Jen Strohmaier, Rob Trost Real Estate 

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