Many people think of gardening as boring, time-consuming, complicated, or, Heaven forbid, a retirement hobby for old people who don't play golf. In reality, gardening is an enjoyable pastime that benefits not only the gardener but also the space around him or her. The following are seven reasons why you should consider gardening as a hobby for yourself.

1. It's basically free therapy.

Think about it -- soaking up the vitamin D, getting out your anger by breaking up the soil, and resting in the peaceful presence of your plant babies. Is there anything better? It's the perfect activity for people who need to lift their spirits or just want to create their own natural sanctuary.

2. It's good for your health.

While gardening's not an intense activity, it does give you the opportunity to get out there and sweat a bit, not to mention all the fresh, nutritious vegetables you'll have readily available!

3. It's a great way to beautify any space.

The best kind of beauty is always natural beauty. I mean, have you SEEN plants? Nothing can match the charm of a flower, or the uplifting green of a thriving leaf. And, since gardening can be done anywhere, it's perfect for drab, unused spaces that need sprucing up.

4. It's a great way to save money.

For the same price of a couple of tomatoes, you can buy a packet of seeds and grow dozens of tomatoes per plant. It's crazy how many fruits or veggies a single plant can produce. In fact, it's the best return on investment I can think of.

5. It makes a difference for the environment (even more than you think).

Of course, the more plants we propagate, the more greenhouse gas we can eliminate from the atmosphere, but beyond that, the less we rely on out-of-state and foreign produce, the fewer fossil fuels we consume. It takes a staggering amount of energy -- much of it unsustainable -- to industrially sow, propagate, harvest, preserve, and transport fresh produce on the massive scale we do today. Compare that to the near-invisible carbon footprint of a backyard garden, and it's clear that the world would be better off if more people relied on their own gardens for produce.

6. You'll never get bored.

There's always something new to do in a garden. Each season brings its own tasks and opportunities: Starting seeds in late winter and early spring, sowing in late spring and early summer, weeding, watering, and fertilizing in summer, harvesting in late summer and fall, and starting all over again by planning over the winter. You can even branch out into activities such as plant breeding or competition.

7. It's surprisingly creative.

Sure, the care of plants is rooted in science, but there are endless ways to make it an art. Create a decorative fairy garden, or grow a canopy from sunflowers and morning glory. Play with an infinite combination of shapes and colors for stunning beds, beautiful bouquets, and culinary creations.



If the many ways gardening can enrich your life aren't enough to convince you to go plant something right now, check out this rad ranunculus and catch flower fever.