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Reviving the Art and Science of Gardening

This photo was taken at Gardens By The Bay, a stunning man-made garden in the Southeast Asian country of Singapore. If you look at the peacock’s plume, you see that it is composed of rows of purple-hued orchids, which also happens to be the national flower of Singapore. Whether it is a spectacle like this or the animal-shaped trimmed hedges we see in parks, something has always intrigued me about garden art – how do people conjure up such artistic visions of plants? The creativity it entails must be staggering.

Next time you’re out in the suburbs, peer into people’s gardens. See which houses have tended to their front yards, and which have not. Some will have neatly manicured lawns, complete with rows of geraniums and lavenders and even garden gnomes, while others may just have a rather overgrown grassy patch. 

Gardening has become an obsolete hobby. It seems many youths ridicule it, casually remarking that it is “an old people’s past-time,” which really shouldn’t be the case, because the art of gardening should be considered a professional pursuit. And for many who may not necessarily take up garden art professionally, gardening is nonetheless a wonderful way to get creative juices flowing. 

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But does that mean one could buy a bunch of seeds and start planting all over their front yard? Not really. There is a lot of thought, logic and science that goes into gardening. For example, you have to take into account the type of soil plants like growing in; you can’t grow two plants with different optimal soil type preferences side by side. While it is enjoyable to design your garden as artistically as you wish, it is equally important to evaluate the plants’ growing conditions from a scientific perspective. This way, you are also honing your logical thought processes.

The joy of gardening mirrors the nature of the hobby itself: it grows. It grows as you spend your energy, thought and care on it. We’ll close the article by sharing some really cool benefits one can derive and give the artistic and scientific hemispheres of their brains a boost from gardening:

  1. Raise your self-esteem: We all have grown small pea shoots in science class in school. We were overjoyed to see our plants sprout. There is a great sense of accomplishment to be able to responsibly care for and raise something on your own.
  2. Live long: an Australian study showed that farmers were 40% less likely to visit the doctor compared to non-farmers. This could be translated to gardening as well – it has been proven that connecting with nature and the soil improves your heart health, optimises uptake of the pivotal Vitamin D, leading to improved mental health and well-being. Not to mention, it is an immense stress-reliever, and we all know that a stress-free life is key to a long life.
  3. Save money: it’s true! Imagine having your own herb and vegetable garden – no more having to spend on basil, parsley, tomatoes and squashes now that you have them grown with love in your garden.

 

Mallika Venkatramani – Arts & Lifestyle Editor

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