More Proof That Gardening Is Good For You


Like we needed another study.  Regardless, Science Daily reports that eating four or more servings of green salad a week, combined with a couple of sessions in the garden, reduces the risk of lung cancer among both smokers and non-smokers.  And just think–they can actually grow that lettuce in their garden, thus bringing the whole thing full circle!  And beer drinkers who grow their own hops can also–oh, never mind.

(This photo represents Science Daily’s idea of what gardening looks like:  a woman wearing actual make-up and a v-neck sweater, cheerful sticking her spade into an impatien.  Just look at those healthy lungs!)

In far more interesting news, Science Daily says that bulbs can actually move themselves to the correct planting depth, thus compensating for the careless actions of you bulb-planting maniacs. I’ve even read that it doesn’t actually matter whether you plant the bulb right side up or not.  Just throw ’em in the ground–they’ll sort themselves out.

And finally–for those of us who ONLY garden while intoxicated–the Brits offer some sensible garden gift advice and suggest an antique sterling silver hip flask for only about five hundred bucks.  How civilized.


  1. How very funny was the blurb for the wellie boots on the link. Goose turd green? My wellies developed a crack in the rubber and were not replaced by Smith and Hawken like advertised, even though I had kept the receipt over ten years. The new replacements are called Muck Boots and are much better, not so sweaty, and still waterproof. I look like a muddy boatman when working outside, no v necks for me.The bugs would fly down to see the girls.

  2. Snicker. I checked out a book from the local library a year or two back. Seems like it was an herb gardening book. All the ladies in the pictures were wearing delicate cotton frocks. They looked blissful and remarkably clean while they shoveled. I can’t think of a time I came in from the garden clean.

  3. I have 2 small children, so I often am gardening on my lunch hour, so sorry to say I have full make up with my fushia pink boots on in the garden.

  4. I am not allowed off the property when in full garden regalia. I have a big green sun hat that I use to control the teen daughter. As in: “If you don’t listen I will wear this to your next outdoor sporting event.”

  5. I must be the anti- picture of health and beauty gardener poster goil.
    I don’t wear make- up while gardening, my attire is usually an old tee shirt and crinkled cotton pants, I don’t think I have used a delicate little hand trowel in years ( I prefer a good size garden shovel ) and I had half of my left lung removed this past year.
    Despite all this I’ve worked in the garden and landscape trade for about 6 to 10 hours a day for the past 27 years, … and eat salads on a regular basis.
    I guess it’s time for a “Science Daily” make -over.
    Where do I sign up ? ~ I rather like the blue shirt and having a full set of lungs wouldn’t be bad either.

  6. Well, I do BELIEVE Susan looks at least that good while gardening. Southern women are just…prettier.

    And as far as the bulbs moving themselves to the proper planting depth, Amy, you have just justified my entire existence! Gardening is NOT a precision-oriented pursuit, like ski jumping. As long as you follow a few simple principles–mulch, mulch, mulch–there, are we done?–most stuff will succeed.

  7. Thanks, Michele, but you know it’s only because Southern women BELIEVE in the magic of make-up, hair dye and any other type of help we can get that isn’t life-threatening.

  8. Lily bulbs will; they never go dormant. I am not so sure about tulips–

    I think this is where planting them too late in the season might play a part.

  9. I’m one of the maniac bulb planters, I usually just throw them in the hole. Most seem to grow. If they need TLC, they’re probably not for me:)

  10. Those made-up, perfectly coifed and attired garden ladies exist, I swear! I saw one at Lowe’s one fine spring day, selecting her plants by pointing and instructing an employee to put them on the cart he was dragging around behind her. That’s when I realized how they do it–they get other people to do all the dirty and heavy work for them.

    It was a few moments later, after I’d finished wrestling several large sacks of potting soil into my cart, that I glanced down at my own ratty clothes, now liberally covered in damp potting soil and a bit of mud for good measure…

    I’ll stay grubby, thank you very much. I like the physical labor and getting dirty.

  11. They put that woman in WHITE PANTS and they actually expect us to believe she’s gardening? In an immaculate turquoise sweater and gloves just off the rack?

    White pants. And after Labor Day, too. What are they thinking of?

    But since we just had the good news that exposure to soil bacteria acts as an antidepressant, I’ll keep on grubbing in the mud.

    White pants… sheesh… white pants…

  12. Thanks a lot, Amy, I can see it now … starting next season, a new branded line called SmartBulbs:

    “Save time and brain cells! Dig whatever depth hole you feel like–SmartBulbs will automatically raise or lower themselves to the proper planting depth!”

    Incidentally, I garden in full makeup, a black rubber dress and heels.

  13. I want to see her feet! Mine are always kinda polka-dot owing to the holes in my pink faux-crocs that I wear with my fatigues – I try my barn boots but they’re way too sweaty. My face is the same shade of dirt as my feet and IF I wore makeup, it would just run down my face because, try as I might, my “puttering” always involves major excavation. White pants?! Puleeze! But, a lovely thought just the same.

  14. This is fantastic news! How fun to think of the bulbs edging downward.

    LOL, yeah, white pants and full makeup.

    I confess I curl my eyelashes and put on a colored lipgloss before beginning work each day, but – mascara? Eyeliner and full face regalia? Wouldn’t the bees be attracted to the scent of all that makeup – I’ve never smelt a powder that didn’t have some fragrance to it? Wouldn’t it melt off after a few hours?

    That lady has the crazy. She should watch where she sticks that trowel, too. Looks like she is threatening that poor Impatiens with it.

  15. I’ve been lecturing about the physical benefits of gardening since 1992!

    My latest book, “Get Fit Through Gardening” (available March 2008) expands greatly on my original book, Fitness the Dynamic Gardening Way, published in 1992. I combine techniques from aerobics, weight-training and the martial arts to create something old yet entirely new — a lifelong, comprehensive fitness program based on gardening.

    With over 100 photographs, Get Fit Through Gardening explains in great detail how to reduce strain on your back, muscle soreness and even calluses on your hands. By lowering your center of gravity and harnessing the energy
    from your legs and torso versus the muscles of your lower back and arms, gardening becomes both more aerobic and more enjoyable.

    My advice is and has always been: gardening can be good for you but only if done correctly — and most don’t do it correctly (how they move their body) and use tools that were not ergonimically designed. A hoe or rake should have a handle that is 5 to 6 feet long — most are far shorter than that and cause the user to stoop over while using it.

    Check out two tools: the hearthoe, from with a six foot handle and the Forged Handy Weeder by AM Leonard. These are the two best “Fitness Tools” you can buy. I have photos and will soon have videos on my website http://www.getfitthroughgardening.
    This is not how your father gardens. Now you garden to exercise and exercise to garden. Now we can be stewards of the planet and be stewards of our bodies at the same time.

    Get Fit Through Gardening — the most environmentally-friendly fitness program on the planet. Be lean, mean and green. It’s only the beginning! — Jeffrey
    Restuccio, Author. Come see me at Disney World Orlando FL April 11, 12 and 13 2008.

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