Did You Know? Gardening Can Reduce Stress


Gardening is often viewed as a leisurely activity and it’s with good reason…study after study has proven that gardening is a great stress reliever. There’s just something about digging in the soil that is good for the soul. Whether it’s tending a vegetable garden, pruning trees or dividing perennials, gardening re-connects us with nature on many levels. It feels great to look at what you’ve accomplished in the garden and know that you’ll be able to enjoy it for the season. Sure the weeds may come back and the insects may invade, but at the moment when you finish for the day, you can envision the garden in all of its splendor.

You are able to watch nature unfold in the little ecosystem that is your garden. You can watch the birds devour insects and the bees drink in the sweet nectar of your flowers. You can see the little cucumber flower that was just pollinated turn into a delicious vegetable that you can proudly serve your family. You are able to notice that certain weeds like the shady moist area of your garden while others enjoy that really hot, dry spot by the driveway. You can marvel at how closely weeds can mimic desirable plants, all in their desire to survive. You can observe ladybugs hunting down aphids and praying mantises hunting for anything that moves. By allowing ourselves to decompress enough from the daily stresses of life, we are able to observe nature and realize that life goes on for the rest of the world even when we’ve had a bad day at work or were stuck in traffic for an hour on the way home. Gardening also has physiological effects on the body.

I believe that there is no better exercise than the exercise of working. Our bodies were designed so that we can tend the fields and the garden, not so that we can get on a hampster wheel, otherwise known as a treadmill. Instead of spending an hour walking on a conveyor belt, spend that hour working in your garden. If you believe that you can achieve a better cardiovascular workout on a treadmill, I have some unbroken ground that needs working. And to boot, you’ll be able to watch nature unfold in front of you instead of keeping up with the Kardashians. I’d love to hear how Mid-Atlantic Gardening readers feel about this…leave me a comment below or e-mail me at stacey@midatlanticgardening.com. Happy gardening! (get it? :))

March 5, 2012Permalink 1 Comment

Starting From the Ground Up…Mid-Atlantic Gardening

November 11, 2011

Welcome to the Mid-Atlantic Gardening blog. This is my first post so I thought it would be appropriate to title it “Starting From the Ground Up” since that’s also what we’ll be talking about…growing great plants from the ground up.

My goal for this blog is that it will be an educational resource for Mid-Atlantic gardeners that you can refer to over and over to solve problems in your landscape or to inspire new ideas for your landscape. Many of the gardening books and magazines focus on general topics or plants that don’t do well in the Mid-Atlantic. I am trying to fill that void and let you know the “right plant for the right place” based on our growing conditions and also keep you abreast of disease and pest issues that threaten the very landscapes that we devote so much time to.

I’m Stacey Arnold and I’d like to let you know a little about me even though it’s not my nature to talk about myself. But near as I can figure, if I’m going to be giving you advice and helping you to solve your problems, you should at least know a little about me. I attended Virginia Tech and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture and a minor in Environmental Science in 1997. After graduation, I was fortunate enough to obtain the Assistant Horticulturist position at the Maymont Foundation in Richmond, VA. For those who don’t know, Maymont is a wonderful 100-acre estate in the heart of Richmond. It has evolved from the personal estate of the Dooleys to a park-like setting that boasts beautiful gardens, an animal farm and a gorgeous Victorian-era mansion. I worked under the great Peggy Singlemann until the spring of 1998.

At that time I moved on to work in the nursery industry. I was employed by a perennial wholesale grower and we grew over 2200 different types of perennials and a few annuals. The nursery industry is awesome in that you get to see all of the new plants before they hit the market! And you get to witness all that goes into producing the plants that you see in the garden center.

I worked in the perennial nursery industry until the fall of 2006 when I decided to branch out on my own and start my own landscape design, installation and maintenance business. I met a lot of great people and had tons of fun working in other people’s landscapes but the hours were extremely long and grueling…did I mention that I had a bubbly one-and-a-half year old son then too?

In the late summer of 2007 I accepted a position with a local government’s Department of General Services as their Grounds Supervisor. I have been their ever since and have learned so much that I think can help you with issues in your own landscape.

My hope is to publish new posts several times per week and eventually develop this to a weekly podcast. I am here to help you so if there is a particular problem that you are dealing with that we haven’t discussed, please e-mail me at stacey@midatlanticgardening.com so that I can help you.

November 12, 2011Permalink 1 Comment