Why You Garden

– Posted in: Garden Musings

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Sometimes we need others to remind us that much of what we desire is, in fact, possible; all we need to do is dig down into our courage, embrace the unknown, and invite our creative minds out to play. It is then that we can access our infinite possibility and grow into the fullest expression of who we may yet be. Fran Sorin

Your garden mirrors your soul. When your creativity is unfettered, you’re in full bloom. In a state of silent exhilaration. Savoring each moment. Abraham Maslow coined the phrase ‘peak experience’. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it ‘flow’. This is where your soul yearns to be.

Our culture may try to brainwash you into believing that ‘garden making’ is solely about creating a ‘beautiful garden’. I’ve challenged that premise for years and have written about it in my book, the 10th Anniversary Edition of DIGGING DEEP: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening.  


You garden because you need to make a profound connection with the Earth. It’s your birthright.

A primordial longing to experience and participate in the magic of nature. The deep knowing that ultimately nature is your teacher.

Your guide. You’re a participant. A cog in the wheel. Not in charge. You learn to slow down. And listen to what the land has to tell you.

Sometimes finding balance and harmony. Other times total frustration and cacophony. It’s the Tao. Dark and Light. Ebb and Flow.

You work in the garden relentlessly because you have to. Fingernails clogged up with dirt. Sweat streaming down your face.

It’s here that you feel most comfortable in your skin. At peace. And yet, paradoxically ‘on fire’. Nurturing and being nurtured.

Part of the cosmic consciousness. Participating in ‘sacred play’. Every keen gardener intuitively knows this.

You have a deep seeded vision of what you want your garden to ‘be’. A yearning that is embedded in your unconscious. This is – in part – what propels you forward. Keeps you chipping away. To get to the essence of what’s underneath.

To embrace your soul – your creative fire.

At the end of the day, after you clean up and store tools, you take a few minutes just to be in your garden. It’s in those moments that you feel a penetrating serenity. A state of bliss.

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe to match your nature with Nature.” Joseph Campbell

Reasons You Garden

Cabbages Growing In Fields


It doesn’t matter where you garden – in the city or suburbs. On a terrace, windowsill, containers. A shared or private garden. It’s the act of gardening that gives you a sense of well being.

It’s getting your hands in the earth that immerses you in feelings of abundance, generosity, kindness, and love.

Gardening is about taking a leap of faith. Letting go of control. Surrendering. And giving your soul permission to dance with the ‘Gods of nature’.

 A few years ago I made a promise to myself. To speak out when someone refers to gardening as an ‘activity’ or ‘past time’. I made a commitment to declare what I think the act of gardening really is. Will you join me in continuing to get the word out?  


You are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter, Dr. Joe Dispenza

One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of A Greater Consciousness And Why It Matters, Larry Dossey, M.D.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown

Biomimicy: Innovation Inspired By Nature, Janine Benyus

Daring Greatly: How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brene Brown

Dreaming The Future: Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature, Kenny Ausubel

Ecotherapy: Healing With Nature In Mind, Linda Buzzell, Editor

Finding Your Way In A Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature To Create The Life You Want, Martha Beck

Hardwiring Happiness: The New Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence, Rick Hanson

Last Child In The Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Dis-OrderRichard Louv

Nature and The Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community In A Fragmented World, Bill Plotkin

Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness In Everyday Places, John Stilgoe

Planting: A New Perspective, Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury

Play: How It Shapes The Brain, Opens The Imagination and Invigorates The Soul, Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughn

Spiritual Ecology: The Cry Of The Earth, Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, Wendell Berry et.al


Inspirational Classics

Comfortable With Uncertainty, Pema Chodron

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, John Taylor Gatto

Escape From Freedom: Erich Fromm

Free Play: Improvisation In Life and Art, Stephen Nachmanovitch

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell

Man’s Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl

Religion, Values, and Peak Experiences, Abraham Maslow

Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential, Carolyn Myss

Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education, Michael Pollan

Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell

The Art of Happiness: A Handbook For Living,  Dalai Lama

The Complete Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Courage To Create, Rollo May

The Earth Has A Soul: C.G.Jung on Nature, Technology, and Modern Life, Carl Jung

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, Sir Ken Robinson

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, Thich Nhat hanh

The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide To The Fulfillment Of Your Dreams, Deepak Chopra

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche

The World Is A Waiting Lover, Trebbe Johnson, Thomas Moore

Walden, Henry David Thoreau

**Please note: This article was originally published in 2013. I am involved in some intensive research and study projects for the summer so will be recycling some favorite article. Hope you enjoy! Blessings and much love- Fran

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Fran Sorin

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at www.fransorin.com.

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Fran Sorin
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