The beauty of growing plants

Sometimes beauty isn’t about what you see with your eyes, but what you see with your imagination. Take a seed, for example. The tiniest, tiniest thing, it’s barely visible, let alone beautiful. And yet hidden within it is the power to become a plant. To grow into something that you will enjoy, whether it’s with your eyes, your nose or your taste buds. Perhaps it will produce the most fragrant blooms, the most delicious fruits, the most nourishing vegetables. For something so small to become something almost infinitely bigger seems nothing short of a miracle. And perhaps it’s this “miraculous” nature of seeds that makes growing plants such a pleasure.

Caring and nurturing

Sowing seeds and growing plants is good for both your body and mind. It makes you use lots of different muscles, gets your hands dirty (in a very good way), and lets you forget about the trials and tribulations of everyday life as you get lost in tending to your “babies.” People who love to grow their own vegetables will often call their seedlings their “babies,” and it’s easy to see why. After all, you take care of them, watch out for them, want the very best for them.  You hope they’ll grow up to be big and strong, able to cope with anything. So you look out for them, keep them fed and warm, and try to give them an environment in which they can thrive. You worry when they might be cold or hurt. You smile when they look happy and healthy. And as they grow and get bigger, you learn what they love – and what they really don’t like at all! And you know that by giving them the best start in life, they’ll thank you for it later.

Growing plants for food

Even if you have very little space, you can always find some for plants. So why not grow some plants that are not just nice to be around, but also delicious to eat?

If you have no outdoor space, there are plenty of plants you can use in your dishes that will grow very happily indoors. Try cress for starters (which will sprout and grow on nothing but a sheet of damp paper towel!), or microgreens, or bean sprouts. Herbs are ideal if you only have enough room for a few indoor plants. Basil, chives, oregano, or (to quote the song) parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme… They can all be grown inside your home, provided they get enough sunshine, water and care.

If you have a balcony (ideally with lots of sunshine during the day), move up to the next level and try growing tomatoes, strawberries, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuces, radishes, carrots, beets, peas, or even peppers if you’re up for a challenge! Keep them in pots, and why not set up a trellis system to save space and grow vegetables that love to climb? Peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and even squash can climb well – and grow fast!

Flavors, colors, scents

Is there anything that tastes quite as good as a just-picked, perfectly ripe tomato? Or a fresh, sumptuously sweet strawberry? Or a pea straight from the pod? And what about the colors of all the plants you can grow? The bold green of basil, the vibrant red of tomatoes, the heartwarming orange of carrots… And then there are the scents. Try taking some mint or basil leaves, or a sprig of rosemary, lift them to your nose, and close your eyes. For a few moments, you’ll forget about everything else as you breathe in a scent that’s natural, beautiful, and powerful. Worries and stresses melt away. You’ll feel relaxed, reenergized, recharged.  

The smallest of spaces, the simplest of dishes

If you think it’s impossible to grow a tasty lunch on your balcony or a sunny windowsill, think again! When the days are long and warm, even if you have just a very small space, you can grow all the vegetables and herbs you need for a healthy, delicious salad – and dessert! Fresh, crisp lettuce leaves, refreshing cucumber slices, grated carrots, tomatoes in different shapes and sizes, a sprig of basil, a handful of cress, a few snips of chives… Pick and mix to create a colorful salad packed with flavor and health benefits. As for dessert? Fresh strawberries topped with mint leaves, of course. A match made in heaven!