Lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
— Bobby Vinton
The last word in lonesome is me
– Roger Miller
As much as we tillers of the soil love gardening, there may be times when it can be a rather solitary activity. As much as we may enjoy it, not everyone shares our passion. And at first glance, gardening doesn’t seem to have a social component built into it. Ask your friends to join you at a bar or a ballgame, and you’ll probably get a few takers. Ask them to help you dig or weed, and your friends will suddenly remember that they already had plans to wash their hair, change the oil in their car, and attend a double feature of Zontar, the Thing From Venus and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Gardening can be a social activity, if you find the right people to do it with you.
For starters, if you have young children, you can ask them to join you. Children are naturally curious and want to join in on whatever their parents are doing. You can assign them simple tasks like planting seeds and seedlings or watering them in after their planted. When they get a little older, you can assign them a section of the garden to be their very own to plant what they’d like. What a great way for a family to spend time together. It also has the benefit of getting the kids away from the electronics and out into the fresh air and sunshine where the digging and planting can give them some much needed exercise. Furthermore, you just may find that at the dinner table, there are fewer struggles in getting your kids to eat their vegetables, because they are more likely to do so if they’ve had a hand in growing those vegetables.
Another way to make gardening a social activity is to take part in the planting of a community garden. Here, the members of a house of worship or neighborhood can join together to turn a formerly bare patch of ground into an oasis of fresh fruits and vegetables. Working together to accomplish this is a great way to build friendship and camaraderie and strengthen the bonds that hold together a neighborhood, synagogue, church, or mosque.
Finally somewhere in your town there is a group of gardeners who have come together to form a club. Why not join them? You can rub shoulders with other people who enjoy gardening as much as you do. You can exchange information, gain knowledge, and maybe even make some new friends. Gardening may not offer the same social currency that attending a concert, going on a bike ride, or attending a sporting event might offer. But there are opportunities a-plenty to join with other human beings and share the joy that gardening brings.