Can Home Gardening Bring out the Happy Hippie?

I think we can all guess that when we are gardening by choice and have success, it brings out immense happiness and pride much like our everyday HappyHippies.   Now we have scientific proof – ScienceDirect recently posted a Princeton Study from the publication  ‘Landscape and Urban Planning’ backing up this idea.  Biking and walking have been shown to improve emotional well-being (EWB ) in city dwellers.  Researchers discovered gardening ornamental and/vs vegetable gardening held the same EWB.

The Princeton group studied 370 individuals in Minneapolis-St. Paul area.   Out of the 370, 118 (32%) maintained gardens 90 minutes on average.  “Innovatively, five measures of EWB were computed for each participant for each activity type: average net affect, average happiness, average meaningfulness, the frequency of experiencing peak positive emotions (happiness and meaningfulness).”

Vegetable gardeners have higher levels of ‘meaningfulness’ than Ornamental gardeners.  This is increased for low-income and female gardeners.  Gardening is on the top 5 out of 15 activities among the three EWB measurements.   I can not express enough the joy my family has experienced growing plants and vegetables and then being able to share with neighbors.  So get out and garden and be a Happy Hippie!


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