Happiness And Gardening

 'Etoile Violette'


From a recent NYT article (which may be paywalled): 

"researchers pinged tens of thousands of people on their smartphones and asked them simple questions: Who are they with? What are they doing? How happy are they?"

Double happiness?  

 "From this, they built a sample of more than three million data points, orders of magnitude more than previous studies on happiness. So what do three million happiness data points tell us?"

 "The activities that make people happiest include sex, exercise and gardening. [Italics mine] People get a big happiness boost from being with a romantic partner or friends but not from other people, like colleagues, children or acquaintances. Weather plays only a small role in happiness, except that people get a hearty mood boost on extraordinary days, such as those above 75 degrees and sunny. People are consistently happier when they are out in nature, particularly near a body of water, particularly when the scenery is beautiful." [Italics mine]


1. People having sex respond to pings on their smartphones?!??  

2.  Isn't gardening also exercise?  Double happiness!

3.  "extraordinary days, such as those above 75 degrees and sunny".  That the survey is of UK residents explains this.  That happiest activities do not include "buying another assault rifle" indicates the survey was not of Americans. 

4. Isn't gardening about making the scenery around you beautiful?  Ohhhhh, yes.  

Does gardening make you happy?  (Need I ask?) 


Oh yes, gardening is definitely a happiness booster. Wish I could do it more hours each day. :)
Horticat said…
Thought #3 made me cackle, to the point that my other half asked me what on earth I was reading. What a world we live in!

My ultimate happiness is pottering around the garden in the late afternoon on a warm day, whilst drinking a beer, with my partner and our cat nearby, chatting to me as I work. Pure, simple happiness!
Kris Peterson said…
Garden bloggers are unlikely to question the study or your conclusions ;) I can only add that finding a bulb has sprouted, a seed has germinated, or that a plant has bloomed is all it takes to make my day.
danger garden said…
Ha! I had the same #1 thought as you. Gardening makes me very happy, as does buying plants, visiting nurseries, visiting gardens... but then you knew that already.
chavliness said…
Gardening IS happiness: doing it, reading about it, shopping for it, enjoying the results. I'm always shocked when other people don't feel the same... (I prefer 65° and overcast though :-D)
Double Happiness photo is sublime. (I have the Chinese characters for Double Happiness in my garden).
Horticat said…
Hi Hoover Boo,
Just wanted to clarify something. I didn’t know about the most recent gun attack in your country when I wrote the comment above (most of our news has been concerned with the Australian election, which was on Saturday). Horrible stuff. No ill will was meant.
Barbara H. said…
Loved your Thoughts - agree with all of them. Living in the South, days above 75 degrees are likely to be unpleasant or so unusual (in winter) to be worrisome.
Hoover Boo said…
Thanks to all you kind people for the comments. Doing a whole lot of gardening to avoid the horrible news.

@Horticat never for a second thought your 1st comment was meant in any negative way. Our country is developing a horrible reputation and it is well-deserved. Here we laugh helplessly, but what it is, is a scream of despair and rage we try to bottle up because it will do no good, a scream that sounds like a laugh coming out, as we choke on it.

I hope something like this never happens to your country. We want these terrible things to stop, but nothing is changing--it's getting worse. The NRA completely controls the legislatures here and prevents any safety measures at all to be passed. And so more innocents die.
Anna K said…
May I also add music to all of the above? Other than the bliss of forgetting the outside world in the garden, music often affords me enough joy to enable tuning out the brutal society we've created. Each time, I keep hoping *this* is the one that will turn out the flood of angry, disgusted voters that will - once and for all - dispose of the insipid, corrupt, sniveling cowards that have been in Congress for far too long. So far, each time I have been wrong. Yet, still I hope...
Horticat said…
Thanks HB,
Yes that must be incredibly frustrating, infuriating and of course terribly sad that things are not changing. I am grateful that we do not have anything like your NRA here.

We had a terrible gun massacre in Tasmania in 1996, after which the government implemented strict gun control laws (despite it being a conservative government). The laws worked - gun violence is thankfully uncommon and mass shootings almost unheard of. I wish there was a clear way forward for the US on this issue.
luv2garden said…
Oh yes, Gardening makes me very happy. I am definitely at my best after spending a day puttering in the garden. You have certainly created a place of beauty to spend time in. NRA members might try gardening instead of guns.