Many of the greatest men in history had these things in common.
They grew gardens, greened their thumbs, and ultimately, they won the game of life.
The conquering King of Babylon built colossal hanging gardens for his Median wife Amytis, to replicate the mountains of her home country. In ancient China, the garden was the home of the wise men and scholars.
Assyrian kings expanded their gardens throughout their cities, bringing exotic plants back from conquered lands, and the Romans and Egyptians grew large, flourishing gardens as status symbols of wealth and power.
History attests to the winning nature of the man who gardens, and here’s 21 reasons real men garden today.
21. Post Apocalyptic Skills
Three things every man should know if he wants to survive and thrive in the chaos of post-apocalypse anarchy — how to hunt, how to fight, and how to grow sustenance from the dirt.
20. Sweat, Dirt, and Sometimes Blood
Toiling in the sun with rake and hoe will chisel your body, build up your immune system thanks to a host of beneficial germs and bacteria in the soil, and if you’re lucky, you might earn a battle scar or two. Your golden tan is an attractive extra.
19. Who Doesn’t Want More Sex?
There’s about a million and one different aphrodisiacs you can grow in your garden, from asparagus to yucca root, and scientifically proven or not, no woman can resist a sultry chocolate strawberry, fresh from the vine.
18. Garden = Hops and Hops = Beer
Brewing your own beer is impressive in and of itself, but growing the malt, yeast, and hops, and thenbrewing the glorious fruit of your labor? That’s a feat few men fulfill.
17. Build Bonds and Instill Leadership
Every great man is a leader in one way or another, and every great leader knows how to unite his followers. A man’s garden is a haven of unity, bonding, teaching and learning, whether amongst friends, family or community. In the garden, the son learns what it means to be a man, the young man learns what it means to be a mature man, and the mature man refreshes his mind with wisdom from both his leaders and his followers.
16. Think Primal
Real men have, and always will be primitive. Not smelly, anus scratching, monkey primitive. I’m talking about the primal instinct of knowing the land and understanding nature. Having the ability to carve into the earth, sow into the ground, and raise life out of that which was dead, to benefit himself and those who depend on him.
15. Priapus, Well-Endowed God of the Garden
Priapus was the rugged, golden skinned Greek god of the vegetable garden. A gardener with a giant member — coincidence? I think not.
14. Nature Helps Man Nurture
Yes nurture. Every grown man does it. Protecting, training, guiding, leading — that’s nurturing. Every vegetable needs protection from swarming insects, crawling disease, wilting frost, and the blistering sun.
Tomatoes, beans and many other plants are trained; guided up the pole or cage. A garden is the perfect training ground for a young man, and constant practice for the mature.
13. Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees — it Grows in the Garden
Wise men know how to manage their money. Eating food from the garden saves money, and turning cheap (or free if you harvest your own) seeds into a climbing, stretching, budding and flourishing garden of delicious nourishment is one of the best investments a man can make. Selling the surplus grows profit out of practically nothing.
12. Fighting Vampires
Let’s embrace reality. Whether by stake or swinging flail of garlic cloves (both of which may be rooted out of the garden), every man should be able to kill a vampire, guarding his sweet-skinned vixen from the blood-letting fangs of the night.
11. Gardens and Grills
There’s nothing manlier than plucking food straight out of the ground to throw on the grill next to sizzling steaks.
10. Sex Appeal
An intimate knowledge of the land is something every woman finds attractive, on a deep and primal level.
9. Mood Appeal
Speaking of sex appeal, there’s no greater turn off than a moody male. Gardening, like fishing, hiking and hunting, is nature’s therapy — it rids us of brimming aggression, it tempers the temper, and brings the mind to an almost zen-like state of calm confidence.
8. Lose the Impish Manchildishness
Pouty men are really just oversized boys. Unhappy men either bottle up their rage, pour out their rage, or pout like spoiled children. Studies show that people who garden are happier. If you’re prone to pouting, a garden can evolve you from an impish manchild into a satisfied, bronzed, green-fingered stud.
7. Gardens Endow a Man With Health, Vitality, and Pride
The inheritance of a sickly lion is a barren path of wandering loneliness and bowel-shrinking starvation. The towering, thick-maned specimen of roaring vitality is surrounded by a pride of his own personal huntresses and pandering females.
The moral of the story — stay healthy. Exercise (garden), take in the vitamin-D packed sun rays (garden), sweat out the toxins (garden), and eat your veggies (garden).
6. Medicine Man
The most respected man in tribal societies is the medicine man. Dancing like a whirling, devil-eyed dervish may be an obsolete attractor of respect, but growing a patch of herbal remedies (and knowing how to use them) is still highly respected by most.
5. Gardens Give
A generous man is a loved man. If your garden tends to produce more than you need for yourself, give the surplus away and watch your reputation grow.
4. Work Ethic
It’s not easy to plunge yourself into the dirt and grime to till, fertilize, sow, weed, and reap. It takes a brawny psyche and a driven work ethic to nurture your garden into a lush, green, and vibrant success.
3. The Fruit of Gardening Labor is Intelligence
Einstein said that “the true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”, and whether he’s right or not, gardening gets you both. He also said, “logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Gardening is an outlet for creativity and it hones your imaginative intelligence.
No man is an island, but every man needs time alone, to reflect, observe, ponder, ruminate. The double-edged nature of the garden is that it is a place of tribal community, and conversely, a place of silent solitude.
1. Gardening is Winning
There’s nothing more satisfying than watching the thick stems and dark green leaves of the tomato vine stretch to the heavens, laden with richly red, ready-to-burst tomatoes. Healthy, sturdy and fruitful plants thrive because you made it so.
When you feed yourself, your family and your friends the bounty and fruit of your labor, you feel the welling surge of victory, not just because you’ve provided — it’s really a combination of all of the above.
In the end:
Real men garden because gardening is winning.