Learning Objective 1: Articulate the role of gardening and nearby nature as a leisure-time physical activity to be encouraged for its many health benefits.
Learning Objective 2: Gain an understanding for the significance of gardening as a health-promoting activity pertinent to the health of other populations.
Methods: In a hermeneutic phenomenological study exploring the lived experience of gardening for seven older adults, community-dwelling older gardeners’ stories are lessons about hope and renewal in nature. In terms of health promotion, gardening sustains them. The research occurred with garden visits over a two-year period using two or more in-depth conversations with each gardener.
Results: Gardening is a creative physical activity and a source of social support, enhancing their sense of place during the uncertainty of aging. Comito (1978) explains, “Gardening is the art of environment, and we should expect to find in a garden some evidence of its planner’s sense of how he is related to the world” (p. 25). The gardeners show aspects of their lives characteristic of successful aging.
Conclusion: Nursing implications reside with global policy development. In transitioning our understanding of the value of gardening beyond the individual level of analysis to a population focus, we can affirm this leisure-time physical activity for its benefits to communities.
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