Listening and Gardening Go Together Like Peas in a Homegrown Pod

A father helps his small sun with a watering can as they care for a beautiful garden.
07/10/2020

What to Listen to as You Tend to Your New Garden

Listen to titles on gardening, mindfulness and the race to cultivate the hottest chilli pepper

How many hobbies can claim the same emotional, spiritual and practical benefits as gardening? The act of tending to plants – starting them from seed, nourishing them and watching them grow – is not only soul-satisfying, but at the end of it you get a mean salad out of the deal! It’s almost like receiving a bag full of farmers’ market veggies after a tranquil yoga session.

Listening and gardening are a one-two punch of relaxation, mental activity, learning and growing (literally and figuratively). With a simple tap of the green thumb, you can explore a whole world of audio content at Audible.ca – from gardening audiobooks to meditative titles and enthralling podcasts.

Here we’ve listed a few suggestions: a couple of books about gardening to listen to as you plant your veggies and a few to pass the time as you watch your seedlings grow.

Geek out on Gardening

As you pull weeds, till the soil and plant those first, promising seeds, it’s hard not to get excited about gardening. It’s fresh. It’s fun. It’s all you want to talk about when you video chat with your friends (even if they just politely nod most of the time). It’s natural that you’d want to reach for an audiobook about gardening.

If you want to geek out on gardening, Michael Pollan’s your guy. Whether you’re just taking up the trowel or you have the calluses to prove a lifelong obsession, Pollan’s wide-ranging knowledge and zest for plants are as refreshing as light rain to a tomato plant.

In his classic audiobook The Botany of Desire, the popular gourmand and plant enthusiast eloquently walks you through the evolution of humankind’s reciprocal relationship with plants. How we domesticated them and how they domesticated us. He dives deep into topics like tulip hybridization, which you’d think could get a little dry, but Pollan makes them as colourful as the tulip itself.

The Botany of Desire

Author:
Michael Pollan
Narrator:
Scott Brick
Length:
8:49
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

In Second Nature – a title selected by the American Horticultural Society as one of the 75 greatest books ever written about gardening – Pollan is even more wide-ranging. Through a series of essays, he touches on a number of subjects. On the practical end, he offers gardening advice and buying tips. In his more philosophical turns, he waxes on the sexual politics of roses and the virtuousness of composting. He studies the history of the American lawn and his personal history with gardening. It’s engaging, entertaining and inquisitive – the perfect garden companion.

Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

Author:
Michael Pollan
Narrator:
Michael Pollan
Length:
9:01
Type:
Unabridged Audiobook

Meditate while You Cultivate

We’ve already discussed how listening can encourage tranquility, but when you pair it with gardening it can be even more meditative.

When you think about it, meditation and gardening aren’t that different. They both involve connecting with nature. They both involve focusing on the present. And they both encourage us to ruminate on the cycle of life. To mix in meditation with your cultivation, check out Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation by Mark W. Muesse.

Not only does Muesse’s resource offer tips for “sitting meditation,” (the practice many of us think of when we hear “meditation”) but also “walking meditation” and meditative awareness during activities. The latter two are particularly pertinent to gardening.

An elderly woman enjoys a cup of tea on a bench in a garden while her dog rests its head in her lap

With its repetitive actions and time-consuming tasks, gardening can cause the mind to wander. All of a sudden, we’re rehashing old arguments we had with a roommate, or worrying about an upcoming work deadline. It’s helpful to know how to draw ourselves back to the present. Back to the earth. Practicing Mindfulness helps you do that.

Of course, if you’re feeling too relaxed and mellowed by your garden to practice mindfulness, we’ve also got titles to get you motivated – self development books that encourage you to make big, positive life changes.

Grow Your Interests

One of the wonderful things about gardening – which is true of any quiet hobby – is that you can listen to an engrossing podcast while you do it. You can literally pursue an interest while you’re pursuing an interest. How fantastic is that?

To keep it gardening-adjacent, check out It Burns, a podcast about, as its subtitle states, “The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World’s Hottest Chilli.” This spicy story about the larger-than-life characters competing to grow the hottest chilli pepper is podcasting at its funniest, weirdest and most binge-worthy. As you plant your jalapenos, bird’s eye chillies and piri-piris, stay captivated by capsaicin with this Audible Original podcast.

It Burns: The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World’s Hottest Chilli

Author:
Marc Fennell
Narrator:
Marc Fennell
Length:
2:50
Type:
Podcast Podcast

If you prefer your gardening-adjacent podcasts on a more galactic scale, check out Exoplanets: The Search for Another Earth – a podcast about the search for life growing beyond our solar system. The new, six-episode Audible Original Podcast is free for members. Or, if you’d rather dig into a buzz worthy audiobook, check out the new releases from Audible.ca – there’s always something interesting to listen to.

Exoplanets: The Search for Another Earth

Author:
Danielle George
Narrator:
Length:
3:10
Type:
Podcast Podcast

What are you listening to while gardening? Tag us in a pic on Instagram and tell us about it!

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All articles: self-help