Gardening Pleasure

I think we need to find a new word for “working” in the garden. Of course there is the occasional muscle strain involved and perhaps more than a little perspiration, but the benefits to a gardener’s mental and physical health (assuming you don’t fall off a ladder or snip your finger with those new, very sharp clippers) seems more deserving than the equivalent of laboring and toiling in the garden.

Parade offered a happiness quiz and one of the questions was: “You have a little free time. Which activity will bring you the most pleasure? (a) Working in the yard; (b) Tackling home improvements; (c) Catching up on DVR’d TV Shows; or (d) Hitting the mall. The answer: (a). In a University of Rochester study, 90 percent of subjects got a boost in energy and had their outlook brightened by spending time outdoors around trees, grass, and living creatures.“ I suppose instead of saying, “Honey! I’m going to go work in the yard,” we could say, “Honey! I’m going to increase my happiness in the garden!”

What verb do you think best describes actively brightening your outlook in the garden? Please share.