The peppery flavor of radishes make them a tasty addition to salads or relish trays. (Photo courtesy of RoganJosh, Morguefile)

“She weeded the garden in her Sunday clothes without getting dirty,” my husband announced to some of our friends.

They looked at me to see what I was wearing. I think they glanced to see whether I had the “tell-tale dirty knees” of a gardener. My clothes and knees were clean.

Why was I gardening in my good clothes, anyway? Because now I can.

We have had a backyard garden for many years, but last year, the weeds won. We went on a short vacation and found a thick carpet of weeds when we returned home.

Then Jake the dachshund sneaked into our garden over a fence to nab a tomato. The fence was designed to exclude rabbits (but, obviously, not dogs). When he leaped out of the garden, he injured himself and ended up on “crate rest” for two months.

Between the weeds and nursing a sick dog, we gave up on last year’s garden.

This year, weeding is a lot easier because my garden beds are elevated 3 feet from ground level. My husband built raised beds after combining several ideas on YouTube. We can plant, pluck the offending weeds and harvest without kneeling or bending. When we are older, we will appreciate the ease of gardening in raised beds, too.

Even better, the bumper crop of bunnies hopping around our neighborhood would have to pole vault into our garden to chomp on my beans and lettuce. I wouldn’t put it past some of the fearless rabbits (or Jake) to grab a stick and try.

My family is amused by my frequent trips to check our garden beds. I find gardening to be very relaxing. Many published studies have shown numerous health benefits associated with gardening activities.

Gardens can promote several healthy behaviors. Home gardens provide us with an immediate source of fresh, highly nutritious food. After tending a garden for weeks or months, you do not want all this delicious, fresh food to go to waste, so you eat it, share…