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50 Gardening Glimmers: The Magic Behind Everyday Moments in Nature

Have you ever been told to appreciate the small moments in life? Gardening glimmers are the little cues you feel while puttering in the yard or enjoying nature, giving you a small boost of happiness. They’re abundant and everywhere and can make a huge difference in your mental health. Here’s how to seek them out!

Stephanie soaking in gardening glimmers

When we talk about joy, we often talk about the big moments in life. For me, buying a new house, watching Kiddo grow up, publishing a new book, or even going on a vacation are clear moments of joy.

But we often don’t talk about the small moments. I mean these fleeting seconds where if you blink, you might miss it.

Have you ever noticed what makes you feel relaxed? We all know what stresses us out, but very few of us are attuned to understanding what makes us feel better.

Glimmers are these small moments in everyday life that give us a quick moment of peace and happiness. And when you get a lot of them, well, it makes a big impact.

I’m going to share with you how to identify glimmers and all of the amazing gardening glimmers I notice on the regular.

This post will cover…

glimmer of kid with sunflower
Gardening with kiddo is one of the my favourite glimmers.

What is a Glimmer?

Glimmers are those small moments in life that make you smile. They’re the baseline of joy.

More scientifically, they’re the opposite of triggers. Triggers are those moments that cue your nervous system to be on alert. Flight or fright kicks in.

Your nervous system is always subconsciously scanning your surroundings for cues. Your sixth sense will scan situations and people, letting you know how to react. It may find triggers or, hopefully, glimmers.

Glimmers are these micro-moments that cue your nervous system into a state of relaxation and where you feel safe. They reduce your emotional stress and return you to a more regulated state.

Glimmers can be as simple as humming while you work or smelling freshly baked cookies. And because they’re so much more subtle than triggers, they can be harder to notice.

Glimmers is a term coined by Deb Dana, an LCSW and psychotherapist. It’s part of the Polyvagel theory developed by Dr. Stephan Porges.

garden sanctuary glimmer
Finding a private space to sit in the garden is one of the best glimmers.

What is Glimmer Hunting?

Glimmers are all around us, but we don’t always see them. You may be in such a bad mood that you don’t notice the cherry blossom rain coming down while you walk to the bus stop.

We need to train ourselves to look for glimmers. They can be predictable, like how you know smelling a flower will bring joy, or unpredictable, as in you didn’t know a ladybug would land on you while picking weeds.

The best way to hunt for glimmers is to be patient and open. Start identifying these glimmers, and you’ll begin to notice them more and more.

Every person will have different glimmers since we all enjoy different things. For me, seeing a fuzzy bumblebee makes me smile, but for others, they could run away in fright.

Knowing your glimmers can help promote a sense of peace and allow you to connect better with others and your surroundings.

Glimmers are a game changer for mental health. They may be small and brief individually, but they become substantial together. They can help reprogram a nervous system, often in flight or fight mode, to a calmer state.

flowering quince, chamomile, sage, and lavender bundle
These flowers brought me so much joy, I had them tattooed on me!

Gardening Glimmers

While out in the garden, you can find many, many glimmers. Gardening can act as an anti-trauma and healing activity. It forces you away from stimulation from screens and the hustle and allows you to take a deep breath and be amongst the natural therapy of nature.

Here are just a few glimmers that I get from my garden.

1.Watching an earthworm bask in the rain.

2. Getting to eat your first harvest of the season.

3. When a slight coat of frost covers the trees.

4. Crunching a leaf in the fall.

5. Seeing the first tulip emerge after a long winter.

red tulips growing in a field at a tulip festival
There are many different kinds of tulips you can plant in the fall.

6. Washing the dirt off your hands after a sprint in the garden.

7. The sound of windchimes blowing in the wind.

8. Gardening alongside someone you love.

9. Blowing a dandelion seed head into the wind.

10. Cooking with materials from your garden.

11. A bee visiting your bee house you made just for her.

bee on a clover glimmer
Plant bee-friendly flowers to support pollinators.

12. When a beautiful volunteer plant blooms in your garden.

13. Sitting alone on your patio, enjoying the sights of your garden.

14. Staying up late to watch the stars.

15. Rainfall during a drought.

16. Watching a stranger passing by admire your garden.

17. Pulling a weed and getting the whole dang root, too.

18. Gifting someone a homemade present and getting to tell them you made it just for them.

19. Seeing the magic of butterfly pea flower tea.

20. Running through the sprinkler on a hot afternoon.

21. Cutting flowers from your garden and giving them to someone else.

22. Slicing up your newest batch of soap.

23. When your houseplant grows a new leaf.

24. The smell of freshly snipped herbs.

25. Gardening in your pyjamas.

26. A visiting bird enjoying your feeder.

27. Making eye contact with a hummingbird.

hummingbird at feeder glimmer
Attract humingbirds to your garden with a hummingbird feeder.

28. Squirrels running along your fence.

29. The sound of a running water fountain.

30. A butterfly paying a visit to your annuals.

31. Drinking a garden cocktail outside.

32. Stopping by a little seed library.

little free seed library glimmer
Add a little seed library to your neighbourhood.

33. Discovering a new cool plant species.

34. Planting bulbs in the fall.

35. Relaxing in the bathtub after a big garden session.

36. Taking a moment of rest when you need it.

37. Talking to your plants because they’re some of your best friends.

38. When your tomatoes ripen before the first frost.

Currant tomato vine dangling down the side of a raised vertical garden
Currant tomatoes.

39. Warm sunshine on your skin.

40. A wonderfully weird mushroom growing.

41. The first sight of seedlings growing.

42. Eating fresh fruit straight from the tree.

43. Trying a new recipe, and it tastes great.

44. Propagating a new plant.

45. Watching a tree you planted grow into something large and magnificent.

46. Passing on the love of gardening to someone special in your life.

47. When your seeds arrive in the mail.

48. A sunflower following the sun’s rays.

49. Learning a valuable lesson about growing plants.

50. Feeling a deep connection to a garden space.

happy Stephanie in the vegetable garden

Share your gardening glimmers in the comments below!

More Ways to Spread Gardening Joy


  1. Thank you, love your inspiration. I’ve been working on a pebble project, digging up weeds & soil between large papers on my patio. My friend brought me buckets of beach pebbles from Sechelt. I’ve injured my knee digging, but can’t stop bc it looks so good and makes me smile😊. Thank you. Take care.

  2. One of my favorite garden glimmers is to go out at twilight each evening to spot the first bat of the evening come out. I stay out as long as I can to watch them until they blend right in to the dark sky..Stars popping out too is a bonus glimmer while watching the bats. I’ve done this for years and never tire of it.


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