Through gardening people form critical connections with their environment from which they draw a deeper appreciation of nature. This dissertation uses qualitative research methodology, analyzed in the tradition of grounded theory, to investigate relationships between people and nature and how gardening fosters these relationships. Understanding these connections explains why we garden. The cultivation of plants provides hands-on complicity with the natural world and an understanding into the workings of nature. My primary research question was: How does one connect to nature through gardening? A systematic analysis resulted in data categorized into five major themes. These themes were found to be: 1. childhood experiences; 2. management, interacting with plants and control; 3. understanding the greater complexity of nature, gaining humility and wisdom; 4. grounding, achieving inner peace and well-being; 5. legacy, leaving a mark or heritage. This research helps to describe how these reciprocal relationships are formed and sustained. In understanding this complexity, the gardener can better understand himself.