Gardening for wellbeing

Mental Health Awareness Week

If you didn’t know, this week is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. We all know someone that has been affected by poor mental health. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England.    

We wanted to highlight the link between gardening, mental health, and your physical health. Scientists at universities in the UK and USA, working in collaboration with the RHS, have been undertaking new research and collating evidence on gardening and health. This new research highlights the importance of our connection with plants and nature, but most importantly to create a garden design ‘blueprint’ for optimal emotional wellbeing. 

Gardening can often be overlooked as a way to reduce stress and improve your mood but health professionals across the UK are prescribing it as a part of the NHS Long Term Plan 2019. 

Gardening is a sensory experience that can provide a positive emotional response by linking physical activity, mental stimulation, and social interaction. There are not many activities that cover all these bases. Enjoying the experience nature provides with all its wonderful scents, colours, and beauty. Even taking a walk, sitting in a green space, and taking time to slow down and immerse ourselves in a natural environment helps to rest and recharge our brain. 

Cultivating plants that delight all our senses, growing food to fill our belly and even producing cures for ailments in our gardens is a powerful almost radical act. Gardening has and will save lives for many generations.    

If you see another allotmenteer on your walk to the plot, why not stop and ask them, ‘How are you?’ 

Here are a few organisations that are helping people get into green spaces and support the human right to grow something. Helping people gain clarity, one flower and a trowel at a time. If you have 5 mins spare check them out and see what you can do to help. 

https://www.thrive.org.uk/

https://www.givingback.org.uk/

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