'Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years.’
Whoever came up with this quote was definitely on to something. Gardens are special peaceful spaces with restorative qualities that can work wonders when we are stressed and under pressure.
In the current climate we are living in the lockdown & the uncertainty of our days does not bode well for our mental wellbeing, the garden and the open space is a great leveller of woes and I am very fortunate to be a gardener for a living but can see how much the garden helps my many clients, before my career change I used the garden as a means of de-stressing my day even if it was a leisurely stroll with the hose around the garden musing on the plant changes since my last visit.
Stress is a worldwide 21st century problem that can cause physical problems such as higher blood pressure, muscle tension and digestive problems, while long-term stress can lead to serious health issues including depression and anxiety.
There’s growing evidence that gardening can benefit our mental health, an important consideration at a time when the NHS is stretched and one in four adults are experiencing mental illness.
Research in Sweden, for example, found that the more people used their gardens, the fewer incidents of stress they suffered.
A report in the Mental Health Journal cited gardening as being able to reduce stress and improve mood, with a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Gardeners themselves agree:
Across the pond in Philadelphia 144 gardeners were asked for the reasons they did it and mental health was second to recreation as the most important factors.
While gardens can be relaxing, they can also be places where our efforts result in a real sense of achievement, boosting confidence and self-esteem.
There’s also good evidence that just looking at a green space has positive effects on people’s mental health, helping them relax and de-stress.
So my honest advice to all is take to the garden, take time to yourself and let the vibes and the surrounding vista chill your senses