Green therapy: how gardening can improve your physical and mental wellbeing
Get outside and boost your mood...
As we're facing unprecedented times following the coronavirus pandemic, it's more important than ever to consider our mental and physical wellbeing. So, now may be the perfect time to dust off those gardening gloves, discover a hidden horticultural talent – and indulge in some 'green therapy'.
Recent studies have shown that spending just two hours a week outdoors in the garden is linked to better mental and physical wellbeing.
Sometimes referred to as ‘green therapy’ spending time outdoors in the fresh air, caring for your garden and learning new skills are all positive steps you can take to keep occupied.
Not only that, you’ll find all of the digging, raking and weeding is an excellent way to get some all-important exercise. Discover five things you can do to get outdoors and make the most of 'green therapy' below...
1. GROW YOUR OWN
The idea of ‘growing your own’ is not only a great way to focus your time, but also to have access to fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the year, while maintaining your immune system with healthy, home-grown food.
Even if you don’t have a large garden, growing produce such as chillies, tomatoes and strawberries don’t require a lot of space, and for those who are new to gardening, are relatively easy to maintain and care for.
See: Garden to plate - the best produce to grow in a greenhouse
2. GET YOUR FAMILY INVOLVED
Getting out and about in the garden is an excellent way to keep the kids entertained. Watching something grow from seedling to full bloom is not only incredibly satisfying, it can bring on a real sense of pride and purpose.
Why not get the whole family involved in gardening by starting a sunflower growing competition or seeing how many birds, insects and other types of wildlife they can spot?
Gardening's not only a great family bonding exercise, but it can also help improve young children’s fine motor development, as they learn how important it is to be delicate with plants.
3. NO SPACE? NO PROBLEM
Even if you have a small city garden, you can still make the most of your outdoor oasis. There are lots of different small garden ideas that can transform your compact space into a natural retreat. Whether you have potted plants or a vertical planter, you can still grow wellness plants and smaller fruit and veg.
4. HOW TO GET STARTED
While this all sounds great, you may be wondering how you can get started? If you’re a novice, or looking to grow a green thumb, there’s lots of useful information and seed retailers online.
Gardena has also recently launched the myGarden app, available on iOs, which includes a free, extensive plant library. The plant library offers expert advice on how best to care for specific plants, all available at your fingertips. You can also order all the tools you need to get your garden blooming online at retailers like tooledup.co.uk or worldofwatering.co.uk. There’s also lots of useful information, tips and hints available at gardena.co.uk.
Ruth Doherty is an experienced digital writer and editor specializing in interiors, travel and lifestyle. With 20 years of writing for national sites under her belt, she’s worked for the likes of Livingetc.com, Standard, Ideal Home, Stylist and Marie Claire as well as Homes & Gardens.
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