By Megan Slack
Gardening therapy is being talked about again – no surprise, considering we are all looking for ways to deal with the pandemic, especially in the depths of winter. And while wellbeing and gardens have been connected for a while, it has been revealed that planting up your front yard is as good for you as meditation.
This week, Britain's Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) revealed that, since 2015, front yard greenery in the UK has grown by almost forty square miles – or the size of London's Hyde Park, with over one million UK front yards containing nothing but greenery. The RHS also shared that the amount of front gardens with no plants at all has halved.
These impressive statistic is particularly welcomed at a time when people are increasingly looking for activities that improve their wellbeing, preserve local wildlife, and heal the planet.
Despite the charity announcing an increase since 2015, the time frame reflects the flourishing desire to unwind with nature amid the stress of the pandemic – following suggestions that gardening can improve your physical and mental wellbeing. It seems the benefits of garden greenery are in abundance, as further to this reports suggest that maintaining a front garden is one of the best ways to add value to your home.
‘The RHS has been promoting the importance of adding plants to paved-over front gardens since 2015 when we launched our Greening Great Britain campaign,' explains Professor Alistair Griffiths, RHS Director of Science and Collections.
'Although there is still much to do, we are thrilled to see an improvement which has been helped by millions of people taking up gardening over lockdown and buying more plants to grow indoors and out.’
In spring 2020, the months in which people across the world were first instructed to stay at home, the RHS revealed that nearly half (48%) of all participants shared they had spent more time in their garden. Over a quarter (28%) had invested more time and money in gardening, with many admitting they bought plants for their garden.
‘RHS science suggests that this substantial increase in greenery will be bringing wide-reaching benefits to people’s mental and physical health and to wildlife, improving air quality, helping conserve water from rainfall and cooling cities in hot summer months,' Professor Griffiths continued.
'A recent RHS science project has shown that adding a few plants to a bare front garden reduces stress levels by as much as eight mindfulness sessions, so we are delighted by this increase in plant cover.’
Following the newfound fascination with gardening, and its benefits, across the UK, the Royal Horticultural Society declared the ‘RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science’ will launch in June 2021.
Opening in the RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, the facility will promote a greener future while sharing the incredible power of plants in improving health and the environment.
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