By Megan Slack
Immunity gardens are the newest trend we're all excited about this spring, according to dietitians and horticultural experts.
See: Kitchen garden ideas - 10 easy ways to get started
We all hope to maintain a strong immune system, so it is unsurprising that immunity plants are taking over gardens in 2021. The trend improves our mental and physical wellbeing and is accessible to any type of gardener – whether you have a balcony jungle or a vast and verdant space.
'Planting an immunity garden right in your backyard will do a world of good,' shares dietitian Marisa Moore for Burpee. 'It offers unlimited access to nutrient-dense vegetables that help support your overall health and wellbeing. Tomatoes are a great example – they are rich in vitamin C, which plays a vital role in a healthy immune system,' she says.
Are you thinking of embracing this trend? And which other plants should you consider planting? Before you begin, take advice from the experts at the top of the garden game.
- See: Raised bed garden ideas – build raised planters now for productive, low- maintenance gardening
Where should you begin with an immunity garden?
Before you start your immunity garden, you need to consider which plants you already have, and how these (sometimes surprising) plants are already working together to improve your wellbeing.
'Think about what is already in your garden to start. Just being in contact with trees and grass can help us build immunity, and many easily identifiable weeds, such as nettles and dandelions, are hugely beneficial to our health,' shares garden expert Ellen Mary. So before you get too ruthless with weeding, bear in mind many common weeds are worth keeping if you want to embrace the trend for immunity gardens.
Which immunity-boosting plants should you include?
We already know about the power of tomatoes, but what else should we grow? While many plants come with their own benefits, those listed below are all celebrated for their immunity-boosting qualities.
See: Small vegetable garden ideas – from layout designs to the best crops to grow
Improving your wellbeing has never tasted quite so good, as Calum Maddock, gardener at HomeHow, has given us all the excuses we could ever need to grow and eat yellow peppers.
'Yellow peppers are particularly helpful to improve your health, as they are backed with B-6 vitamins, which can improve memory function and aids with depression,' he shares.
There is perhaps no better investment than a medicine plant, as Ellen Mary shares. 'There are many medicinal plants that can be grown for health purposes such as Calendula (Pot Marigold), Echinacea, which is like nature's antibiotic, and various herbs such as Thyme and Oreg,' she says.
'Echinacea is a purple flower that is used in various herbal medicines to improve immunity. It has also been used to treat flu symptoms, and many people take it to prevent the onset of illness,' Callum also adds.
Lavender is known for helping us sleep, but it can also improve your mood too, according to Andrew White from Rhino Greenhouses. 'Floral scents like lavender help to make you feel happier and can have a calming effect on your emotions,' he says.
'Lavender is proven to help you ease anxious feelings, which allows you to sleep better, which inevitably improves your immune system.'
See: Container gardening ideas – ways to create a lush oasis in the smallest of spaces
Lastly, Andrew praises the health qualities of everybody's favorite herbal plant: basil. 'With its ability to vastly improve your mood, much like it improves almost any recipe you add it to, basil is a must if you're looking for a plant that's sure to have you happy in no time.
'Basil contains linalool, the component that gives the herb its distinct and pleasant aroma, which is proven to have several positive effects on the body and immune system,' he explains.
See: Companion planting – the ultimate guide
An immunity garden boosts our health, tastes good, and we already have some elements in our garden already? We only wish we had known about this sooner.
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