Have you ever looked at nature and felt calmer? Research suggests that just looking at a green space can help us de-stress.
Our relationship with nature is important for our mental health. A study by Mental Health Foundation into Mental Health and Nature found that how much we notice, think about and appreciate our natural surroundings can be critical for supporting good mental health.
Gardening and nature can support our mental health in so many ways, including the amazing role of plants.
Watering plants, for example, is a peaceful activity that can provide a sense of purpose and routine.
All plants provide mental health benefits. Some have extra qualities, like lavender with its aromatic scent and lemon balm which can be used in herbal tea.
Whether you own a single succulent, or have a garden bursting with flowers, plants can make wonderful friends to support your mental health.
Some people get so friendly with their plants that they give them names!
Jason Williams, also known as Cloud Gardener UK, started his gardening journey caring for plants on his 18th floor balcony. He noticed how caring for his plants was having a positive effect on him and his wellbeing.
He shares some of the names given to the real plant 'characters' he cares for.
Chad (Monstera Deliciosa)
"Chad is my first ever houseplant," explains Jason. "Chad has been with me since the very beginning of my Cloud Gardening journey."
Nile (Black Colocasia)
"Nile is an outrageously large black colocasia," laughs Jason. "I made the mistake of bringing her indoors over winter. She didn't do very well but I persevered and she bounced back. She reminds me to not give up on myself."
Chantelle (Monstera Thai Constellation)
"I created Chantelle from a few different cuttings," says Jason. "She has since gone on to be a beautiful plant. However, it was not plain sailing and she isn't perfect but I love her the way she is."