Research indicates 45 per cent of people believe it has been vital for their mental health.
As nature is the theme of next week’s Mental Health Awareness week, we have come up with some simple ways gardening and gardens can improve wellbeing this May.
Get into the garden more often
This is a no-brainer for us at Thrive, as we see how regular stints of gardening have positive effects on client gardeners’ wellbeing.
New UK-wide research this year has added more weight to this. Gardening two or three times a week has been linked to lower stress and greater wellbeing.
Plant a perennial seed
It’s hard to beat the satisfaction of growing from seed. Warmer weather means seeds for perennials can be sown outdoors. Easy ones to grow are alstroemerias, pictured above, and achilleas.
Rake the soil so it breaks down finely, create drills for the seeds, water them and then sow. In a few weeks, seedlings can be moved to grow on. Alternatively, sow them in containers.
Growing your own perennials saves money on buying plants at garden centres, while the process of sowing and nurturing is purposeful and will provide a sense of achievement that will enhance mood and wellbeing.
Take out your frustration
We all need to vent our frustration from time to time.
Weeds make a perfect target because there’s something cathartic about clearing a bed or a congested container.
Chances are there will be plenty of annual weeds popping up right now and a quick way to dispose of them is hoeing on a dry day. It’ll also get the blood pumping and benefit you physically.
Go far by staying put
Traditionally the flower show season starts this month but events like Chelsea have been postponed. However, there are ways to enjoy amazing gardens at home.
As well as being a way to appreciate stunning gardens, looking at images with green spaces has been shown to help relaxation and recovery from stress.
Delight your senses
There are good reasons why sweet peas are so popular. One of them is their fragrance and another is the sheer variety of the colours they offer, providing multisensory interest over a long flowering period.
Sweet peas can now be planted out where you want them to flower but have some protection handy in case a cold night is forecast. They’ll also need to be tied into wigwams or trellis to support their abundant growth.
In return, they’ll put on a display that will lift your mood and delight your senses.
Enjoy time out
This Sunday is Garden Day, an excuse if needed, to down tools and simply enjoy your green space.
Weather permitting, it’s also an opportunity to get some balance back into life if you feeling under the pump. Sit out and appreciate what’s growing and how bees, butterflies and birds interact with your garden.
It’s a positive way to enjoy natural processes, feel a sense of awe and of being part of something bigger. It can also help recapture a healthy sense of perspective and peace.