Gardening for the soul

Gardening for the soul

It’s official - gardening is good for the soul according to new research from the National Gardening Scheme (NGS).

A survey of x000 gardeners found that over 85% agreed that visiting a garden has a positive impact on their wellbeing, with eight in 10 feeling happier after strolling around a garden.

The NGS released the survey, ‘Open the Garden Gate to Wellbeing’, as part of their Gardens and Health Week campaign, currently in its second year. The findings also show that despite almost all respondents having their own garden, two-thirds said visiting other gardens can be a calming experience and an enjoyable way to spend time with loved ones.

Over half said garden visiting aids creativity, and 52% said it gives you a feel-good factor because you’re donating to charity. Three-quarters (77%) said it helps you learn about plants, flowers and gardening.

The charity suggests a few tips on making the most of visits to publicly open gardens:

  • Ask the garden’s owner questions about the plants and flowers they grow, or about the inspiration behind their garden – you’ll get plenty of ideas for your own garden!
  • Take it slowly: don’t rush around the garden but take your time, scheduling a couple of hours for your visit and making sure you enjoy the tea and homemade cake that’s on offer.
  • Set aside time to breathe deeply and slowly for a few minutes. This will enhance your oxygen intake, boost your immune system and provide hormones that promote positive feelings.
  • Experience all five senses: close your eyes and listen to the noises of the garden, touch the bark and leaves of plants and notice the scents and perfumes that surround you.
  • Sit still, just for a few minutes, and do absolutely nothing. This takes practice, but eventually, you’ll notice new creativity and new ways of thinking about issues in your life.