National Gardening Week – Gardening is Good for the Soul

National Gardening Week this year is from Monday 26 April to Sunday, 2 May 2021 is the UK’s biggest celebration of gardening and the outdoors.  Spearheaded by the RHS, this year’s theme is Get Your Dose of Vitamin G! which will highlight the health benefits of gardening throughout the week.  It has been well documented that gardening is good for your soul and is often referred to as the “Natural Health Service.”

Gardens and landscapes have long been used as sanctuaries to escape from the stresses of life.  Here we take a look into why being outdoors makes us feel happier.

Physical Health

Gardening is a very healthy hobby with a survey commissioned by the RHS revealing that 80% of UK gardeners saying that it helps to keep them fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

As little as 1-2 hours of gardening a day, along with other forms of moderate physical activity, can help reduce your stress levels, tone muscles, lower blood and cholesterol levels and reducing your risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes and strokes.

Did you know that just 30 minutes of physical work in the garden can equate to burning 250 calories?  Mowing the lawn can burn off 195 calories, weeding - 105 calories and raking - 100 calories.  It has been proven that digging or raking a lawn for 30 minutes requires as much energy as a 2km run.

There is mounting research evidence that hospital recovery rates improve when planting is visible, and the provision of green areas and having plants around office buildings has been shown to reduce employee annual sick leave by as much as 23%.

Mental Health

People who have regular access to green spaces can also increase our productivity, lower stress levels, and generally improve our moods.  A survey by Trellis, a leading horticultural therapy charity, revealed 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health problems in their lifetime.

Other benefits of an active interest in gardening includes the fresh air and the exercise that gardening brings boosts mood and offsets stresses of everyday life. This in turn releases serotonin and endorphins making people feel good and helping to feel more positive.

The nurturing and caring aspect looking after growing plants is important as it gives hope, purpose and a sense of achievement, boosting a person’s self-esteem. Gardening with others creates a sense of belonging and being part of something, connecting with others and combatting social isolation – charities such as Thrive use gardening for social and therapeutic rehabilitation programmes.

 

Here are some ideas from Gardenesque on how you can celebrate National Gardening Week at home.

Start a container garden at home

Container gardening is wonderful for small spaces, city gardening and allows you to garden if you rent your home.   They are portable, can be changed with the seasons, easy to maintain and can create a focal point in your outdoor space.

There are many different types of containers that you will encounter when choosing a planter for your garden.  Our selection of luxurious planters can create the feel of a country garden, cottage charm, Mediterranean or contemporary garden in an instant.

What’s more, any plant can be planted in a container, as long as the container you are using is appropriate for the plant that you have. Container planting means you can add colour, scent and even food to your garden, so why not try planting one this week.

 

Turn the inside of your home into an urban jungle

Houseplants bring many benefits to our lives and are good for health.   They can greatly improve the quality of the air we breathe, removing toxins used in some paints, detergents and other household materials, and various allergens. 

The RHS lists several health benefits of houseplants too, including reduced blood pressure and breathing problems. They also increase attention span and improve productivity, which is great for those working from home and in offices too. 

Great houseplants to have in your interior space include Peace Lilies, Ferns, Dracaena, Aloe Vera and Sansevieria.  Our range of indoor planters will let your plants do the talking by bringing sophistication and effortless elegance within your walls

Get the children involved

Why not try building a bug hotel to attract creepy crawlies to your garden?   We have a great guide here that can get the whole family involved.

Now is the time to start sowing sunflowers so another great way to start gardening is to have a sunflower growing competition brings out the competitive side in both children and adults.

If you have some budding artists in the family, then why not paint one of our terracotta pots? Faces are an ideal design for painted pots, as hair can then be grown with cress seeds and other microgreens.  Or why not decorate with rainbows to thank our NHS workers or stars that illuminate your outdoor space?

Invite birds to your garden

Research conducted by the University of Exeter, the British Trust for Ornithology, and the University of Queensland has shown that people living in environments with more birds, shrubs and trees are significantly less exposed to feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.

Providing bird food and a bird bath will help to attract all kinds of bird species to your outdoor space. Our beautiful selection of classic and statement bird baths and bird feeders are perfect for creating a feathered sanctuary in your garden. We have also written a guide on choosing the right bird feeder and food for your garden so avian visitors will visit for many seasons to come.

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