Its National Gardening Week people – the week we celebrate by getting out into the garden and getting stuck in. The great news is, it’s fun! It’s also really rewarding, something you can do with family and a great way to connect with nature.
There’s been some really interesting research done on the benefits of gardening – including scientific proof that it can improve your mood. Get this – there is a harmless bacterium in the soil that’s been found to increase the serotonin levels in your brain, in a similar way to antidepressants. Feeling low? Pick up a trowel!
Other research suggests that gardening may help lower the risk of developing dementia. And anyone who gardens will tell you it’s a great way to relieve stress, lift your mood, burn calories and develop muscles you never knew you had!
As section sizes get smaller it’s important we still find ways to get outside and garden, so here are some easy ways to help you get the gardening bug.
- Plant up some large pots with a punnet of salad greens and a few herbs like chives, thyme and parsley. Use good quality potting mix, water well and you’ll be harvesting home grown fresh salad in a week or two.
- See if you can help out at your local school – lots of schools have gardens and would probably love an extra pair of hands. Get involved in a Garden To Table programme, which teaches kids how to grow, harvest and use the produce to prepare good healthy food.
- Do some weeding. You may hate it at first, but I guarantee that once you’ve finished you will get an enormous sense of satisfaction from how awesome it looks. Honestly!
- Find out where your nearest Community Garden is, and get involved
- Go for some instant gratification at your local garden centre – buy some potted colour and do up a pot for your outdoor table.
- Visit a friend with a beautiful garden. Admire a few plants, and before you know it you will be sent home with cuttings, divisions and baby plants to take home. Gardeners are generous people.
- Go and visit your local park or Botanical Garden and take a look at what’s in bloom at the moment – you may just fall in love!