Gardening is a great way to relax and unwind. Find out how to make the most of this healthy hobby.
Planting flowers and vegetables can reap bountiful bouquets and delicious harvests for your dining table. But did you know gardening can also do wonders for your general wellbeing and physical health?
Read on to find out about the many benefits associated with gardening.
Garden yourself happy!
Gardens are special, peaceful spaces with restorative qualities that can work wonders when we are stressed and under pressure. Time and activity in nature is good for us. Evidence strongly suggests that if we spend time in a green environment, then we reduce stress, improve mood and come away with improved wellbeing.
While gardens can be relaxing, they can also be places where our efforts result in a real sense of achievement, boosting confidence and self-esteem. There’s also good evidence that just looking at a green space has positive effects on people’s mental health, helping them relax and de-stress.
A home workout
As well as an enjoyable pastime, working in your garden is an excellent way to get all-round exercise. It can increase your strength, endurance and flexibility and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other medical conditions. It can also decrease the likelihood of osteoporosis. When you dig, plant, weed or engage in tasks that require strength or stretching, all your major muscle groups get a good workout. It can improve your hand strength, pinch force and nimbleness, as well as build and tone your gluteal muscles.
From garden to table
There’s nothing more rewarding than enjoying the fruit and veg you’ve grown from scratch. Plus, households who grow their own are more likely to consume around 40% more fruits and vegetables per day than those who do not. Having a vegetable patch can also be a great way to spend time with your grandchildren. Gardening is a fun, family-friendly activity that allows children to get their hands dirty and learn where their food comes from. From planting seedlings to harvesting together, starting a vegetable garden is a great way to get your family off the sofa and out in the fresh air.
Garden jobs for spring
Spring usually arrives by mid-March and the frequent sunny days provide the opportunity for an increasing range of gardening tasks. It's time to get busy preparing seed beds, sowing seeds, cutting back winter shrubs and generally tidying up around the garden. Now is also a good time to plant shallots, onions and spring potatoes. Don’t forget it's National Plant a Flower Day (12th March) and get any summer-flowering bulbs you may have in the ground.