As well as being good for the environment and for wildlife research has found that gardening is good for people’s wellbeing too.
Gardening and being in nature has been shown to improve emotional wellbeing as well as physical health. British physician Sir Muir Gray has gone so far as to say that we should have a ‘Natural Health Service’ as well as a National Health Service.
For many people gardening and being out in green spaces can help to reduce anxiety, depression and cognitive decline. Schools have also found that being out in nature often has a beneficial effect on children’s wellbeing. Hospitals have even found that patients who are in rooms/wards with windows that face the natural environment rather than walls recover quicker.
With this in mind and with Covid-19 forcing many of us to be spending much more time at home I decided this spring to start to grow vegetables; spinach, peas, kale, broad beans, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce and swiss chard. Watching the seedlings sprout up has been so rewarding and a lesson in being patient! Up until this spring my garden had become increasingly overgrown but now I have cleared it and claimed back the space to grow my vegetables. Being out in my garden during the lockdown has given me a space to reflect, to wonder what the future will bring for all of us and to smile. It has helped to keep my thoughts on a positive track and to remind me how precious and amazing nature is. I haven’t got any fancy raised beds or a greenhouse. I just had an overgrown garden, some packets of seeds, a garden fork and some extra time.
So with Milton Keynes having so many green spaces and lots of us having gardens, if you can try to get outside and enjoy being in nature. It will hopefully do your mind good as well as your body.
Below are links to some interesting reports relating to gardening, green spaces and our well being:
You can also find some useful tips and ideas on how to grow your own food and how community-gardening and conservation projects can positively impact our mental health and wellbeing – on the Planting Up MK website: