Nurture that Nature!
Dreamscape owner Dan Newby believes gardening is good for our mental health
I’ve written previously about how gardening is good physical exercise and makes you feel good, but did you know that a survey carried out by National Gardens Scheme (NGS) showed that 79% of people believe that access to a garden is essential for quality of life?
Well known gardener and TV personality Monty Don attributed his more positive attitude to his occasional bouts of depression not only to gardening but to simply being outdoors in the sunshine (sometimes!).
There’s something about getting out there amongst nature (even if you’re just tending a few pots and baskets) and feeling part of life that is good for the soul.
Even though I work as a gardener for a living (which brings its own stresses and strains), just spending a few weekend hours tending our own family garden helps me to wind down and clear my thoughts.
Maybe it’s the nurturing aspect of it that makes me feel good – watching a seedling sprout and grow over several weeks not only encourages me to learn patience but fills me with a sense of achievement every time.
Sigmund Freud said “Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts” and I believe this separateness is good for us too – it helps us to stop worrying about what other people think about us and concentrate on simply getting that plant to thrive!
There are certain rules with gardening too – simple stuff that MUST be done to achieve success: like watering when it’s dry, weeding to avoid being overpowered, mowing, mulching and feeding.
All these tasks are a kind of ritual that once carried out we know will produce a result – a greener lawn, stronger blooms, tidier flowerbeds, more colour. Cause and effect: put the effort in and boom, your garden will respond!
It’s very, very satisfying in a way that few other activities are and I think it’s this outcome that produces the feeling of well-being we crave.
So if you feel a bit down in the dumps, get your wellies on and start sorting that garden out.