GARDENING IS GOOD FOR YOU!
By Adam Pasco
Like many of you, I love gardening!
As a young child, and with no television in the house, I preferred being outside. Ours was a large overgrown Victorian garden where ground elder ruled, complete with mature fruit trees, veg plot, derelict greenhouse and potting shed. With five kids in the family, we were each given an area of our own to nurture, and that’s where my passion for gardening began!
An interest in plants and nature led me to work on a tree and shrub nursery before studying for a degree in horticulture and entering the world of gardening journalism. For me gardening has become so much more than a hobby, but my family garden is where it started all those years ago.
I’ve always known that gardening means different things to different people, but research from around the world has now confirmed something many gardeners already know – gardening really is good for you!
Not only are gardens great places to relax, but just being in or looking out onto gardens and green spaces has been shown to relieve stress, improving wellbeing and creativity. By creating a beautiful garden outside your own back door you’ll have a personal sanctuary to step out into, and somewhere to grow healthy food, welcome in wildlife, and spend time with family and friends.
Gardening has many benefits for your health and wellbeing. These include providing exercise and staying active, relieving stress, grounding and connecting with nature, enjoying and sharing your garden with others – all helping to feed your mind, body and soul.
It’s a creative, rewarding and productive pastime, with opportunities to learn new skills, find out about exciting new plants, share ideas and make new friends. All these have a positive and restorative affect on mental and physical health, keeping mind and body active, whatever your age.
In fact, gardening has be described as the Natural Health Service, as doctors recognise the numerous benefits gardening brings without the need for costly therapies and drugs, with their unwelcome side effects.
GROW YOUR OWN
For instance, eating well can start by growing your own organic homegrown crops – all part of the ‘5 a day’ we all need to provide nutrients, health-boosting vitamins and minerals, and essential phytochemicals that help protect our bodies against disease. Herbs not only add wonderful flavours to our home cooking and teas, but bring many health benefits too.
Crops can be grown in even the smallest of spaces, providing the reward of picking fresh produce you’ve raised yourself. Combine these with colourful plants and fragrant flowers and any outdoor space will be transformed to become a truly sensory experience, giving you somewhere relaxing to sit or a vibrant space to socialise and entertain with family and friends.
AT ONE WITH NATURE
By choosing the right plants we can design gardens that encourage birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife to drop in for food, water and shelter, or even take up residence. Many beneficial insects and creatures also feed on garden pests too, controlling them naturally without the need to spray with harmful pesticides.
Developing an all-year-round wildlife-friendly garden satisfies our own creativity and feeling of achievement, bringing us outdoors and closer to nature to reduce stress and improve our wellbeing. Contact with plants and the soil also enhances our health and boosts the immune system, too.
NEW GARDEN CENTRE PROMOTION
‘Gardening is Good For You’ is the theme of a new monthly plant promotion I have developed for the Horticultural Trades Association. Starting in January 2019, different topics related to gardening for health and wellbeing will be highlighted each month, so check out you local garden centres to see if they are involved.
Adam Pasco is an experienced gardener, lecturer and consultant living in Peterborough. As the former editor of BBC Gardeners’ World magazine, Waitrose Garden, Garden News and Garden Answers magazines he has worked on a variety of gardening television programmes, books, magazines, websites and newspapers during his 36 years as a gardening journalist.
He has twice been crowned ‘Editor of the Year’ by the British Society of Magazine Editors, and been awarded ‘Practical Journalist of the Year’ by the Garden Media Guild.
Adam is currently working with the HTA on a new monthly garden centre promotion for 2019/20 on the theme ‘Gardening is Good For You’ promoting the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening.
For Adam’s contact details visit http://www.AdamPascoMedia.com