We all know how nurturing plants & watching them grow, enjoying the colours & scents in a garden, help reduce anxiety & stress. It’s not surprising then, that doctors can send patients with mental health problems to Community Gardens instead of prescribing medication.
Here’s a few ideas to help your garden become a place of serenity, & help you through this challenging time.
Grow scented plants.
Roses have an intoxicating scent, rosemary reminds whets the appetite and running your hands through lavender has a calming effect. Plants are strongly connected to our emotions, & remember, it’s possible to have scented plants for most of the year.
Choose a hidden spot to place a bench or a couple of chairs, I guarantee you’ll spend more time enjoying your garden. You’ll have the chance to sit amongst the plants & relax, even if it’s only for ten minutes.
A pond or small water feature is a nice addition to a garden, attracting birds & insects. Ideally have one with a trickle of water for a soothing sound.
Nurturing seedlings and watching them grow is good for your mental health. Sow flower and/or vegetable seeds straight into the soil now. Brightly coloured calendula/English marigolds, poppies, nasturtium are all easy. Salad leaves & radishes are lovely picked fresh from the soil, & grow in just a few weeks.
Take some gentle exercise
I like the repetitive task of weeding, & the gentle motion of hoeing vegetable beds & sweeping paths. Keep it gentle.
Hearing bird song or watching a blue-tit have a wash in a bird-bath is a lovely thing to see. Food, shelter & water are all birds need to make a home in a garden. As many once common birds, such as house sparrows & starlings, are on the endangered list, you’ll be doing an amazing small act of rescue too.
Endangered bird species are those that have declined by more than 50% in the last twenty-five years. Find out more here.
An article in The Independent about Green Prescriptions.
Stay well & enjoy your garden, balcony or allotment.
All photos: Jill Anderson