Gardening is a popular pastime, especially in the UK. It came to the fore in 2020 especially, when people’s activities were restricted, and they turned to the garden as a stress-busting haven.
With garden centres temporarily closing to the public, the industry was forced to accelerate its growth online. This legacy continues today, making gardening more accessible.
It’s not too late to take up gardening or get back into your groove with it if things have slipped. Here are a few of the positive effects it can have.
Gardening is an underrated form of physical exercise. Garden maintenance activities like lawn mowing, raking and digging provide an excellent workout. The good news is that you probably won’t even notice it. Your mind will be preoccupied with the task at hand.
Even just walking around in your garden is great for your physical health. It replaces time you might otherwise have spent being sedentary.
Connection to nature
Having a well-kept garden motivates you to spend more time in it, maintaining its current state. This fosters a profound connection to nature that many of us have lost. You’ll observe the growth cycles of plants, the behaviour of wildlife and the changing seasons closely.
If you’re a keen gardener, you can even set up polytunnels in your garden so that you’re more likely to maintain this connection all year round, even in winter. These give you more control over the temperature and can even give you an extended growing season. This is especially valuable if you grow fruit, vegetables and herbs because it can maximise your harvests.
As a lot of us found out in 2020, spending time in the garden can do wonders for the mind. This applies whether you’re getting involved with the garden or relaxing in it.
Around 7 million first started gardening during the pandemic. Of these, around two-thirds reported feeling like it had benefitted their mental health.
Plenty of other research has also investigated the connection between gardening and mental health. Increased exercise, exposure to sunlight and the satisfaction of watching hard work turn into something beautiful is a winning combination.
When you look after your garden, you could also be looking after wildlife! Cultivating a garden creates a mini ecosystem that supports local biodiversity. By choosing native plants and creating small habitats, you’re attracting birds, bees and other wildlife to benefit from the space.
Though you might think of gardening as a solitary activity, the social benefits are also great! A well-kept garden is the perfect place to host friends for barbeques and other social gatherings. It also may encourage other people you live with to spend more time outdoors. It’s a win-win situation for all involved.