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Benefits of Plants & Gardening

Plants are crucial to our existence by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Other benefits include stabilising soil, providing wildlife habitats and creating shade.

Indoor Plants

Some house plants are scientifically proven to have powerful air-purifying effects, below is a selection of some of the most popular plants in this category:

  • Aglaonema – Chinese Evergreen
  • Calathea
  • Chlorophytum – Spider Plant
  • Dracaena
  • Dypsis Lutescens  -Areca Palm
  • Hedra Helix – Ivy
  • Nephrolepis Exaltata – Sword Fern
  • Phlebodium – Blue Star Fern
  • Sansevieria – Mother in Laws tongue or Snake Plant
  • Spathiphyllum – Peace lily

See our ‘Houseplants – a breath of fresh air in our homes’ blog here for further information.

Garden Plants

A garden can be used for all types of plantings; a wildflower meadow for beauty and pollinating insects, neatly maintained borders full of shrubs and perennials for year round colour and interest, a ‘grow your own’ vegetable patch full of nutrients and flavour, fruit trees and bushes for sweet summer favourites, or aromatic herbs for cooking and health. The possibilities are enormous and once you understand your soil type and position of your garden you can really utilise your outdoor space to grow a successful garden that suits your lifestyle.

Gardening & Health 

The effect of gardening to our health is broad and diverse, being both physically and mentally beneficial.  It is because of the benefit it brings to our complete ‘being’ that gardening does in fact contribute something positive to everyone at almost any age.

Physical Benefits – studies show that prolonged light gardening can burn more calories than a gym session.  Despite feeling much easier to do, it is the length of time spent gardening combined with the steady burn of calories can reward one with increased stamina and contribute to weight loss.

Also, gardening is energetic and relaxing at the same time and as a hobby it is linked to long term reductions in overall reported health problems.

For the elderly, it is a great source of physical activity, helping maintain a sense of identity and independence as well as maintenance of good gait and balance which helps to prevent falls.

Children benefit from school gardening, and studies reveal that their fruit and vegetable intake increase with their broader knowledge from growing food.  Positive results in children’s sense of well-being, personal achievement and pride, especially among those with learning difficulties where a non-academic task is enjoyed.

Overall, most people would find a decrease in blood pressure, improved mood and self esteem when enjoying regular gardening as part of their healthy lifestyle and this in turn has a significantly positive effect on mental wellbeing.

Mental Health Benefits – Gardening will always benefit even the most chilled out among us.  The chemical release in our brains of Serotonin gives us a sense of wellbeing and happiness.  Consistent Serotonin release is linked with exercise, like gardening, done at a comfortable and steady pace.  And we can all enjoy a boost of Serotonin by getting out into natural daylight.

Gardening is considered as a general stress reliever for most of us as we deal with the day to day stresses of normal life, but there are others who tap into the healing effects of regular gardening.  It is widely recognised as therapeutic for those suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health issues.

Gardening benefits people suffering with anxiety and depression.  Research shows that gardening is a way to engage with nature through wilderness therapy, horticultural therapy and urban green spaces.  This time spent gardening is associated with increased emotion regulation, decreased neutral activity and as a result, decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression. Leading on from this, gardening is a perfect way to practice Mindfulness.

Mindfulness – stems from Eastern Buddhist traditions and practices.  Essentially, to focus the mind on the present without judgement.  There is a calmness when gardening as we become all consumed with the task, this is called ‘Flow’ – describing a state of mind when completely absorbed in an activity.  Mindfulness allows us to reconnect with our surroundings, to appreciate them and to understand ourselves better.  This is why Mindfulness is an essential healing tool for anxiety and depression.

And the benefits don’t stop there…