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The Health Benefits of Gardening

by Jo Tytherleigh

Spending time with nature can bring a huge sense of well being. We feel nourished by fresh air and reinvigorated by the green of trees and grass. Our senses are awakened by the sights, sounds and scents of the great outdoors.

Becoming involved in the gentle play of nature – by getting our hands in the earth and connecting to our environment by growing some of our own food – can give us a deeper and continued feeling of wellbeing on many levels.

We not only benefit physically, from the exercise and stimulation that we get from moving our bodies outside, but gardening also brings great benefits for our mental health.

There have been many studies to show that people who participate in gardening have a more positive mental outlook and that those who feel a connection to nature are happier.

When we garden we are connected to the cycles and rhythms of nature. This is a healing and restorative process.

Spending time in the garden means we naturally slow down. Becoming absorbed in our activities we lose sense of time. It’s easy to forget our daily worries and disappear into ‘the zone’; a state of mind similar to meditation.

We become very present and focused on a particular activity. Our senses are heightened and awakened. This is an effective way to reduce our stress levels.

When commiting to a garden an emotional bond is formed. We become responsible for plants, insects, mini beasts, microorganisms and soil, that are all relying on us.

Without becoming too serious about this, it is a form of committment that can bring a huge sense of achievement.

Gardening satisfies many creative urges. It is an artistic activity that can produce a result that is both productive and beautiful.

However, like many practices that we commit to in our lives, it is not just the results that we are interested in but the process along the way.

To reach our destination, there must first be a journey…and the journey of gardening is one that is rich, diverse and healing.

Our Field to Fork blogs are tasters of what we explore on our live courses at Harewood Farm, near Calstock in East Cornwall.

Coming soon…tips for growing your own in small spaces and urban gardens. Plus we will share with you our own personal stories around gardening and the benefits we have experienced in our own lives.

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