One of the great joys and many attractions of the hobby of gardening is that it can be explored and enjoyed in a variety of ways, with its endless possibilities for self-expression. It can also provide a wonderful boost to our wellbeing with its many health benefits.
A surge in interest
Gardening can boost both our physical and mental wellbeing, especially in the current climate, so it is no surprise that it has seen a boost in its popularity this year, with a surge of people rediscovering and participating in outdoor spaces, not just for leisure and relaxation, but also for escape and even to provide for themselves.
A versatile pastime
The mass appeal of gardening is partly due to the staggering range of versatility as well as the wide range of positive benefits, whether it is used as a hobby, to express ourselves artistically, to improve our physical and mental well being or a combination of these. No matter what space is available to you, there is always an opportunity for gardening, be it indoor gardening, an allotment space or even a shared community garden.
Peace and clarity
Among the benefits of gardening are the mental clarity and feelings of reward that can be gained. It can instil a sense of peace and joy, helping promote positivity in ourselves and the wider community. It can also lead to self-sufficiency and the development of many valuable skills, as well as improved social connections which foster a more connected community.
Although I have been gardening since I was a small child, I always feel that there is more to learn and gardening always reignites my childlike curiosity. I am constantly surprised, the more that I learn and explore different areas of this multifaceted hobby.
I love the sense of peace and accomplishment from this hobby and how it has benefitted me by easing my stress levels and promoting a sense of calmness and a grounded connection to the natural world, and then there are the endless creative possibilities of the hobby. I also find that the process of nurturing plants fosters a greater sense of self-esteem.
Gardening is not as intense and high-impact as other exercises, which in and of itself can be a benefit for those looking for a gentler approach to exercise. Gardening features activities that require physical effort such as raking leaves and lifting compost. It is also incredibly good for the heart from its manual labour aspects which can burn calories as well as the relaxation it offers.
I’ve also found gardening to be an absorbing physical activity that has helped me to improve my coordination and fine motor skills, improving the strength of the hands while also producing something incredibly satisfying.
Gardening for mental health
The mental health benefits of gardening are wide ranging. It is good for relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression, as it gives the mind something to focus on by using specific tasks and a clear outcome. The act of growing and nurturing things can also be extremely empowering.
Happiness through gardening
One of the many things that gardening provides is the sense of happiness that we get in childhood from being completely immersed in something. Not to mention that getting dirt under our fingernails has been scientifically proven to actually make us happier by releasing serotonin when we inhale a certain bacteria called m vaccae which is a healthy bacteria that lives in soil.
A great group activity
Another benefit of gardening is that can be a solo or a group activity. It can be used to bond with other people informally, or through an organised session of garden therapy. It is also great for both adults and children. Prior to the pandemic, I volunteered in a local gardening club, where children relished the time spent growing and nurturing things, not to mention getting dirty fingernails!