Category Archives: Health Benefits

The therapeutic value of the garden in trying times

If someone were to say I must self-isolate in the garden for the next few weeks, I would shake him or her by the hand. If I could. Here’s a thumbs up from a distance of six feet or more.

The neighborhood sidewalks and nature trails are thronged with the cabin-fevered, so what better place to be outdoors and yet away from others than in your backyard and garden?

You can sit out there with the newspaper and a cup of coffee, but in time both of those pleasures will come to an end.

The mark of a true gardener is a person who does not see a finished landscape but a series of tasks that need to be tackled. This isn’t as onerous as it sounds because it gets to the essential elements of gardening: creativity, honest toil and the satisfaction of a job well done. Aches and pains come along for the ride, but that’s why we have bathtubs.

READ THE FULL POST: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/gardening-self-isolating-coronavirus/2020/03/23/30bae166-6a08-11ea-9923-57073adce27c_story.html

How to plant a well-being garden for your physical, mental and social health

There is an ever-growing body of scientific evidence that gardens and gardening are good for our physical, mental and social wellbeing. Having something to nurture brings a sense of unpressured purpose to our lives. And if you choose the right plants and design, you can enhance the wellbeing your garden provides.

A considered, layered approach to planting can block traffic noise; the right trees and shrubs can combat pollution; certain flowers can keep pollen counts low, while still encouraging bees and insects; and scented plants can reduce stress. Here’s how to do it.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) looks great in mixed borders or pots, can be used in many recipes, and is proven to enhance alertness, memory, reduce anxiety, improve mood and aid relaxation.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Be sure it doesn’t take over, so place in pots (in sunny spots). Peppermint will enhance attention, alertness and memory as well as reduce stress.

Lavender (Lavandula) A therapeutic garden classic, fantastic for improving concentration, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing relaxation and improving mood. Plant near a back door or seating areas for maximum exposure.

Thyme (Thymus) A great robust ground cover that, if planted along the edge of a path or gaps within paving, will release its beautiful scent when stepped on.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/14/how-to-plant-a-wellbeing-garden

How to plant a well-being garden for your physical, mental and social health

There is an ever-growing body of scientific evidence that gardens and gardening are good for our physical, mental and social wellbeing. Having something to nurture brings a sense of unpressured purpose to our lives. And if you choose the right plants and design, you can enhance the wellbeing your garden provides.

A considered, layered approach to planting can block traffic noise; the right trees and shrubs can combat pollution; certain flowers can keep pollen counts low, while still encouraging bees and insects; and scented plants can reduce stress. Here’s how to do it.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) looks great in mixed borders or pots, can be used in many recipes, and is proven to enhance alertness, memory, reduce anxiety, improve mood and aid relaxation.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Be sure it doesn’t take over, so place in pots (in sunny spots). Peppermint will enhance attention, alertness and memory as well as reduce stress.

Lavender (Lavandula) A therapeutic garden classic, fantastic for improving concentration, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing relaxation and improving mood. Plant near a back door or seating areas for maximum exposure.

Thyme (Thymus) A great robust ground cover that, if planted along the edge of a path or gaps within paving, will release its beautiful scent when stepped on.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/14/how-to-plant-a-wellbeing-garden

Dame Helen Mirren says gardening helps soothe her anxiety and keep “her dragons” away

Fred Duval – Getty Images

Dame Helen Mirren has revealed that gardening helps to soothe her anxiety and keep her “dragons” away.

The multi award-winning actor said: “I am not very good at turning off but gardening is a wonderful thing to do because it is absorbent, meditative, a learning process and it is physical. It is a really good way of keeping those dark dragons away. I do have them. I do, yes,” Helen told The Mirror.

Last summer, the British actor spoke of the challenges she faced when it came to her mental health. Speaking on the My Self Worth podcast — which was made in ­collaboration with The Prince’s Trust — she said she often felt boring and not exciting enough.

“These negative thoughts are always lurking there under the surface. Everybody feels this way, you are not the only one. What always comes up in my head is that I’m boring, I’m stupid, I’m not exciting enough.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://www.countryliving.com/uk/wildlife/countryside/a31071382/helen-mirren-gardening-helps-anxiety/