Gardening for Wellbeing – The Joy of Gardening
National Gardening Week celebrates the difference that gardens and gardening can make to people’s lives, aiming to raise awareness of the contribution to wellbeing and to inspire the next generation of gardeners. Join us in celebrating National Gardening Week in 2022 from 2-8 May1.
How can you get involved in National Gardening Week?
Gardening really is for us all! Whether you tend to your house plants, your own garden, maintain a community garden or take a walk through a public green space and admire someone else’s efforts, everyone benefits from gardening. The theme this year is ‘the joy of gardening’ and you can get involved by sharing your own garden moments on social media, #nationalgardeningweek. Spread some joy and share your pictures of plants and green space with family and friends!
What are the benefits of gardening?
As well as spreading joy, gardening has wide-reaching benefits for physical and mental wellbeing:
- Community gardens are a place for social activity and community building. Here you can enjoy walking, helping with maintenance and taking outdoor exercise while at the same time meeting people and making new friends.2.How do you use your green space to socialise?
- Seeing your garden take shape, growing indoor plants, or interacting with nature can increase positivity and self-esteem. Research shows that gardening at home or in community allotments may increase mental resilience3. Additionally, being outside and interacting with nature can have a calming effect, improving mood and reducing stress4.
- Gardening contributes to your recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Physical activity is important for heart health and heavy gardening involving digging and carrying heavy things will help maintain bone and muscle mass5.
- Growing fruit and vegetables in the garden or on a windowsill is a great way to increase fruit and vegetable intake, as well as being really fun for children. Growing fruit and vegetables themselves encourages children to be more open to actually eating them. Check out the Veg Power website for great activities to encourage children to eat more vegetables! https://vegpower.org.uk/
- Interestingly, gardening and interacting with soil can increase the diversity of microbes in the gut, which has been related to good physical health6. Contact with beneficial bacteria during time spent outdoors in nature can indirectly influence our gut microbiome and support our health by interacting with our immune system and other systems in the body7.
Would you like some inspiration? Yakult have a guide to growing Japanese vegetables, with more information about gardening for wellbeing and recipes, visit the page here https://www.yakult.co.uk/wellbeing/grow-with-yakult/
- RHS, National Gardening Week https://www.rhs.org.uk/get-involved/national-gardening-week/ (Sourced on: 24th March 2022).
- McGuire et al., Community Gardening and Wellbeing, Health & Place, 75(1) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S135382922200034X
- Sia et al., The impact of gardening on mental resilience in time of stress, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 68(1).
- Nature and Mental Health, Mind, https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/how-nature-benefits-mental-health/ (Sourced on: 24th March 2022).
- Exercise, NHS https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/ (sourced on 15/03/2022)
- Brown et al., Microbiota Composition in gardening and non-gardening families, Nature, 12(1), https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-05387-5
- Blum et al., Does soil contribute to the human gut microbiome? Microorganisms, 7(9), https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2607/7/9/287