Gardening for the soul

July 15th, 2016 by The Mag Editors in Features

Getting back to nature and enjoying the sunshine brings with it a whole host of health benefits. It’s not just about keeping your garden in shape, taking time to enjoy plants and flowers and breathing in the fresh air can keep your mind in tip top shape as well.

Our guest editors share their views on why gardening is good for the soul – and let us into a few secrets for first time gardeners.

‘Keeping memories alive’ by Beryl and Sid

Since we’ve been gardening, we have found that it has become a remembrance garden – but not in the morbid sense! We can look around the garden and there might be a plant somebody bought us as a present, or a shrub we took a cutting of while away on holiday. It brings back so many wonderful memories. There are so many stories growing in our garden.

‘Seasonal soup from a seasonal garden’ by Joan

The soup that Averil, our scheme manager makes is delicious. It’s pureed so you can’t actually tell it’s got vegetables in it – which is great for me as I’ve never liked eating vegetables! It’s really healthy and everything is home-grown in our communal garden. It has carrots, cauliflowers, leek and parsnips. We also grow fruit in the garden including figs, blackberries and rhubarb. So the garden offers us plenty of fresh and healthy things to eat.

‘A door into another world’, by Doug and Anne

For us, it’s a door into another world. All the colours and flowers are lovely. It’s almost like meditation, we get completely lost in the garden. It’s incredibly therapeutic and calming.

‘Bringing your senses to life’ by Barbara

In the evening time, the garden smells beautiful. When the honeysuckle opens up its lovely and it brings all your sense to life.

Guest editors’ top tips:

  • Get social and work together in a communal garden or shared allotment
  • Plant raised flower beds – they’re better for your back as you don’t have to bend down so far
  • Protect your knees by buying kneepads for working on the ground
  • Deadhead your flowers regularly – and you’ll get more back
  • Build a wooden cold frame or use old net curtains to protect your plants from slugs and other insects.
  • Close your eyes and wander round a garden. Pick out the smells and do this each season. If you plant by smell rather than just appearance, your garden will have something all year round for those who have poor sight.
  • For wonderful scents, go for: Lilac, lavender, sweet peas, honeysuckle, night-scented stocks, wallflowers, jasmine and dianthus.