Keith has been involved in the gardening and landscaping industry for the past 21 years. From a jobbing gardener to running his own landscaping services....
It has long been accepted that gardening can be exceedingly beneficial to those that might be struggling with their mental health. Recent studies[1,2] have shown just how good gardening can be as part of a broader recovery and maintaining good mental health.
Two of the most important recent studies to have been released are Cities study by the Royal Horticultural Society and a Finnish study of the Impact of Physical activity.
In the Cities study just carried out over 6,000 people in the UK who considered themselves regular gardeners i.e. those that would actively garden two or three times every week reported to feeling considerably less stressed and having a positive well-being, scoring nearly 7% higher on their scale as a result of their gardening activities.
The Cities study research carried out by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in collaboration with University of Sheffield and the University of Virginia, in addition, showed that gardening every day allows the body to absorb increased amounts of ‘Vitamin G’ with mental health dramatically improving as periods of depression were reduced by 13%, stress reduced by 16% and energy increasing by up to 12%.
New Gardening Initiative Launched to Help with Mental Health
It is has been good to see that several initiatives have resulted from these studies including a new project being set up in County Down (Northern Ireland) to help utilize the benefits of gardening for both physical and mental wellbeing.
A ‘Let’s Grow Together’ initiative has been developed by the Mind Your Mate and Yourself -MYMY charity located in Newcastle. It has the backing of the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and focuses on the people living alone.
With the help the leading local recycling business Natural World Products, those taking part are provided with will tools and supplies they will need to get them started gardening quickly so that their path to better mental health can be expedited.
 Ulrich Schmutz, Coventry University, Garden Organic and Sustain: The benefits of gardening and food growing for health and wellbeing
 Nakamura R. Fujii E., Techn Bull Fac Hort Chiba University: Studies of the characteristics of the electroencephalogram when observing potted plants.
 Cities: Why garden? Attitudes and the perceived health benefits of home gardening
 BMC Public Health, Kaija Appelqvist-Schmidlechne: Relationship between different domains of physical activity and positive mental health among young adult men