Gardening is good for you and you don’t need ‘green thumbs’ to experience the benefits.
Psychologists have done a number of studies that show how therapeutic gardening can be.
Whether you’re stressed out, suffer from depression or other mental affliction such as post traumatic stress disorder, gardening can be helpful. The number of Horticultural Therapy locations springing up globally attest to the fact.
It’s not just adults who find gardening therapeutic. Children are also positively impacted. Gardening is a slow, stable, non judgmental pursuit that beautifully illustrates the law of sowing and reaping. Planting seeds, watering them, watching them sprout their first green leaves above the ground, tending them patiently and finally reaping the reward of a flower or fruit does something inside us. It’s so elemental. So ‘right’. It calls to something deep within us affirming life and goodness.
Psychologists believe that children who are exposed to gardens and become involved in gardening become settled and secure. Gardens provide a stable environment that doesn’t change quickly. It’s a place where they can let their guard down and allow their inner selves to heal and become whole. Travis Slagle, a Horticultural Therapy Association member and land supervisor at Pacific Quest says that children involved in gardens are building a community and learning to engage in conversation. He says that gardens provide an opportunity for them to learn life lessons including how to problem solve in the immediate while planning for the future. They can plant, grow, harvest, sell and cook produce such as fruits and vegetables. Cash earned can be saved and donated to charity. The whole cycle of life is covered during the gardening process.
Psychologists have also discovered that convicts who participate in gardening are less likely to revert to bad behaviour once they are released from prison. They’ve also found that gardening helps promote a positive outlook amongst people who are ill.
Using gardening as a non invasive therapy doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t need to cost a lot. It’s something you can do at home, even in an apartment or in a climate where gardening is seasonal.
It can be as small a project as a single potted plant, or a container garden or as ambitious as a special section within your garden, or an entire garden. You can begin any time of the year with simple indoor projects if your climate doesn’t support planting during the colder months.
If this is something that interests you, either for yourself, your children or your community, come in and chat with us. We can help you with ideas and get you started at whatever level you like.