Why is gardening good for mental health?

Posted: 12 May 2023

Gardening can improve our wellbeing, helping us feel relaxed and even giving us a sense of purpose. 

It is known to be a therapeutic activity, and not only can it reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression but it can also reduce stress and high blood pressure. 

You don’t necessarily need a garden to be able to enjoy a greener life. Studies have shown that reconnecting with nature and spending time in green spaces helps people to destress and relax which will have a significant improvement on mental health and mood. Why not take a walk in a green space near you – local parks, gardens or woods. Spending time in green space can benefit both your mental and physical health.

Looking after outdoor or indoor plants can give us a sense of responsibility – if we don’t prune, feed or water the plants, they may die. This responsibility is beneficial for people suffering with mental health issues, as it gives them purpose and a sense of worth. Plants can be nurtured and cared for by anyone without passing judgement. 

Being out in the garden can give our minds a break from those things that might be getting us down. The satisfaction of an orderly garden can be very therapeutic when other aspects of your life aren’t quite going to plan. Scientists have discovered that the mycobacterium found in the soil can improve brain functions while boosting moods. The mycobacterium vaccae found in the soil increases serotonin produced in the brain (also known as the 'happy' chemical). By getting your hands dirty, you're also making your brain happy! 

Gardening also gives us access to ample amounts of Vitamin D through the direct exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Vitamin D is clinically proven to improve mood! 

Bad day at work? Grab a shovel and get digging or get the garden shears and take it out on those brambles hiding in the hedge. Cutting, chopping, and digging are great ways of venting some bad feelings, and you’ll have something to show for it afterwards. 

If you don’t have a garden, there are many ways that you can still get green fingers. Perhaps you’d like to grow some fruit or vegetables? Try strawberries or tomatoes in a container on your balcony or perhaps some herbs on your windowsill. Strawberries are very versatile in the way they can be grown – hanging baskets, containers, or strawberry pots. Tomatoes are also a great vegetable to start growing – we have many varieties such as Tumbler and Tumbling Tom that are trailing varieties, great for hanging baskets or containers. 

Herbs are also a great plant to grow either in window boxes or on a windowsill. We have many herb plants in our plant area – come and create your very own herb garden.

If you don’t have a garden or would like to be part of a bigger garden, then community gardens are great for meeting new people, socialising and learning new skills. A community garden is a shared space where people grow plants in one large area or in smaller individual plots. Community gardens are normally set up to provide an impartial and safe space for adults to improve their mental and physical wellbeing in a friendly but structured environment. 

Here at Meadow Croft, we have our very own community garden. Sessions are every Tuesday between 10am - 12noon. Our RHS expert, Alison Findley, will be there each week to give guidance and share her knowledge, and there will always be a range of different activities to do (including table-top ones for those who can't or do not wish to do more physical activities). 

Please do come along, and feel free to bring along any friends or neighbours who might also be interested. There will be tea, coffee and snacks provided, and you don't need to bring anything except sensible clothing and footwear.  

If you would like to get involved, please call the Chelmsford CVS on 01245 351888 or email [email protected]

Or if you'd rather then you can simply come along on a Tuesday to find out how you can get involved. 


Why is gardening good for mental health?

With a beautiful weekend forecasted we asked the plant team to pick their favourite plant available right now, they felt it was like being asked to choose their favourite child…..but they did anyway!
Louise chose a hardy gerbera (but snuck in a Bella fuchsia as well when I wasn’t looking), Lorna chose a beautiful Lilac. Tam is obviously staying in with her amazing three stemmed orchid. Kaye, went for 2 hydrangeas and Elaine went big with her cercis tree.
They all look wonderful, and the plants don’t look bad either.
Homegrown 14” hanging baskets are now in stock!⁠

We have a wide selection of colour schemes for you to choose from, perfect for any garden. Both plants and baskets are grown and made at our nursery. ⁠

You can hang these in the garden from now, though be sure to secure them properly in windy weather!
Congratulations to our amazingly artistic winners of the Viola and Pansy Colouring Competition. We look forward to welcoming them back soon to spend their vouchers.
Touch me.......Smell me!

Our Award Winning Home Grown Scented Geraniums are now in stock, they may not look the most colourful plant, but give them a rub next time you pass and you will get an amazing selection of scents.
To attract attention to these amazing plants Jess from our nursery designed these beautiful perfume bottle labels and won an award at the HTA National Plant Show for her designs.
Wow, It looks like it isn't going to rain this weekend! Perfect time to get gardening.
Our nursery is incredibly busy producing plants for the whole country, but don't worry, we’re saving the best for you
Due to technical issues beyond our control, please note that this Sunday 14th April, Meadow Croft Kitchen will NOT be serving Sunday roasts. Our Sunday breakfast menu will be available until 11.30am as usual and then our normal weekday lunch menu will be served from 12pm-2.30pm. We will still have plenty of delicious dishes and treats for you to enjoy.
Thank you for your understanding.
MCK Team.
Milkshakes are officially back at The 10th Hole! ⛳⁠

Choose from Strawberry, Raspberry Ripple, Flake, Oreo, Biscoff, Chocolate, Vanilla and Espresso flavours while you putt your way around the course
Looking to give your plants a boost as the weather gets better? ⁠

Stop by the garden centre and pick up a box of @MiracleGro's all purpose plant food. Get 20% extra feed free! ⁠

Simply feed every two weeks from March to September using a feeder or watering can
Have you seen our new furniture department? Lynn and Simon love it so much that while the weather has been poor, they can be found relaxing in it. With the weather about to improve they’re going back out into their garden. Come and have a look around for some inspiration to create your outside living space.
#outdoorroom #outdoorliving #gardenfurniture #barbecue
It’s opening time at ‘The Meadows’ our in store local bottle shop.
New Hall wine, Essex gin and local beer all available now.

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