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With the bright mornings full of birdsong and the unmistakable stretch in our evenings, what better way to tune into the changing seasons than by spending time in your garden.

Gardening is sometimes mistakenly thought of as an activity reserved for aficionados, the ‘green-fingered’ among us who can recall the Latin names of plant varieties with ease.

We want to put this stereotype to bed and to show that gardening is for everyone. It’s all about having fun, getting stuck into a task and learning along the way! Along with general enjoyment, there are a range of physical and mental benefits we can reap from gardening which contribute to our wellbeing!


Gary’s tips for growing good health in your garden this year:

1. Reap what you sow: Growing a plant from seed to bloom is an extremely satisfying activity, instilling a responsibility on the gardener while also rewarding one’s efforts. Getting smaller hands involved can also raise a newfound appreciation for nature and its tangible results. Being outdoors also benefits overall health by breathing in better quality air, and getting necessary Vitamin D through sensible sun exposure.

2. Be Active: With the weather getting warmer, the ‘green gym’ can help to enhance and maintain overall fitness levels. Gardening activities combine, strength, endurance, and cardio exercise to great effect. Mowing a lawn with a push mower for just 30 minutes burns approximately 243 calories in exertion – that is the equivalent to the more strenuous activity of chopping wood for the same duration. Turing a compost pile for approximately 15mins exertion can burn in excess of 100 calories, or if you have restricted space, lifting a 5 litre watering can that is full of water in each hand is equivalent to holding 5kg dumbbells.

3. Get grounded: There are proven psychological benefits to connecting directly with nature through gardening activities. Whether weeding, planting, or trimming hedges; re-connecting with nature encourages people to see the beauty around them, and it also allows us to experience wildlife in their natural habitat.

4. Remove visible weeds: An unattended flower bed is much like an unattended mind, it can become overgrown with weeds. By physically clearing a garden of unwanted growth and weeds, it can also provide inner clarity and calmness. The colour green is proven to have relaxing effects, helping to lower stress and blood pressure levels.

5. Meditate in nature: The traditional seated act of mindfulness can easily be done in an outdoor setting, simply choose a comfortable area to sit in and be present. Allow nature sounds or nearby water features to guide the meditation for a relaxing experience. Alternatively, you might prefer to avail of mindfulness

benefits through gardening. By focusing attention on completing a specific duty, this removes distracting thoughts and allows us to be present on the task at hand