Monday 30 January 2017

Gardens and well-being survey

The Royal Horticultural Society and University of Sheffield are investigating the social case for gardens and what impact they have on health and well-being.  The BBC report the project here >>

They are seeking both dedicated gardeners like me and non-gardeners to complete a survey about where they live, how they feel about life, how anxious they are and what access they have to a garden. Of course I, and most gardeners I expect, find being out there with the birds and bees and worms and mud is just heaven and the more time out in the garden the better. If not the garden then pottering in the conservatory, sowing parsley in pots for the window-sill, taking cuttings or just sitting and watching everything doing its thing. Seems obvious that gardening makes one's life better and calmer.

I find being in the middle of a town or city where they've "paved paradise" is unnerving and sometimes a little bit frightening. I pity kids growing up with no access to nature other than on a computer screen, kids that don't know where milk come from, that strawberries and asparagus are not normally available in England during December, that worms and a bit of mud are not bad things to be avoided. It would be great if every street and every school could have a garden area where people can grow their own flowers & veg. This is the best science lesson ever - learning how things grow from tiny seeds, what plants and animals need to thrive. And it's the best therapy too - watching a bean climbing around a bamboo frame, watching bees pollinate a flower and spiders spinning their webs makes you forget your troubles for a while and harvesting your first beans or row of lettuces that taste SO good gives a real sense of achievement (and anyone can do it - you don't have to have A* grades!).

If RHS & Sheffield Uni can produce a report backed with some survey results that encourages councils and schools to create more public garden spaces in urban areas that's got to be good.

The survey "Do gardens influence health and well-being?" is here >>     - it just takes 15 mins so have a go.

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