Recently there has been a lot of talk about the way in which gardening is helping people to change their lives: particularly people with mental health issues, disabilities or suffering from loneliness. Research has discovered that gardening can help reduce anxiety, improve cognitive recall, help with dementia, help combat isolation, improve physical health and stamina and make us feel good by releasing the brain chemical serotonin – the same chemical released when eating a bar of chocolate.
People are brought together when they have a garden or allotment to care for. They learn how to care for something and reap rewards whether in flowers or produce. It might be the only place where they feel able to relax, can communicate with others, help with learning new practical skills/teamwork and planning. Gardening can make you feel happier, healthier and more confident and give structure to your day.
Gardening has always been a pleasurable pastime for me and even when I have been without a garden I have always enjoyed visiting other gardens and having a few houseplants or container plants around me. There is so much that gardening can give you: from the benefits of simply being outdoors to the joy of seeing something grow from a seed. I can easily while away an hour or two just pottering around my own garden (and it’s not even very big!) doing a bit of dead-heading, weeding, clearing up dead leaves, redesigning parts of the borders, watching the bees and butterflies visiting and just enjoying the flowers. Photographing flowers is a bit of a passion too and getting that perfect shot can take a lot of time and patience and luck.
Visiting gardens open to the public is another of my ways of relaxing, there I can admire the way a garden has been designed, the combinations of the flower types, colours and structures. I can take away ideas for my own garden and dream about ‘what if.’
Gardening is fun and creative, it gets you out into the fresh air and is a good form of exercise. Gardening can make you feel good and improve your mental and emotional well-being. And it can be done anywhere by anyone.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge | Changing