Flashback Friday #43

This post was written in 2018, long before the dreaded Covid-19 hit the headlines and people found themselves stuck at home more and more. Gardening and being in open spaces took on a whole new meaning then. My post was written for one of the earlier Lens Artists Photography Challenge.

change the way you feel

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.

Maple leaves

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.’

Goodnestone Park Gardens

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.

This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

23 thoughts on “Flashback Friday #43

  1. I remember that post and those lovely photos! Yes, gardening has always been a pleasure for me, and I long to get back to it when I heal from this excruciating spinal stenosis pain. (It is improving, however.) These days I enjoy looking at the fall colors outside my windows, and those views raise my spirits from despondency.

    • Sorry for the late response, I just found you in the spam folder! Goodness knows why! I am sorry to hear that you are in pain, I know how debilitating that can be as I suffered with a very painful abscess for two months this summer and it definitely hindered my time in the garden. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  2. Seeing your lovely images of autumn leaves brought a ‘Wow! and a smile to my lips…what wonderful colours. There is so much joy in gardens and in nature and in the sharing of it too. 🙂

  3. With these colours, you can see why our serotonin would be boosted. I felt it very hard at the start of the pandemic not to be visiting major gardens. It took many months of rather gloomy walking until I tuned in to lesser, ordinary beauties – scraps here and there. Something trailing down a lamppost, a rose in a factory yard, a pansy in the pavement, a hundred dandelions flowering in a small terrace house garden. I hope I’ll not tune out again.

    • Just recovered you from the spam folder! I too was deeply disappointed to miss out on the lovely spring gardens during that first lockdown and became quite bored of wandering the same lanes day in day out even though there is beauty to be found. I was hugely excited to escape my local garden walk during a supermarket visit, even though nervous that it was probably a place I shouldn’t have been in. Looking back I wonder why I was so worried given no one ever stopped me and asked where I was going or where I lived on my supermarket journeys.

      • Thanks for rescuing me. I was worried too. I remember when we were allowed one walk a day and I felt really bad if I stopped to take a picture along the way, as if that was breaking the rules. I have hardly any pictures from that time.

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