There’s no denying it – gardening is good for you. It’s something gardeners have known intuitively for years and now there’s proof. From reducing our stress levels to benefiting from immune-boosting microbes in the soil, scientists are uncovering new evidence all the time that demonstrates the positive impact of spending time in nature on our health and wellbeing.
At this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (formerly Hampton Court Flower Show) many of the gardens were focused on ways to boost our mental and physical health while we’re outdoors.
The Vitamin G Garden was inspired by a major piece of RHS research published in April last year that proves the benefits of gardening, and the design includes interconnecting areas for contemplation, relaxation and restoration. Or you could wander through the RHS Forest Bathing Garden to soak up the smells, textures and colours of a woodland glade.
Themes of grief, loss, loneliness and illness were explored in several Show Gardens, highlighting how they help with recovery and healing. There were glimpses of war torn landscapes in What Does Not Burn by Ukranian designers Victoria and Oleksiy Manoylo in partnership with Carrie Preston. Gardens exploring dementia and isolation showed how we can connect with other people and find peace in green space. While the rooftop design for the John King Brain Tumour Foundation Garden by Rhi Williams is one example of how having a natural outdoor space within a medical setting can help with the physical recovery of patients and the mental wellbeing of staff.
So how can we make peaceful sanctuaries in our own gardens? Gardens are the perfect distraction from our busy lives, and with a few simple design choices, you can create a mindful space to feed