The good of gardening
Do you have a hobby that helps you relax and unwind? For some people, there is no better way to switch off than spending time in the garden. This small private area of green space can be their oasis of calm.
It's no wonder some of us turn to gardening as a form of therapy. A survey conducted by the Royal Horticultural Society, found that 82% of people in the UK said that gardening makes them happier. It also found that 70% of them, given the choice, would prefer to spend their working day in the garden with just 9% opting for an office.
For those with green fingers, the pleasure of gardening comes from getting out in the fresh air, in all weathers and communing with nature - even if there are a few too many creepy-crawlies! It can also be seen as a sort of digital-detox - time away from technology. Some experts actually believe that getting outside to dig and plant things acts as a 'natural high'.
Dr Christopher Lowry, a neuroscientist at the University of Colorado, injected a bacterium commonly found in soil into mice to see what affect this would have on them. He found the bacterium had a similar effect on the mice as an antidepressant drug might. When we dig in soil we ingest this bacterium through our lungs or cuts in our skin so Dr Lowry concluded that since the mice seemed happier when treated with soil bacteria, it's likely we would be too.
Gardening can also be used as a way of treating addiction. There's evidence that recovering alcoholics who have been given the opportunity to plant, grow, and even sell their produce, have managed to stop their addictive habits. Scot Stephenson, for example, got expelled from school and started a vocational qualification in gardening. He says "I got my NVQ level 2 which is my first qualification and enjoyed it ever since."
Whatever the reason, there are many therapeutic benefits to getting your hands dirty, doing some physical hard work and then watching your garden grow. Does this sound like your idea of fun?
oasis of calm