Gardening is good for the soul

Cara Fitzmaurice

‘To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow’ Audrey Hepburn

I often dream of having my own secret garden, a walled garden with a green wooden door with the heaviest rustiest old hinges and latch. The walls lined with rambling roses their scent filling the air, old wise apple and pear trees taking main stage, with plum and greengages close behind. A big old wheelbarrow parked up full of produce from the vegetable patch. Birdsong the and the warm hum of busy bees providing me with a pleasant and inviting soundtrack.

I’ve always had a fascination with the garden, I think of times gone by, of summers spent in my papas garden, watching him potter about in the vegetable patch, the petrol lawnmower chugging left to right; right to left (with at least one line straying off at the wrong angle!). My garden I like to refer to as a ‘natural’ garden, don’t get me wrong we have to put in time and effort, but we have planted many native English garden plants, flowers and trees, we don’t tend to get too involved after planting (mainly as we don’t always have the time to do so), but nature does its magic and most things thrive and are now well established. We try to leave it as natural as possible to allow the wildlife to thrive too, we avoid pesticides and welcome the bugs and birdies.

I don’t know about you, but I do find I can lose myself in just ‘being’ when I’m in the garden, I drift just watching and listening to its life. I love nothing more than sitting out with a tea and quietly and respectfully being present. I am grateful I have an outdoor space, I recognise this isn’t something everyone has. But equally just being out in a park or even on a walk you can connect in that same way. I am noticing more and more friends are creating outdoor spaces by renting allotments. Lockdown has proven to me along with many others to have been a time when people have not only reconnected to nature but also realised that they are actually indeed part of it.

What I am finding is that everyone I speak to about spending time in their gardens or allotments, whether they have been doing the hard groundwork stuff, or much lighter gardening or simply being in a garden or outdoor space says things that indicate it’s great for them in so many ways. Ways such as helping with positive mental health, helping with fitness and lifestyle, connecting with others and generally being good for the soul. So maybe gardening isn’t just about nurturing other living organisms but maybe it’s also about nurturing you

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