Horticulture is celebrated around the world as an activity that boosts mental health, overcomes anxiety and combats high blood pressure. Extensive studies have time and again found multiple benefits and at Get up and Grow we want as many people to benefit from this as possible.
What are the benefits of horticulture therapy?
1. It creates a sense of responsibility. Looking after a growing thing is so important, it can remind people that they need to look after and respect living things and teach people that we need to feed, prune and tend to plants to keep them alive. This can be a key way for people with Alzheimer’s to reconnect with their surroundings.
2. It is therapeutic. Whilst gardening people can forget about the worries of daily life and focus on the task at hand. Concentrating on weeding or pruning can reduce anxiety and enable the gardener to relax. The rhythmic nature of weeding, sowing, sweeping and pruning allows thoughts to relax and flow along with our physical movements.
3. Gardening puts you in control. When you’re gardening you don’t have to worry about your bills, Brexit or your bathroom scales, you just need to focus on the same tasks and enjoy the feel-good feeling you get from seeing your garden flourish. This feeling can be very therapeutic when other areas of your life aren’t quite on track.
4. You don’t get mean plants. For people working on their mental health or suffering from conditions such as paranoia or schizophrenia, they can worry about being judged or even attacked when they are in a social setting. Plants can be nurtured by anyone, they never judge and the time spent experiencing nature can be very restorative.
5. It’s the circle of life. No we’re not talking about the Lion King! The ritual of gardening can help us work through a myriad of emotions and the process of giving life and acknowledging its end is a symbol of regeneration. This can be especially helpful with those reaching the end of their life who are struggling with acceptance.
Find out about our social and therapeutic horticulture, therapeutic garden design and growing and food workshops on our Events page