NB: If you are experiencing mental distress and want to talk to someone, please reach out to Beyond Blue – they have a big national network of people ready to have a chat.
In these difficult times of COVID-19, immersing yourself in the green life has never been more important for both your mental health and wellbeing.
When we wrote the 2020 Plant Life Balance Trend Report back in December 2019, we already knew that gardening can be incredibly therapeutic, and predicted it would be a tool that many more of us would be picking up to find peace, and solace in an increasingly frantic world – what we didn’t know then just how critical our need for calm would be this year! Read on to learn more about what we found when we dug deep into the topic of Horticulture for Health and the world of good it can do to both your heart and soul.
Becoming one with nature
Nature has become a force in helping us switch off through a variety of forms, whether it be through forest bathing, social gardening, or therapeutic horticulture. In fact, 1 in 4 people are motivated to buy plants for mindfulness, and for good reason. Plant Life Balance ambassador and researcher Dr Dominique Hes explains that “being able to see plants or be surrounded by them can be an effective mechanism of dealing with stress.
Experts say tending to plants can be one of the most accessible and simples ways to engage in mindfulness.”
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What a day to be outside. This is just one of the corners built during today’s Italian inspired garden featuring olive trees, citrus trees, bougainvilleas & rosemary. Housed in my personal favourite combo: green & terracotta pots. We also ensured there was a bird bath for our feathered friends to holiday in this coming summer 🕊 Thanks to @willgibsongardens for coming past and teaching me my first irrigation system yeoow. The only requirement to maintain this garden: is to ensure that pasta & lemon gelato are consumed around it once a week, then they will feel like they are home 🙃🍊🌳🇮🇹
THE PREDICTION: Gardening as a tool for mindfulness
We’re calling it: gardening will be 2020’s go-to activity for improving mental and physical wealth through sensory engagement with plants and soil.
Horticultural therapist Toni Salter explained to us that both active and passive forms of gardening can make a difference to your mental and physical health. Active forms of gardening include getting down and dirty with digging, shovelling and playing with soil. These activities serve as great distractions from any potential feelings of anxiety, and allow you to “appreciate the process”.
Even passive activities, like potting up seedlings or sowing seeds, can be a form of relaxation! Whatever it may be, gardening can encourage creativity and optimism through planning something that will bloom or be harvested in the future.
Gardening is something that is non-threatening, non-clinical and immediately brings you into an engaging space and surroundings. There’s evidence that both passive and active involvement in garden activities is helping to reduce stress, increase positive feelings and brings a sense of fun and hopefulness to participants.”
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WEED DATING / We're not so much in to hallmark holidays but in one month's time (on Feb 14th) we're combining our skills of weeding with our underutilised skills of matchmaking to give you a Valentine's Special Weed Dating Evening. Sorta like speed dating, but more like tackling summer weeds while making conversation, Weed Dating is the perfect way to impress that keen gardener across the (veggie) bed that you haven't met yet. . This event is open to all, LGBTIQ & straightey weeders alike. Bring a mate for more chance of at least someone finding their weedy love, and your host Madison will get you chatting away over the veggie beds. . Feb 14th, 6pm, $10. Link & more info in bio . And cheers to our mates at @ceresjoesmarketgarden for the idea! . 📷 by the lovely Kristina
Toni’s advice on mindful gardening
Feeling inspired? Good – time to find out just how beneficial digging in the dirt can be for your heart and soul. Here’s Toni’s top tips on gardening for mindfulness:
- Take it slow, don’t rush the activity and use your senses at every step — see, smell, taste, listen and feel the objects you are working with.
- Don’t expect perfection — it takes time and practice to get things perfect, but plants are often quite resilient, just like us, and will handle a few mistakes along the way.
- Enjoy the process more than the end result — it’s not always about how things turn out, but we can make the most of the time we spend on it.
To get all the know-how you need to get digging, get in contact with your local Plant Life Balance accredited nursery – give them a call, drop them a note, follow them on socials, and when safe and recommended to do so, pay them a visit. Happy planting!
In December 2019, Plant Life Balance released Australia’s first-ever plant trend report after months of research and chats with the experts to find out why people buy plants and from where; Australia’s favourite plant species; where we get our plant-spiration from; and what we find the biggest challenges in plant care to be. “Horticulture for Health” is Trend 5 in the Report.