Garden and Improve Your Health

Many people find that choosing a house with a garden is a significant consideration when they are looking to buy a new home. The thought of pottering about, tending to flower beds, sitting out in the sun, spending time in their own garden appeals to many people.

Let’s look at some ways you can both enjoy your garden and improve your health:

– Looking after a garden is a great form of exercise. Bending to weed, stretching to trim high branches, using equipment to dig, prune, rake all require strength, flexibility and a good hand grip. Often one walks several times around the garden without even realising, perhaps pushing a wheelbarrow, cutting back shrubs. These activities all stimulate the heart and breathing in order to sustain a reasonable level of physical activity. The good thing is this exercise can be done at ones’ own pace, at a level that is comfortable for each individual’s fitness and ability.

– Fresh air and spending time in the garden, in nature is a positive commitment to good health and wellbeing. It can be fascinating to see wildlife in ones’ garden; birds, bees, butterflies, squirrels as well as more exotic creatures like toads and bats are often able to be enjoyed. And often a day spent gardening results in a healthy appetite followed by a good nights’ sleep.

– Stimulating ones’ senses is important. Sitting for hours at a desk on a computer or behind a wheel or evenings watching television are regular, everyday experiences for many of us. So spending time outdoors, using one’s imagination and creativity to reflect on how it will look, experiencing weather first hand, hearing the sounds of nature, birdsong, rustling leaves, feeling the earth in ones’ hands, breathing fresh air and appreciating the many subtleties in the shades of colours of nature is a great sensory experience.

– Gardening can be satisfying, rewarding and therapeutic. Designing the layout of even a small garden is a creative experience. Planning flower beds, mixing colours even as an inexperienced amateur, then getting dirty hands weeding, planting, watering gives a great feeling of having worked hard and achieved something all by oneself. And involving children, other family members can provide an interesting, ongoing joint project.

– Some people are enthusiastic about planting vegetables and herbs. It can be good to involve children as they often enjoy tending their own carrots and potatoes, keenly monitoring when they are ready to be harvested or watching their tomatoes, peas and strawberries grow bigger and become ready to pick.

– Allotments are popular in the UK; these are an additional plot of land, often located away from the home, on which people cultivate extra produce, often for their own consumption. Eating home-grown produce makes good economic sense, provides healthy seasonal crops and makes mealtimes especially tasty and satisfying.

– But some people prefer their garden to be low maintenance. Decking or a patio with flower tubs can reduce the amount of maintenance required to keep it tidy. Adding tubs of ready grown plants can turn a garden into an array of colour and blossom overnight. Some people add gravel or wood chippings to prevent the growth of weeds or they may even lay artificial grass to remove the need for mowing. However, for many the attraction of a garden is tending it, getting ones hands dirty spending time weeding, growing and nurturing it.

– An attractive garden can add an extra room to the home, an area where one can entertain, or sit quietly and enjoy nature or read a book, watch children play, have a barbecue or a picnic. Even a window box with some herbs or a few plants can bring the joy of watching something grow to your home, the pleasure of your own garden, no matter how big or small.