January can often make many of us reluctant to venture outside, but Holly Crossley’s latest piece for Gardeningetc is more than enough to remind all of us about why it’s important to get outdoors regardless of the time of year. 

To read the full article, please click here 

We really appreciated Holly approaching us as she prepared her article, which is all about ‘Gardening for Mental Health’. She talked to various experts alongside Horatio’s Garden, including landscape designer Andy Sturgeon, author Sue Stuart-Smith, as well as charities Mind and Thrive.

Patient Gardening in Greenhouse Patient Exploring Garden 

The thoughtful piece discusses how gardens nourish our wellbeing and how this is more important than ever in light of the past two years, which have been dominated by the pandemic. 

Acknowledging that the benefits of the great outdoors have long been recognised by many medical and therapeutic professionals, the feature makes a point of noting that nature has increasingly become a part of everyone’s life. As such, charities and communities championing horticulture like us are naturally becoming more widespread. 

Among the wealth of information and sources are insights from Sue Stuart-Smith, who interviewed a vast range of people in various places when writing her book, The Well Gardened Mind, simultaneously drawing on her expertise as a psychologist to enlighten readers as to the power of plants, nature and green spaces.

Patient Relaxing in Horatio's Garden Patient with family in Horatio's Garden

Our Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, contributed some words of wisdom too, sharing: 

“The natural world reassures us in times of stress and it’s so important that we ensure that people facing very difficult times have access to well-cared-for outdoor environments.” 

“There is robust evidence which irrefutably demonstrates that being in gardens can enhance all aspects of well-being. The sights, sounds, and scents of a garden can reduce blood pressure, improve serotonin levels, and reduce cortisol and the need for pain relief. It is a proven, powerful tonic.” 

To read the full article, please click here

Child in Horatio's Garden Garden Therapy

The inherently social element of gardening is mentioned too, with discussion from Mind and Thrive about how green spaces help to connect people and bring communities together, something seen every day in Horatio’s Garden too. Ultimately, plants and gardens hold a life-affirming quality and it is this that unites a whole host of people across the world, including the three people featured in Holly’s article, all of whom have been supported by one of the three charities. 

Being that the piece is written with everyone in mind, accessible gardening is touched upon too. As readers discovering Curtis’ story for the first time will see, giving each and every individual the opportunity to garden is vital. Not only is it a motivator, it also offers people hope, holds mental health and wellbeing benefits and practically helps people with their mobility and dexterity.

Curtis Horticultural Therapy Curtis Sowing Seeds 

As the feature comes to encouraging close, readers are reminded that they don’t need to make radical changes to feel a shift in their health and wellbeing. It’s simply about making small changes and feeling better as a result, which Holly’s carefully curated collection of inspiration, advice and useful resources can most certainly help with. 

We’re truly delighted to have been included in Holly’s piece, one which is thoughtfully written and one which we hope will help even more people get back to nature and reconnect with the rhythms of life. 

To read the full article, please click here