most popular garden blog post of 2013...Gardening: Nature's Anti-depressant
photo by Jan Johnsen
This post got many thumbs up on Google + this year:
Well here is a way to fix that - go out and plant something...
In fact, even looking at nature can result in a drop in blood pressure within five minutes and lower our stress hormones.
(Gardening boosts endorphins, the body’s good-mood chemicals. Personally, my theory is that we need the sunlight on our pineal gland and this can delay dementia, but I have no proof, its just a 'knowing')
Here is a lovely story from Timesonline United Kingdom, dated March 27, 2010
"...Jane Robertson was earning a small fortune in the pressured world of derivatives markets when she had a breakdown at the age of 27.
A spell in a psychiatric hospital followed, then many months “just about existing” in her London flat.
When she signed up to take part in a once-weekly gardening project at Chelsea Physic Garden, it was all she could do to get out of bed to attend.
But, three years on, she has passed her horticultural exams and is training to be an arboriculturalist.
And I am not alone, Thrive, a national gardening-as-therapy charity in England, helps hundreds of people with mental and physical health problems. In 2010 they exhibited their first garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in May.
How great is that!?! The Chelsea Flower Show is a big deal in the horticulture world, kind of like the Olympics of gardens.
The chief executive of Thrive, Nicola Carruthers, says “There is a massive amount of evidence about the beneficial effects of gardening, ever since the court physicians in the time of the pharaohs used to prescribe walks around the gardens to mentally disturbed royals.” (what an image, a mentally disturbed Pharoah...)
Dr Jo Aldridge, from Loughborough University, studied gardening as therapy and noted "A lot of the people we talked to described it as a bit like the calm brought by meditation.
Some said that it should be on prescription — and we found that some forward-thinking GPs were referring patients to gardening projects.”
We can all benefit from gardening’s unique combination fresh air, vitamin D and exercise with a purposeful task plus the calming effect of nature.
And a tomato seedling is cheaper than an anti-depressant.
photo by Jan Johnsen
Anywhere you can, plant a pot of something green today. You can thank me later...:-)