There is evidence from recent international studies that gardening has many health benefits. A report commissioned by National Gardens scheme* claims that gardening should be recommended by doctors for people showing early signs of dementia and heart disease.
Gardens and outside spaces also give people living with dementia access to natural light, which is important for the maintenance of circadian rhythms (our body clock). The authors cite reports on the health benefits of gardening and concluded that it brings important benefits for wellbeing. They also point to studies which show that regular gardening can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and obesity and can also improve balance, helping to prevent falls in older people. Other studies claim it can reduce depression, loneliness, anxiety and stress.
Gardening can also help dementia patients, with one trial showing that six months of gardening resulted in a slow-down of cognitive decline over the next 18 months. Gardens appeal to the senses – particularly touch and smell – which are important for people with dementia. The Royal Horticultural Society calculates that half an hour of digging burns 150 calories, raking a lawn burns 120 and pushing a lawn mower burns 165.
Mary Berry, the television cook and president of the National Gardens Scheme, said: ‘I have long been aware of the therapeutic benefits of gardening and visiting gardens and how being outside is so good for our wellbeing.”
1. Gardening burns a lot of calories and can help with keeping a healthy weight.
2. It can lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.
3. Spending time outside is good for your bones with lots of vitamin A.
4. Gardening also decreases the likelihood of osteoporosis. When you dig, plant, weed, and engage in repetitive tasks that require strength or stretching, all of the major muscle groups are getting a good work out.
5. Growing your own food can help you eat healthier and gardening can help to relieve stress and can make you happier.
Stowell Park Open Garden – 14 July 2019 14:00 – 17:00
Join us in this splendid private garden, stroll the terraces and admire the views. Enjoy delicious homemade cakes in the Ballroom Cafe. This year, short talks from Chris Oldham, Head Gardener and Nina O’Hare, Archaeologist, will be held in the walled garden and Church of St. Leonard to make the most of the history and heritage of Stowell Park. This is a stunning private country estate, including a herbaceous plant collection, kitchen garden, and everything from alpine flowers to tropical orchids in the glasshouses. Gates open from 2pm to 5pm.
Tickets cost £6, free of charge for under 16’s. Stowell Park, Yanworth, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 3LQ. Assistance dogs only.
Rare Plant Fair – Highnam Court – Sunday 21 July 11:00 to 16:00
Join us in the beautiful summer garden and browse the specialist nursery stalls for interesting and unusual plants. Specialist growers and nurseries will be on hand to guide and advise. Explore the amazing rose garden and enjoy light refreshments in the orangery cafe. Proceeds from the Fair support the work of Cobalt £5.00 per adult includes the garden. Children under 16 Free. CASH OR CHEQUE ONLY. Well behaved dogs on a short lead are allowed in the Fair and Gardens.
Featured image courtesy of Steve Russell Photography