There’s nothing better than sitting in a garden to enjoy the summer, especially one that’s filled with beautiful flowers and plants. It’s made all the more special when the plants are ones you grew yourself. Not only is it satisfying to see your efforts come to fruition, but gardening also has a lot of benefits for your well-being.
Gardening is an excellent source of exercise. Raking leaves, mowing the lawn, and planting new seeds are great examples of yard work as light to moderate exercise. But you can also get some strenuous exercise whilst working in the garden. Activities like weeding, shovelling, cutting wood, and moving bags of mulch are all considered to be more strenuous forms of exercise. Even the Centers for Disease Control in the US consider gardening to be a form of moderate exercise. It uses most of the muscles in your body, and studies have found that working in the garden can help offset age-related weight gain and childhood obesity (1).
Protects your memory
We’ve spoken before about how exercise can help improve your memory, so it’s no surprise that gardening can also help protect your memory. Scientists were concerned that gardening isn’t enough of an exercise to protect your memory as you get older, but recent studies in Korea had dementia patients garden for 20 minutes a day. They found that even after that short of a time period, there were increased amounts of brain nerve growth factors associated with memory (2). There are programs in Norway, and the Netherlands that have people with dementia spend a lot of their day working on farms and gardens (3).
Not only can gardening protect your memory and help offset weight gain, it is a fantastic mood booster and a calming activity. Researchers have found that it increases your self-esteem, drops anxiety levels, and reduces symptoms of depression (4,5). One multi-year study found that patients with depression who had spent 3 months gardening had significantly improved mental health and that the improvement lasted for months after their time gardening (6). Gardening can also be a calming activity after a stressful event. In one study, scientists exposed participants to a stressful event then asked half to read quietly and half to spend time gardening. They discovered that those who had gardened had lower levels of cortisol in their body than those who had spent time reading (7).
Since gardening has a number of benefits, we’re introducing a little something to get you started, whether you have a sprawling back garden or just a windowsill. We discovered a beautiful set of seed cards from Miranda Sinclair the Senior Editorial Stylist at The World of Interiors. She got started with this fun side project when she was cutting paper lobsters, cherry tomatoes, lemons and fried eggs for a styling feature and discovered she loved it. She went on to create a number of cutout collages and transformed them into linographic prints on thick, matte paper, with every card comes a bright, yellow envelope and a packet of seeds. These seed cards are so fun and beautiful that they can be on display for years to come. We’re so excited to share them with you. Discover our range here.