Our gardens and outdoor spaces can play a hugely beneficial role in maintaining mental and physical wellbeing, especially in summer with its warmer, longer days!
Recently the benefits of gardens to ‘biophilia’ – our inbuilt need to connect with nature and other forms of life – have been proven by scientists, who have shown how spending time out of doors (whether in gardens, the countryside or public parks) can satisfy this need.
So how can you benefit the most from your outdoor space?
Grow some fruit or veg
Growing food to eat doesn’t need to be hard work. Whether you have an allotment, patio or balcony, there are plants to suit every space. Why not start with a dwarf tomato plant, a variety such as Summerlast, and enjoy picking and eating the fruits with your friends and family? A 2-litre plant can thrive in the same pot that it arrives in with regular tomato feed and water.
Go to the green gym
Gardens are great places to exercise. Whether you’re in the potting shed, watering plants, mowing the lawn or chopping firewood – every activity helps to burn a few calories. Maybe you practice yoga or Tai Chi on your lawn or patio? Whatever you do, your ‘green gym’ is good for both body and soul.
Plant a tree
The plants in our gardens absorb pollutants, offer food and shelter for wildlife, and can reduce noise too. They also provide a great focal point and can provide you with some delicious fruit – dwarf pear, apple, peach and plum trees will thrive in a container on a patio. By planting a tree or perhaps a shrub, you’ll soon see and feel the benefits!
Meditate or take time out
There’s nothing like a dose of green therapy to recharge your batteries after a tough day (G&T optional). Being amongst plants brings you closer to nature and is sure to improve your mood – so get some ‘outdoorphins’ and feel your spirits lift! If you have a favourite spot in the garden, find a suitable seat so you can dwell a while.
Socialise with friends
Gardens and balconies are increasingly being used as extra outdoor ‘rooms’ – spaces in which to socialise and to relax. Creating a social space (or several) within your garden creates opportunities to have fun with friends away from the confines of the home. With comfortable outdoor furniture for dining and lounging, atmospheric solar lighting, outdoor heating and maybe some speakers, you’ll be very popular with your friends (maybe invite your neighbours around too)!
Spend time as a family
Firepits, barbecues and outdoor stoves are a great way to get all generations involved in preparing and enjoying a meal – especially if you’ve grown some of the fruit or veg yourself. But toasting marshmallows is also good fun!
If you are up for a challenge, why not get some garden games? Boules, skittles and giant dominoes are firm family favourites!
We hope you’ll make the most of your outdoor space this summer and experience the many benefits it brings.