If the much-publicised allotment shortage has demonstrated one thing then it is this – gardening has become to the British what coffee shops are to the French.
It’s the new national pastime, no longer restricted to retirees but enjoyed by a growing number of people across the country, regardless of age group or tastes. Here’s why you should get involved with the new renaissance in gardening.
1. It’s good for your health: Studies have shown again and again that gardening can confer a wealth of health benefits, including relieving stress, reducing the risk of heart disease, and even fighting cancer; especially if you eat you own produce such as Kale and Broccoli.
A number of research studies have also demonstrated that gardeners tend to recover more quickly from illness.
2. It keeps you in shape: All that hard physical work in the fresh air helps you keep trim just as effectively as going to the gym. What’s more, once you have access to all that delicious home-grown vegetables you’re less likely to turn to the biscuit tin when you get hunger pangs. No more bench presses and sweaty sessions on running machines – now you can get fit doing something you actually enjoy.
The joys of gardening, photograph by Sunchild57.
3. Planning a garden is creative: If you need an outlet for your creativity but aren’t too nifty with a paintbrush and canvas, then gardening could be the perfect solution.
Once you begin, you’ll realise that it’s not simply about throwing down a few seeds and hoping that they’ll grow into something impressive – almost all gardeners become involved to some degree in landscape gardening.
Particularly for those who aren’t content in their jobs, it can be a rewarding and life-enhancing hobby.
4. Growing vegetables is good for the environment: One of the reasons that gardening has become much more high profile recently is because it links in with the issue of climate change. Growing your own vegetables such as Carrot, Chickpea, and Onions is a good way to save on packaging, air miles and trips to the supermarket – and can therefore help you do your bit for the environment.
A pleasant side effect of this energy saving is that you’ll save money on the weekly shop as well.
Of course, there are a host of other benefits associated with gardening: it’s a great way to make your home more attractive, it teaches children skills such as patience and persistence, and of course it’s just downright enjoyable.
If you don’t have a space to plant a garden, however, then you can still get many of these benefits simply from changing your lifestyle a little.
Buy organic fruit and veg, eat garden produce more and have a go and helping out on somebody else’s allotment, and consider container, basket and windosill gardening.
For more Gardener's HQ gardening articles go here.