The benefits of gardening

Rocket Gardens posted a lovely little comment on Instagram today (it’s World Mental Health Day) pointing out the benefits of gardening. It prompted me to share this little anecdote with you all for this week’s diary entry (I was going to brag about my incredible pumpkin harvest, but that’ll have to wait!)

A couple of weeks ago I was in my veg patch with a friend. She had visited me 3 years previously, before I had taken on my veg patch, and she knew first-hand what an overgrown jungle it had once been. She also knew what a mess I myself had been following a somewhat difficult time in my life. As we were enjoying the sunshine and admiring the different vegetables that I’m growing, she asked me “you know how gardening is meant to be good for well-being…do you think doing your veg patch has helped you mentally?” I smiled knowingly and replied, “Yes, totally. It may sound weird, but I honestly believe that this veg patch is a mirror of my emotional and mental health.”

When I took it on, the veg patch was in the clutches of knotweed, brambles, nettles. Everything was a mess, you couldn’t even get into the plot because it was so overgrown with weeds and rubble. Slowly and surely I have worked on it and slowly and surely the weeds have become less invasive and beautiful things now grow in an orderly fashion in their place. It totally reflects my  inner state of mind, my internal weeds were eradicated at the same pace as the weeds in the plot and vice versa. It may all sound a bit kooky, but I really believe it’s true, and I firmly believe that gardening helped me to get through that tough time and to avoid sinking into depression. So, I’d like to second the final comment in Rocket Gardens’ instagram post: “Please keep gardening in mind if you are trying to help a loved one overcome any kind of mental health issue. Just a small cluster of pots to tend to, or a little raised bed can have some impact, so it’s worth a try.” Hear hear.