Whilst we at David Austin love roses, and could talk about them all day, we wanted to take a step back and consider the bigger picture of the role our gardens play in protecting and enhancing our health. For us, the benefits of gardening can be split into three areas; the planning, the gardening itself and the enjoyment of the spaces we create.
If being in your garden is going to fill you with positivity, a bit of planning will go a long way. Though, don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s simply thinking about the ways you and others interact with the space in order to get the most out of it. For example, ask yourself questions such as these: Where do I spend most time in the garden?
Where do I entertain guests? Where gets morning or evening sun? Perhaps, even consider the way you move through your garden – after all, every visit, if only to pass through, can provide you with at least a little boost. It sounds simple, but if you’re planting fragrant roses, make sure they’re in areas where this delight will be noticeable, perhaps around your favourite bench, or bordering a pathway. Or, if the focal point of your garden is a patio area where you entertain guests, think about the rose colour schemes which could make the area pop on those treasured summer evenings.
Once you have considered what’s important for you in your garden, there is the simple pleasure of making it happen. Of course there are the physical elements to gardening - the calories burnt, the increased heart rate - all of which are proven ways to improve your wellbeing. Then, there is the rewarding feeling which comes from achieving something, how ever big or small; choosing to put in the effort to make an area just a little more special than it was at the start of the day. Gardening is a reminder that you have control over something, even when it feels like you don’t. It’s also a promise that there is always another bloom somewhere around the corner.
Whilst many of us will never “finish” our garden, due to seasonal change-ups and constant tinkering to keep it looking great, there are moments of pure joy to be had, which don’t involve any gardening at all. We must take the time to put down the trowel, and watch as those first blooms unfurl from the promise planted last year. We must invite those friends over, read that book we’ve been meaning to, or simply catch a few rays of sun.
Our minds and bodies will certainly thank us for a bit more time spent in the garden.