Garden Therapy: how mindful gardening can help you keep calm

We’re all missing the outside world. Even big city-dwellers who are used to the buzz of an urban jungle are now probably feeling the pull of nature like never before. This is because our relationship with the natural world – green spaces, plants, trees, water and the open sky – is one which is vital for our health and wellbeing. It’s this innate wisdom which has lead us to create a range of plant-based, 100% natural cleaning products. This relationship we have with the plants on our planet is symbiotic: We breathe for each other. We nurture each other. Now in lockdown, this forced separation is taking its toll on many, which is why we believe it is so important to reconnect with nature in any way you can.

Of course, options are limited right now, but there is one thing we can all have some form of access to: gardening. Or, if looking at the many therapeutic benefits of this pastime, garden therapy. If you’re lucky enough to have a private garden to enjoy, you’ll have the space and freedom to potter and plant there. If you’re indoors, even planting a window box, creating a planter wall or keeping fresh herbs can be remarkably good for you. It’s the simple act of getting your hands into fresh soil and caring for a seed or cutting which holds all the power and this can be done anywhere.

So, what are the benefits of garden therapy? They are far reaching, from boosting self-esteem and reducing anxiety to releasing pent up anger, frustration and fear that may well be a problem for many of us at this difficult time. The wellbeing side-effects of garden therapy have been shown to be so impressive in a multitude of studies that many NHS GPs now offer what’s called ‘green prescriptions’ – an advisory to get stuck into a gardening project as a means to improve mental health. What’s more, as with so much of the plant kingdom, the soil itself is healing as it contains antidepressant microbes called Mycobacterium vaccae, found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide, but without the synthesised chemicals.

How to enjoy the benefits of garden therapy indoors

If you have a garden, by all means get planting outside. The spring sunlight and birdsong will benefit you and your growing plants in a whole new way. But, don’t be disheartened if you’re currently stuck inside – here are a few ways you can enjoy garden therapy without having to go anywhere.

Grow your own herb wall

Herbs are one of our favourite things. You’ll find a number of them in TINCTURE cleaning products, such as Bay, Coriander, Lavender and Peppermint. The reason for this is that they are wonderful in so many ways: good to eat, hugely medicinal and fragrant.

Growing herbs at home couldn’t be easier and you can really get creative with the process, by designing your own hanging wall. The result will be something you’ll treasure in your home – an array of fresh, aromatic herbs to do with as you please.

You don’t have to be so adventurous. If you’d rather stick to simple pots that works equally well. But having a wall of plants (herbs or otherwise) does do a lot to lift to spirits by bringing a bit of the outside world in. Here’s how to make yours:

Select a space

All your need to get going in a solid wall in a sunny spot, or a custom made wooden wall or fence popped up against a wall, if you would rather avoid making any permanent holes.

Once you’ve decided where you would like you herb wall to go, got ahead and screw in rows of 2in x 1in treated battens 38cm apart to fill the space.  Make sure to keep checking these with a spirit level as you go so you set them in straight.

If you’re not so handy, you can always buy something pre-made!

Fix your plant pots

Working from the bottom up, use an electric screwdriver to screw plastic planters to your now fixed in battens. From here, you will be able to build up your wall in staggered rows.

Plant your herbs

Take your pick from the extraordinary number of herbs there are to choose from, then place the seeds or cuttings into your pots.

Water, water, water

Now your plant wall is ready to grow! Remember to water regularly and whisper sweet nothings to your plants too – they like that!