Gardening is good for you!

It’s a simple message, but one which warrants repeating. Whatever your age or experience, gardening has a positive outlook on your health and wellbeing. It’s not only the sensory value of plants such as their beauty, fragrance and flavour, but also the encouragement of wildlife, relaxation and mindfulness – and connecting with the natural world outside your back door. Gardening is also an excellent form of exercise and staying active, and a perfect way to relieve stress.

By choosing the right plants for your garden, you can provide a year-round source of food and shelter for wildlife, encouraging birds, bees, and butterflies. Many of you will have experienced the sense of wellbeing by creating a successful wildlife-friendly area. It doesn’t have to be large, but even a single plant can make a difference. Think berries for the autumn, such as pyracantha, holly, berberis and cotoneaster. For late flower to encourage bees, sedum, ivy, aster and mahonia are some of the many possibilities.

In November, gardens are transformed as foliage turns vibrant and falls. Trees, shrubs and borders take on a different form: the slightly dowdy evergreens of the summer now become the dominant form – and shelter for wildlife. Gardeners’ World may have finished for the year on tv, but please don’t down tools yet ! Time spent in the garden is now more precious with the lower number of daylight hours in winter. Clear up fallen leaves, mulch beds and borders, plant spring bulbs and top-up sparse hedging. Treat moss on paths and lawns as it already seems prevalent now following the wet and warm start to autumn this year.

David Hogg

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