Tag Archives: Gardening leave charity

Gardening and Mental health…another article

This particular article has been doing the rounds for the last few days on social Media. Whilst it is written by one of the more *interesting* of British Newspapers, it does raise some interesting points. Especially as the gardeners of Britain count down for the arrival of Spring and are able to once more get their green fingers dirty.

In the first instance, I will caveat things by saying don’t be fooled by the sample size mentioned at the end of the article. 112 participants does not make for a generalisable sample. I am also curious about the nature of being ‘stressed out’ as it is termed. There is no comment as to how that has been operationalised and doesn’t mention any form of mental health concerns that may exist in that sample. The research is prefaced by examples and anecdotal evidence involving different situations. I am however wary of the scientific process behind this article and how the article may be interpreted. The perils, I guess, of being a teacher of Psychology with horticultural tendencies. I am likely to consider the research methods used to question the scientific rigour that is being presented.

That said, I do believe that gardening has a positive effect on Mental health and well being. Both on personal level and also on wider level when groups in society feel the positive impact of being involved in green spaces. There was until recently a charity in Scotland-Gardening leave- who used horticultural therapy to support veteran of conflict and did it very successfully from what I have read. Sadly, funding became an issue, and the charity had to close down operations. Then there is Thrive who also use horticulture as therapeutic medium.

gleave
Spring summer 2015

 

It is a shame that gardening and horticultural therapy (also called therapeutic horticulture, yes, I know, the terms are used interchangeably) occurs, but doesn’t get the wider publicity that is deserves in order to get momentum and become wider spread. There have been initiatives, such as the one run by MIND , a few years ago and these were successful. So much so, that the results of influenced public policy. I feel really very strongly about it, having worked in a number of posts where school gardening clubs have helped support learners. Some of which, were vulnerable or have had mental health concerns. It also saddened me that Gardening Leave had to close it’s doors, and my immediate hope what that the veterans that they supported would have appropriate support systems put in place. With the value and implementation of gardening and horticultural therapy being so limited, I consciously wrote about the positive effects in #plantpottales. It is not necessary to have a huge great big allotment to see the benefits, containers in a garden or a kitchen window sill would just as positive and just as useful.

I will continue to talk about the positive effects of gardening on mental health. All being well, someone might actually hear me and listen.

#NaBloPoMo: The ‘Obbit Trug

No one year is the same as the next year that follows when it comes to growing. But you always need something to carry your crop home. If you have loads of supermarket plastic bags, you need something to put those in. And pumpkins as you can see can be quite cumbersome. So naturally, having a trug is useful. I didn’t want just any old trug, I wanted a Hobbit trug. Off I went and saw to asking the lovely people at https://www.facebook.com/Loldeantimber?fref=ts

Having spotted @loldeantimber on the twitterverse, figured that they would have just the trug I wanted. I started out wanting a racing green one, or just plain green. To make it look prettier, wanted some flowers on it. I left it with @loldeantimber, and lo and behold, I got a fabulous handmade trug. Supporting British Business too! There were no air miles involved here. Though they might be international yet.  @loldeantimber do lots of other handmade gardening thingies too….chicken perches? I don’t have birdies yet….

It’s not delicate, and it is adult sized. They do have children’s ones. I may be hobbit sized, but this size is big enough I assure you!  Over the summer, it has been filled to the brim with assorted GYO crops. Has rather earned it’s keep, and it is sat in Dad’s shed, resting til next year. It’s not quite hand bag shaped.

When you have a trug this fabulous, you want to share it. So I did. I asked @loldeantimber if they wouldn’t mind making another one for me.  Only this one wasn’t for me. This trug was for http://www.gardeningleave.org/  Gardening leave works with Veterans of conflict, and uses horticultural therapy to help ease the effects of conflict. Being passionate about gardening, and currently training to be a trainee counsellor, I can fully understand the work that charities such as Gardening leave do.

So much so, this is their page for the http://www.gardeningleave.org/index.php/honesty/ The work that they do is incredible and really needs more awareness and support.