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Robyn's Blog: News from Maggie's online centre head

by Robyn

News about the online centre and other cancer related topics
23 May 2017 at 15:39

Gardening and health

I am delighted to say that since I wrote the blog below the Linklaters garden designed by Darren hawkes landscapes has been awarded a gold medal-congratulations to all involved.

The beautiful Linklaters garden for Maggie’s at the Chelsea flower show has reminded me of the connection between gardening and health. Most of us have been told at some point in our lives to go and get some fresh air, that is will do us some good – well it’s official, getting out in the garden is good for both physical and mental health .

A Kings fund report Gardens and health commissioned by the National Gardens scheme highlighted the benefits gardening can have on health and also set out a range of recommendations to integrate the benefits of gardens with health policy.

So what are the health benefits of gardening?

Studies have shown evidence that gardening as well as improving general health can help reduce both stress and anxiety, refocus attention when we feel overwhelmed ,boost mood and improve balance.

In terms of exercise as long as you avoid heavy digging and landscaping etc and also being out in very hot temperatures, gardening can be great low impact exercise and something to do for anyone convalescing from surgery or between treatments as garden tasks come in all shapes and sizes.

It can also be a way of being sociable whilst also having a task to focus on and, as it is enjoyable it is an activity that is likely to be continued.

At this time of year there is plenty to be done in the garden as greenery and flowers appear from nowhere – my garden seems to have something new every day (and quite a few that I didn’t plant but that’s another matter). If you don’t have your own garden there are also a growing number of community groups gardening in social spaces or there may be a gardening for health group near you.

Those of you who have visited our physical Centres will know that most (not online of course) are set in beautiful gardens as we know that the space around us (whether inside or out) creates an environment that in turn helps our visitors to find the emotional space they need

Here at Maggie’s Online centre we can’t have a garden, or even a window box, however we can share experiences of gardening and also pictures of our efforts.

You may also be interested to have a look at some of the books below to find out more about how gardening can benefit you during or after treatment for cancer.

Last year ,journalist and keen gardener Kirsty Wark, and visitors at some of our gardening groups took part in a podcast for Maggie’s , talking about how gardening – and simply enjoying the garden – can help people to live well with cancer. You can listen to the podcast here

Best wishes

Robyn

The Cancer Survivor's Garden Companion: Cultivating Hope, Healing and Joy in the Ground Beneath Your feet by Jenny Peterson Published 4 Jan 2016

Blooming into Mindfulness: How the Universe Used a Garden, Cancer, and Carpools to Teach Me that Calm Is the new happyby Martha Brettschneider HappyPaperback published 29 Jan 2016

Gardening For Health: The Need to Know Guide to the Health Benefits of Horticulture: Volume 2 by Angela Youngman Paperback published 10 Apr 2013

The Goodbye Cancer Garden a childrens book published 1 Mar 2011 By Janna Matthies(Author), Kristi Valiant(Illustrator)

Tagged with: Gardening


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