While uncertainty over the future has left many of us dazed, confused and in the doldrums, gardening veterans as well as beginners may take some comfort from activities that are easy to do, clear the mind and can give you something to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead…

Meditate with plants

 

According to statistics from Bupa Global, more than 26% of UK adults meditate, as it’s a natural way to help reduce stress and release tension. Plants can make a great difference in this process as well, claims bulb and plant supplier J Parker’s (jparkers.co.uk)

There are particular plants that aid wellbeing, including the rose which, if you inhale its scent while you meditate, can help trigger feelings of compassion, understanding and love, J Parker’s reports.

Shannen Godwin from J Parker’s says: “Gardening teaches us another way of meditating mindfully, as we can feel grounded and fully present when planting a seed with intention, observing how it takes on a life of its own.”

Move your body

 
 
 
 
 
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1 hour 40 mins low impact exercise and garden is 99% leaf free and cut. Stats: max HR 147 av HR 115, Fitbit steps 8,000, KCal-1,800 #gardenexercise #gardening

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If you’re fed up with TV workouts and all-too-familiar walks, make yourself a list of gardening to-dos that require the equivalent in physical exertion.

It might be cleaning the greenhouse, sweeping the patio and tidying away pots, half an hour of weeding mixed with another task such as raking and bagging leaves, digging, strimming or hoeing.

Research suggests raking the lawn for half an hour burns around 120 calories, while someone weighing around 9st can use up 150 calories in 30 minutes of digging or 165 calories in non-motorised mowing, according to studies by Harvard Medical School.

These tasks will not only get you out into the fresh air, but will help tone muscles and make you feel you’ve done something useful as you see your garden transformed into a much tidier space.

Plan ahead

 
 
 
 
 
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Sunday morning drafting a planting plan 🌱 #sundaysketching @admarker_official @chartpaks @prismacolor @copic_official @copicmarkerau @copic_official_us The planting plan is by far my favorite part of the #designprocess – so many layers of trace and ideas to flush out before I arrive to a final design concept #sundaysketches 🌱🌺🌵🌴 It can also be quite challenging to narrow down all the plant options and choose appropriate plants for each space in the overall design. Many things are considered such as sun, soil health, drainage, color palette, garden style, function of the garden, ‘screening’ unwanted views, amount of hardscape/softscape, and many other client wants/needs. This part of the design process takes the longest for me, and it is also the most creative and free-flowing. Creating garden plans in 2D (plan view) while fully visualizing it in 3D inside my brain is fascinating 🔮 When I get stumped, I’ll sketch out section views to better under the structure and space. Or use SketchUp to mass forms & then populate the model with plants in Photoshop. Visualizing in 3D, and translating that to plan is one of the highest art forms. I call it painting with plants. It is a privilege to design with a living medium that will always morph & curate wonder, each new day #plantdesign This garden concept features lush, #subtropicalgarden plants that thrive in CA’s coastal climate such as hibiscus, plumeria, fan palms, succulents, ornamental grasses, pin cushion, ginger, aloes and agaves. Softer shrubs contrast against existing palms and an understory of subtropical plantings fills out this garden with bright colors & textured vegetation. A jungle habitat for local wildlife and a beautiful entryway to a home in Manhattan Beach. #lionhousedesign #artwork #designdrawing #gardensketch #linedrawing #pendrafting #inspirationsunday #landscapeartist #interiorplantatylist #mysketchbook #rendering #architecturediagrams #sundaysketch #gardendesigner #artist #planview #interiorplantdesign #frontgarden #landscapearchitecture #gardendesigner #landscapedesigner #artoftheday #manhattanbeach #manhattanbeachdesigner #landscapearchitecture #landscapedesign #conceptualplan

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If you want to have something to look forward to, plan ahead, whether it’s designing a new border in a sketch pad (from the comfort of your own home), planning what veg you’re going to grow in your allotment – bearing in mind the elements of crop rotation – choosing a colour scheme for an existing border, or even earmarking plants for a balcony garden.

Boost home working with a nature break

Environmental psychology, notably Attention Restoration Theory, offers insights into the benefits of plants for human wellbeing, according to Damien Newman from gardening-for-health charity Thrive (thrive.org.uk). “Scenes of plants and nature are restorative and help us overcome mental fatigue, enabling us to resume tasks that require directed attention,” he says.

 

“A key part of Attention Restoration Theory is the idea of being away, where a setting provides a psychological change of scene and having plants in our work environment offers that. Looking at plants also provides an element of fascination that requires little mental effort, where the mind wanders and opens to reflection.”

Looking after plants can connect us to an inner desire to nurture and care, adds Newman. “Nurturing plants is purposeful and gives us a sense of control. As well as connecting with natural cycles that are bigger than ourselves, it’s an investment in the future that gives us hope.”

Add houseplants to your working space

 

 
 
 
 
 
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my happy place 🌿🖤 #workplacedesign #urbanjungle

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Having plants on your desk can combat stress too, Thrive reports.

A Japanese study found that three-minute breaks to look at a small plant when fatigued helped reduce stress among office workers. Each plant used in the study, ranging from cacti to succulents, was chosen and cared for by the worker. The study concluded that if employers encouraged staff to have such nature breaks, the mental wellbeing of their workforce would improve.

Sleep well

When it comes to getting a peaceful night’s sleep and releasing your body from tension, lavender might be the answer. If you’re stressed or having trouble sleeping, the healing effects of lavender can be significant, says J Parker’s. This beautifully scented plant can be grown both outdoors and indoors as long as it receives adequate light and plenty of fresh air.

Visit your garden centre

 

 
 
 
 
 
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We are pleased to confirm Garden Centres are permitted to remain open. Following the latest government announcement of the new national restrictions, our Garden Centres and Food Halls, along with other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Our Café Bars and Pottery Painting Studios will temporarily close from Thursday 5 November. We have also cancelled our Exclusive Shopping Evenings that were due to run this month and we will be contacting those of you that booked very shortly and issuing your refund. We are delighted that the government recognises the benefits of gardening in supporting physical and mental wellbeing. So whether you need help with your gardening projects, want to attract more wildlife in your garden, brighten up your pots with some lovely autumn colour, need food for your pets, then we are here for you 7 days a week with free parking. Read how to Shop Safely With Us on our website, link in bio. Our teams are working very hard to help keep everyone safe and if you choose to visit us, please help us by adhering to the safety measures in store. Thank you for your understanding and your continued support. We hope you and your family are well. Best wishes, The Squire’s Team🌸 . . . . #open #weareopen #gardencentre #LoveSquires #remainingopen #nationalrestrictions #foodhall #essentialgoods #essentialservices #cafebarsclose #gardening #ilovegardening #wellbeing #garden #gardenlife #gardener #gardeningprojects #support #shopsafely #thankyou

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Garden centres in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been allowed to remain open, while those in Wales are allowed to re-open when its firebreak ends on November 9. Garden centres under level 5 rules in Ireland are still closed.

So, if you’re looking for plant inspiration and are able, take a trip to your local centre for ideas, festive cheer and maybe splash out on some seeds for sowing in the New Year.

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