Thursday, 9 July 2020

Gardening: a new found love


The covid-19 lockdown seems to have awakened a desire in many people for learning new skills. The cooking fever has to be the one at the top. Those who never contemplated making even a humble loaf of bread from scratch before quarantine are now baking beautiful loaves of sourdough, cookies & cakes & learning to cook with Michelin star chefs on live online lessons.

Being in the kitchen is part of my routine anyway – lockdown or not – although I also embarked on learning new techniques, and have been testing an array of new recipes. But my real awakening was to get my hands literally dirty in the garden. I always admired people who have green fingers, but, despite having a nice garden, I was never really into gardening before. I’ve now started a new relationship with a fork and a spade. And I am becoming very enthusiastic about digging, weeding and turning the ground to make it a healthier space for new plants, herbs and flowers.

While I make the garden look prettier, the garden helps to make my body stronger. After my first day planting flowers and herbal beds, muscles that I had forgotten existed made their presence known.

I found this whole new love for gardening. There is something about playing with earth that makes us feel grounded (excuse the pun).

Besides the pleasure, by helping to look after a garden we are also helping the environment – by reducing air pollution and providing a habitat for animals and insects, amongst other benefits. 

The herbal corner: sage, basil, oregano and thyme.
 Here are some points on why gardening is also good for our wellbeing:

1. Being outdoors we are more exposed to the sun which increases vitamin D levels. This helps the body absorb calcium, keeping our bones stronger, and strengthens our immune system.

2. Working in the garden provides some cardiovascular benefit. According to the Harvard Medical School, spending 30 minutes outdoors doing your gardening is the equivalent to playing volleyball or practising Hatha yoga.

3. It helps to relieve stress, as we tend to focus and put our mind to work.

4. Studies have shown that getting your hands dirty in the garden can actually boost mood and reduce anxiety. This is due to a type of harmless bacteria that lives in the soil, called Mycobacterium vaccae.

5. Flowers clean the air, they are soothing to look and their scent can be a mood booster.

If you’re not already a keen gardener, or if you don’t have a garden, try and have a go with some small pots of plants on your windowsill. Who knows, it could be a new found love. 

Flowers clean the air, they are soothing to look and their scent can be a mood booster.
Lavender.
If you’re not already a keen gardener, or if you don’t have a garden, try and have a go with some small pots of plants on your windowsill.


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