Archive for 15/07/2013

PicPost: Balcony

happy-gardenerA survey of 1500 adults in the UK has found that those who garden have a higher probability of being ‘satisfied’ with their life than those who don’t.

The survey for Gardeners’ World magazine found that 80% of gardeners feel satisfied with their lives, compared to 67% for non gardeners – and nearly all gardeners (some 93%) think that gardening improves their mood. Other hobbies that seem to make you happy are walking, fishing and, believe it or not, computing! All of these activities account for over 70% life satisfaction, whereas only 55% of those without any hobbies are ‘satisfied’ with their lives.

The most popular hobby in the UK is computing or gaming, (52% of respondents name it as their favourite pastime), while gardening came joint second with walking or hiking (43%), according to the study.

 Lucy Hall, editor of Gardeners’ World  said:

“We have long suspected it, but our research means we can definitely say gardening makes you happy. Part of it comes from nurturing something but also a natural optimism that no matter how bad the weather, there’s always next year. It’s also about passing the seed of knowledge and the pleasure that gives.”

Cawston primary School- weeding the cabbages and calabrese

Cawston primary School- weeding the Cabbages and Calabrese

Further support for the benefits of gardening comes from research across several UK universities. Jules Pretty, from Essex University, said:

“Engagement with green places is good for personal health. We also know that short-term mental health improvements are protective of long-term health benefits. We thus conclude that there would be a large potential benefit to individuals, society and to the costs of the health service if all groups of people were to self-medicate more with what we at Essex call green exercise. Gardening falls into this category – it is good for both mental and physical health, and all social and age groups benefit. It provides a dose of nature.”

Source: The Times, Belfast

Link: BBC News report

Old School Gardener

IMG_6139It’s over. My first garden opening has left feelings of satisfaction, pride, friendship and aching limbs.

We had about 70 visitors yesterday, not bad for our first opening. Several came by bike and all seem to have had a good time, soaking up the heat, the garden and some delicious tea and cakes. Many made positive noises about the garden and the Courtyard seems to have been a particular hit. It was particularly interesting to meet a former pupil at the School- back in 1937 – and a new neighbour. Friends,colleagues and neighbours helped to make the event a success:

  • Keith Broughton brought along his restored 1969 Saab car – it was fascinating hearing about the hours of skillful work he’d put into this project
  • Michaela Boggis and colleagues from Jelly Cottage Nursery brought along a fantastic range of very healthy looking plants and many visitors were seen clutching their purchases as they left
  • Steve Mosley and John Nicholson from Master Garden and Composter respectively put on a display and gave out helpful advice on growing your own food and making your own soil
  • Sharon Brett from Cawston Primary School was selling plants and mugs to mark the school’s 60th birthday and was telling people about the work on outdoor learning, including gardening that she and I have been doing at the School
  • My wife, Deborah and friend Joan Mosley did sterling work as the ‘refreshment ladies’ serving afternoon teas and cakes.

So a very big THANK YOU to all of them and most of all to mother Nature who put on a wonderful display for all to enjoy (including blackbird nest and mole hill)!

I’m now planning a few days of rather less frenetic activity. But first a trip to the bank to pay in the proceeds of the day and to then write three cheques for around £100 to each of the three ‘good causes’ we were supporting:

  • Norfolk Master Gardeners
  • Cawston School Gardening
  • St. Peter’s Church

Here are a few pictures from the day to give you a sense of the atmosphere – if you were one of the visitors, then thank you for your support and maybe we’ll see you again!

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