It is no secret that tending to a garden is good for the mind and soul. Being at one with nature and creating a serene space you can call your own is the perfect way to spend weekends, enjoy time with the family and to lowkey become the envy of the neighbourhood.
With some native plants, lawn furniture, free-draining garden beds and perhaps even some permeable paving from StoneSet to keep your garden totally free from waterlogging, you can easily transform your backyard into a thriving oasis.
But there are more benefits to designing and maintaining a beautiful garden space than you may have even imagined. For instance, did you know that gardening is actually good for your health as well? To prove it, we’ll be sharing just the top 6 ways that garden design can actually boost your health and wellbeing from season to season.
1. It Brings Water to Your Yard
To have a thriving garden, you need water – and plenty of it. Sprinklers, possibly an irrigation system and water features bring the H2O your garden needs, which is great for your health as well.
Have you ever noticed how you feel better when you are near water, like the ocean, a pool or a waterfall? It is not just serenity creating those good vibes, it is science. Water creates negative ions, which are actually a good thing. These ions pull nasty things out of the air like dust, pollen and other toxins so you have improved air quality which is better for your health.
Water features also act as natural humidifiers so you have a cool space to relax even when the mercury is soaring. Plus the sound of water has been scientifically proven to reduce the fight-or-flight instinct in our brains, calming us down and washing away the stress of the working week.
2. You Can Create New Food Sources
Eating healthy can be a real challenge in the fast-paced modern world. Convenience is king and with fast food outlets stacked on top of each other on every street corner, it can become habitually to eat poorly.
It is common knowledge that the key to good health and weight management is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, yet less than 10 per cent of Australians are eating the recommended dose of fresh produce on a daily basis. This is where your garden can become a valuable tool for the health of the entire family.
Including vegetables and fruit trees in your garden means you have instant access to free produce when you need it. You can start small with some herb containers for fresh basil and coriander and work your way up to lemon trees, paw paws and much more. There are several options that are easy to grow and resilient to Australian conditions as well, like the humble mango tree which will still be standing long after we are all gone.
3. The Garden As A Space to Connect
It is too easy to become isolated in modern life. We can become locked in our routines and obsessed with the daily grind to the point where we don’t take the time to connect with others. Humans are social creatures and connecting with your fellow man is vital for your mental health. Having a well curated outdoor space creates a space where you will want to be social.
Invite the neighbours kids around for a play, bring your work colleagues around for a barbeque, collaborate with fellow green thumbs and swap tips and clippings. Your own green space will be a place you want to share which will ultimately make you happier and healthier.
4. Physical Health Benefits of Gardening
Waking up at 5am to force ourselves into the gym or onto the road for a painful jog is no fun. You shouldn’t have to force yourself to be physically active because if you don’t enjoy it, you will find reasons to not do it.
Gardening is one of the simplest ways to be physically active without knowing you are being physically active. The care and upkeep of your gardens and lawn in your yard design will include a raft of health benefits that you probably didn’t even know about.
You will enjoy cardiovascular workouts by mowing, weeding, trimming and edging, over time you will notice that your flexibility, strength and dexterity will improve. Being in the sun (wearing a long sleeve shirt, wide-brim hat and SPF sunscreen) will give you the daily dose of vitamin D that you need, assisting in keeping your blood pressure low.
Your balance will improve, you will become less likely to trip and fall (essential as we get older), your joints won’t ache as much and your pain levels will decrease. All of this combines to help improve heart health, ward off cancer and reduce your risk of musculoskeletal conditions, leading to a longer and richer life.
5. Your Garden Engages all of the Senses
A properly designed garden can ignite your senses, creating a positive sensory experience like no other. Scent is a big one, the smell of certain flowers can trigger feelings of warmth and nostalgia. Think about climbing your parent’s mango tree when you were a kid, or the sweet perfume of a Frangipani tree in full bloom each spring.
There are many plants that are designed for touch, with smooth, velvety textures or fluffy flowers that feel divine between the fingers. Even sound comes into play, with the wind dancing between the rustling leaves creating a genuine place of serenity that is perfect for your mental health.
6. Your Yard Will Attract More Wildlife
Having a yard teeming with life is great for your health. Not just in a colloquial sense, but in a scientific one. It has been proven that having nature around you will inspire you to be more active, have greater mental resilience and better all-round health than someone who is not in touch with nature.
So take the time to plan and design your dream garden. Make it a weekend project that involves the whole family. Bring in the neighbours, friends and extended family. And enjoy the supreme satisfaction that comes with enjoying your own natural space crafted just the way you intended.