85% say garden visiting is good for the soul
New research conducted by the National Garden Scheme can reveal that visiting a private garden is good for the soul. Over 85% of our supporters report that being in a National Garden Scheme garden has a positive impact on their mental wellbeing and 8 out of 10 (80%) feel happier after visiting than before.
Released as part of our latest Gardens and Health Week campaign, Open the garden gate to wellbeing, the findings also show that despite almost all (98%) having their own garden, two thirds of respondents say visiting a National Garden Scheme garden can be a calming experience (67%) and an enjoyable way to spend time with loved ones (64%). And around half say it aids creativity (53%), gives you that feel-good factor because you’re donating to charity (52%), and three quarters say it helps you learn about plants, flowers and gardening (77%).
Open the garden gate to wellbeing aims to highlight the impact of gardens on mental wellbeing and encourages people to visit a private garden as an act of self-care, as George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme, explains: “Visiting a National Garden Scheme garden is probably not the first thing people think of when they’re looking to de-stress. But spending an hour or two wandering around a truly beautiful garden that has been lovingly cultivated by its owners, and enjoying a slice of homemade cake and a cup of tea, is incredibly restorative and rivals any other act of self-care that is commonly promoted.
“The National Garden Scheme isn’t just about opening gardens for charity – we introduced Gardens and Health Week because we are passionate about promoting the many ways gardens are more than just scenic. As our latest research shows, the effect garden visiting can have on mental wellbeing is heartening and I would encourage anyone who would like an escape from their busy life to visit one of our gardens.”
In 2016, as part of our commitment to gardens and health, the National Garden Scheme commissioned the King’s Fund to produce a report on the topic and began an annual funding programme for projects which promote the health benefits of gardens and gardening. In 2017, we launched Gardens and Health Week to continue raising awareness, which this year runs from 18th – 24th August.
The National Garden Scheme gave £296,000 of the total £3.1 million charitable donations in 2018 to gardens and health-related projects. This year’s garden and health beneficiaries include Leonard Cheshire, who are developing horticultural volunteering projects and two sensory gardens for adults with disabilities in Bedfordshire and Western-super-Mare; Horatio’s Garden, who are due to open two new accessible gardens in NHS regional spinal injury centres in Stoke Mandeville and Oswestry; and Maggie’s, who are building two therapeutic gardens in its upcoming centres, in the grounds of specialist NHS cancer hospitals in Swansea and Leeds.