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Sustainable gardening offers positive wellbeing benefits, finds RHS

by | 02 Jul 24 | Domestic Landscaping, Garden Design, News, Sustainability | 0 comments

Scientists at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) find, for the first time, sustainable gardening to be not just good for the planet, but also for those who practice it.

The research published in the journal ‘Urban Forestry and Urban Greening’ reveals that taking a more sustainable approach to managing gardens has a positive impact on a person’s physiological wellbeing.

Scientists at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have found those that participated in sustainable gardening have a higher perceived level of wellbeing.

Of the 2086 people surveyed by the charity, 83% of those that gardened considered it to be positive for their overall health and wellbeing.

With the greatest benefits perceived for mental health, followed by physical and social health.

The gardeners surveyed who said they actively supported wildlife or limited their environmental footprint noted they perceived higher overall health wellbeing benefits from gardening.

The most common activities undertaken by those involved include, avoiding the use of pesticides (62%), growing plants for pollinators (58%), and using rain/ greywater (43.8%).

Research suggests that sustainable gardening is thought to benefit people in six key ways; improving environments for supporting human health, enhancing opportunities for psychological restoration and higher engagement in physical activity.

As well as wider and or stronger social networking bonds, a higher degree of continuous learning and a sense of environmental stewardship.

Lead report author and RHS sustainability follow, Chloe Sutcliffe, comments on the findings:

“It makes sense that making more sustainable choices is likely to benefit our wellbeing in the longer term, but it seems that doing so can directly benefit our wellbeing in the here and now too, something that policy makers and health professionals might tap into in order to deliver improved climate, biodiversity and human health outcomes.”

Sustainable gardening is currently on display at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, featuring prominently in gardens like Buglife: The B-Lines Garden, which took home Gold at the show, and Arit Anderson’s RHS Peat Free Garden.

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