Gardening is not only good for the body, but it is well known to be very good for the mind. Gardens have a centering, calming effect, helping us to better deal with the stresses of modern day life as we get back to basics and nurture our trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables. Being in a garden reduces stress and anxiety, improves self-esteem and can provide immense joy to a person’s life.
This is why Garden Re-Leaf was created, to promote health and wellbeing through simply being in a garden. On Sunday, March 19, independent garden centres across the country will host a variety of events under the theme Colour for Health to raise awareness and fundraise for the mental health charity Beyond Blue. According to Beyond Blue, nearly half of us will experience a mental health condition some time in our lives. Right now, three million Australian’s are living with depression or anxiety. It’s huge, and not something any of us can ignore.
Our own Trevor Cochrane is an ambassador for the program, along with a host of other well-known gardening personalities – you never know who you may meet on the day! The focus of Garden Re-Leaf events is on the benefits plants bring to enriching our lives, shown through loads of colour and fun activities for the whole family and plenty of information to take home. Blueberries will be the star of the show this year due to their incredible nutritional benefits. They are also perfect to add to the garden in autumn.
There are many ways you can experience the health benefits of a garden, regardless of the space and time you have; you may be a keen gardener yourself and be lucky enough to own an expanse of green to tend to; you may have a small balcony herb garden or raised garden bed in which to grow you own fresh produce; you may own a few indoor plants to freshen up your home; you may be able to visit a National Park or suburban park to enjoy the natural surroundings in; you may have a friend with a special garden you are able to visit regularly, or even help out in from time to time. Sometimes just looking at a beautiful garden and breathing in the clean air is enough to calm the mind and help you regroup.
Learn more and join in the fun at this year’s Garden Re-Leaf. For more information and to find your nearest participating independent garden centre, click here.
About Garden Re-Leaf
The program was established by Garden Centres of Australia in 2014 as an innovative way to encourage people to spend time in the garden as a way to benefit their health and wellbeing. It is backed by numerous studies and research into the positive effect plants have on our health and aims to highlight these effects each year through various displays, events, activities and information sessions held nation-wide at participating independent garden centres.
In 2015 and 2016, Garden Re-Leaf raised around $70,000 for Beyond Blue. This is valuable funds that goes towards supporting people with a mental health condition and their families, advocating for mental health services, and providing public education on mental health and wellbeing. It is a national service and a valuable resource, available to anyone and everyone. If you would like to learn more about Beyond Blue, click here.