How getting in the garden this New Year could be your best bet for boosting wellbeing as well as banishing those January blues.
THE hugely successful Live Well section at RHS Malvern Spring Festival is back this year and it’s bigger and better than ever.
Newly introduced for the first time in 2017 and now built around the permanent Health and Wellbeing garden created by Jekka McVicar, it highlights how getting into gardening can help people feel a whole lot better.
Head of Show, Diana Walton, said: “As we launch into a New Year, many of us make resolutions to improve our health. But one group appearing at the festival in May is already ahead of the curve as it prepares to showcase the work it does to improve people’s lives. We wanted to bring The Well Bean Gardening Club from Link Nurseries to the festival this year so they can share with visitors the important and life-enhancing work they are doing.
“The club, based in Worcestershire, attracts people from all walks of life, with a variety of health conditions, but one thing they have in common is that they leave sessions with a brilliant boost to their wellbeing from being outdoors.”
John Farmer, resources manager at Pershore College, oversees the gardening group. He said: “The club was developed as a flexible therapeutic activity for anyone who can benefit from the activity of horticulture. It provides a focus while allowing members to socialise, develop skills and work outside in a natural environment.”
In the Live Well section The Well Bean Gardening Club will be showing off a series of 4ft x 4ft garden boxes in a grid system which will create a ‘cosy’ garden constructed of raised planting boxes for visitors to view and be inspired by.
John said: “The plants grown will be a mixture of vegetables, herbs and flowers that are suitable for any garden. These will be grown at various densities for continuous cropping. Some will be for quick cropping like young salad plants and others may be for ornamental purposes.”
By giving access to outdoor space, the gardening club aims to encourage people to get active, to learn about horticulture while helping to reduce social isolation and loneliness as gardeners chat with staff, other users, volunteers and the local community. It means the volunteers at RHS Malvern Spring Festival will be perfectly placed to share how visitors can ‘Live Well’ by embracing the great outdoors.
John Farmer suggests three ways to banish the January blues:
- Go for a walk to boost your mood – there’s evidence to suggest immersing yourself in nature promotes a feeling of calm and peacefulness
- Draw satisfaction from nurturing and growing something, even if it’s as small as starting your own herb garden
- Release endorphins in the same way as you would in a gym session by actively tidying up your garden plot and engaging your brain by coming up with new garden designs and ideas
The Live Well Zone will also feature the world’s first ever knitted full size garden, the ‘Work of Heart Garden’ that highlights the life-changing support of Sue Ryder as well as a Mandala feature for Hellens Garden Festival in association with St Michael’s Hospice.
Tickets are now on sale for RHS Malvern Spring Festival, which takes place from Thursday 10 May until Sunday 13 May. Free entry for children under the age of 16 is available throughout the festival. For more information on ticket prices, please call 0844 811 0050 (calls cost 7p per minute plus network extras) or visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk.
For more details on The Well Bean Gardening Club visit wcg.ac.uk/linknurseries. To find out more about the Work of Heart visit workofheartgarden.org. Further details on Hellens Garden Festival can be found at hellensgardenfestival.co.uk.