Studies have shown that hospital patients who had a view of nature rather than a brick wall complained less, required less pain medication and made faster recoveries. Plants in an office setting improved worker satisfaction, creativity and productivity. We all know that landscaping our yard and tending to the grass increases the value of our homes and sometimes it inspires the neighbors to do the same, and so on and so forth. Residents of areas with more trees and grass reported that they knew their neighbors better, socialized with them more often, had stronger feelings of community, and felt safer and better adjusted. Trees, greenery and other vegetation make neighborhoods safer and more desirable. They even play a role in boosting students’ grades and reducing the risk of domestic violence. As little as 10 minutes spent outside improves attention in children with ADHD: neighborhoods with more green space improve body mass index of children and youth. Gardening improves health and happiness, including reducing heart rate and blood pressure.
The therapeutic value of a garden can’t be overstated. Digging, smelling, touching, looking and learning about the workings of the natural world is you connecting to something greater than yourself.
So the next time you tell someone you’re a ‘Gardener’, you may want to add, Therapist, Social Organizer, Child Advocate and Health Care Provider. Wow! I don’t know about you, but I need a bigger business card.