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Home   /   Going green in lockdown: how gardening helped my mental health

Lockdown wasn’t great. It was especially tough for those of us who struggled without a meaningful routine to the day. I was one of those people, until I began a grand attempt at gardening.

The house I live in was previously owned by avid growers who had kindly left behind a greenhouse full of tools, seeds, and soil. So, throwing caution to the proverbial wind, I decided to just get stuck in. As the freshly-sown seedlings started to sprout, I found myself actually feeling responsible for these small lifeforms. It was something to get out of bed for. Each day I would get up just to check on my new green buddies, water them, poke them, get impatient at them, but it soon became habitual. 

In a way, it felt like I was growing with them, we were sprigs of stability in an increasingly chaotic world. They added movement to a static time. Each day there was a difference to life, whether a leaf had gotten munched, or the whole plant disappeared altogether – it was something different. It was the slightest movement during a static period. And it really gave me a sense of purpose during a time of purgatory-like mayhem, keeping me going throughout lockdown. 

Some people think that they don’t have a green thumb, but for me it’s pretty much in my name. I decided to embrace it rather than escape it, and that’s worked out quite well so far. I would encourage anyone to give it a go, even if it’s those supermarket boxed-herbs that you just stick on your windowsill and never remember to water. Having to care for something, no matter how easy or insignificant, is vital for maintaining good mental health.

Check out my ‘Top 5 veg to grow in lockdown’ round-up here and see if you agree. Leave a comment and let us know!

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April 2024