Why we all need a bit of horticultural therapy now and then…

Chive Flowers. Image: Greenside Up

Today’s guest post is written by Dee Sewell, a qualified horticulturist based in Co Carlow, who with her husband Ian, founded Greenside Up, to share their combined expertise and knowledge with novice gardeners. I always enjoy Dee’s blog posts and her advice which is perfectly suited to a beginner like me. In today’s post, Dee shares her views on why we all need a bit of horticultural therapy now and then.


Enjoyed by so many, horticulture (the science of producing nutritious and beautiful plants) can be a very personal experience. 

It quietens the mind, it soothes the soul, and it exercises the body. It’s grounding. 

Watching plants grow, leaves opening and reaching for the light, roots’ anchoring to the soil – it’s reassuring… we’re watching the onset of the circle of life. 

It’s impossible not to feel at peace listening to the birds singing, watching the insects rushing around, busying themselves, feeling the breeze upon the skin. When the sun shines in the garden everyone is happy. There’s something slightly mystical about a warm day after a heavy shower too…. steam rising from paths and lawns as the water quickly evaporates. 

With the sunlight and rain comes growth…. the swelling buds on the trees, the daffodils with their bright spring colours and then the short-lived but breath-taking sea of bluebells as they appear in the woodlands, their purple-blue flowers swaying gently in the breeze. 

During April and May many seeds will be sown…. peas and French beans, courgettes and tomatoes, and all will grow so quickly that before we know it we’ll be harvesting their fruits, storing them for the autumn and winter months ahead. 

No matter what our mood, health or fitness, plants are non-discriminating. They will respond to anyone who cares for them, and that’s a powerful type of healing. A person’s race, religion, intelligence, health, age or otherwise is irrelevant – once tended plants will grow. 

I know I’m lucky to have somewhere so quiet to garden in… however, whether you take a walk in a park, sit on a chair in a town garden or just pot some plants up in a window box, try and take a minute to relax and look at nature working around you, and despite you. Try making some you time in your busy schedule and take a therapeutic day away from all the hustle and bustle of life, a calming day.

Everyone needs a bit of horticultural therapy now and then.

Follow the Greenside Up blog for great tips and advice at http://greensideupveg.blogspot.com/