Getting your Vitamin G

The Royal Horticultural Society is encouraging the nation to celebrate the feel-good power of gardens by getting a daily dose of ‘Vitamin G’. And it’s easier than you think.

Gardeners have always promoted the health benefits but over the last couple of years a raft of new research has shown the tangible difference that plants and gardens can make to mental and physical health.

An RHS study, in collaboration with the University of Sheffield published last year, showed that adding plants to a paved front garden could reduce stress levels as much as eight weekly mindfulness sessions. Additionally, research from Harvard revealed that 30 minutes of gardening can burn as many calories as playing badminton or practising yoga.

5 ways to get your dose of Vitamin G, according to the RHS:

  1. Stop and take a moment in your garden or local green space. It will give you the chance to appreciate the greenery, listen to the birds or just enjoy the scents of the flowers. It will leave you feeling refreshed and clear-minded.
  2. If you’re working from home, add a green, leafy houseplant to your desk or near your work area – studies show this can reduce stress, increase productivity and attention span and improve reaction speed.
  3. Have a go at growing some quick herbs, salad leaves, or microgreens on a windowsill, which can be ready to harvest in just a few weeks to add a burst of green goodness and home-grown flavour to your meals.
  4. Plant up a container full of your favourite bright flowers. Seeing your own work burst into full scented bloom is a great way to make you smile.
  5. Keep it going! Consider fitting some time in nature on a daily basis. Whether you walk to work, or even get off the bus a few stops earlier to get some fresh air. Do a workout in the garden or local park – it’ll help keep you focussed and happy.

Don’t forget to tell us how you get your Vitamin G!