Green thumbs leads to happy hearts!
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Green thumbs leads to happy hearts!

Gardening is a fun hobby that anyone can enjoy, no matter your age or ability. As an aged care and NDIS provider, we love seeing our clients spend time in nature while improving their health and wellbeing. Here’s a quick look at how gardening can improve your quality of life, plus some tips to help you get started.

Gardening boosts your health

Gardening is a great way to get some exercise, and the best part is that it can be adapted to suit different needs and abilities. Activities such as planting, watering, weeding and pruning can help improve motor skills, strength, flexibility and hand-eye coordination. It can also be a form of physical therapy, and a way to safely exercise your muscles and joints.

Gardening can also add a fun element to cooking and preparing meals. There’s nothing like growing your own vegetables, then enjoying them in a lovely salad or simple-to-cook dish. It can be a great way to encourage healthy eating, as well as a sense of pride in being able to enjoy tasty food that you’ve grown yourself.

Gardening improves your wellbeing

On top of the physical benefits, research has shown that gardening can improve a person’s mood, wellbeing, and cognitive function. Some of the mental health benefits of gardening include:

  • Soothing the senses – the sights, smells and textures provide a peaceful sensory experience
  • Reducing anxiety – as a calm and nurturing activity, gardening can lower stress levels and promote mindfulness
  • Being outdoors – studies show that spending time outdoors in the fresh air and sun can help lower the risk of depression or alleviate symptoms
  • Structured routine – gardening tasks tend to be repetitive, which can help create a daily rhythm that is predictable and stable
  • Sense of responsibility – taking care of a plant, growing vegetables or tending to a flower bed can give you a sense of responsibility and accomplishment

Gardening provides social opportunities

Gardening can also be a fun activity that builds connections with the people around you. Community veggie patches can be a great way to get to know people in your neighbourhood or household. It can also teach skills like teamwork, communication and cooperation. By learning to work together and share responsibilities, you can build a sense of belonging.

Five tips to help you enjoy gardening

If you’d like to try gardening and live with a disability, here are five tips to get you started.

  • Start small. Gardening doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Start with something easy, like growing some herbs in your kitchen, potted plants on your balcony, or a small garden bed in the backyard. Container gardening is an excellent option if you don’t have a lot of space.
  • Use adapted gardening tools, if you need them. For people with a physical disability, equipment like raised gardening beds, tools with easy grips, and lightweight materials can make gardening tasks more manageable.
  • Choose easy-care plants. If you’re not an experienced gardener, choose plants that are easy to grow and maintain. Herbs, lettuce, lavender, sunflowers and snake plants are easy to maintain and don’t require a large amount of care.
  • Consider a self-watering bed. Using a container or garden bed that has a drip irrigation system can save time and effort by automatically watering your plants, making it easier for you to take care of them.
  • Make it fun! Join a community gardening club, start a veggie patch with your housemates, or see if there are disability programs in your area that include gardening activities. Gardening with others is a great way to enjoy a relaxing hobby while socialising.

Home Caring provides NDIS services and Home Care Packages to help you live independently and embrace life to the full. To find out more about our NDIS support workers and other supports, please get in touch. We’re happy to help.

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