Gardening trends – where is gardening going?

Predicting the future and fashion trends is something of a mug’s game but I am interested in the general direction of travel for gardening; not the cat walk world of show garden design but the role of gardening in people’s lives and communities.  Over the last few years I have seen three influences develop that can complement and combine...

Together TV ‘The Hospice’

The TogetherTV fly-on-the-wall documentary series The Hospice showed all aspects of life at ellenor Hospice in Gravesend, Kent for patients, families, staff and volunteers. Episode 12 included the garden therapy group, Green Shoots, that I have run since summer 2017.  You can see and hear patients talking about what they like about the group and me explaining how gardening is...

Christmas in the year of Blue Planet

I do not usually talk about Christmas in November but this year I want to encourage a change in the way we may choose and buy Christmas presents.  I am thinking here about presents for people who fortunately already have the things that they actually need day to day and where the joy is in the sentiment not the...

What makes a Wellbeing Garden

Several of this year’s big flower shows have included gardens entitled something like The Wellbeing Gaarden.  This is not really surprising with the increasing realisation that gardens and gardening can be very good for our mental as well as physical health.  What does surprise me though is the apparent consensus from the shows, magazines and TV, that to be...

Health Matters Radio Show

In August 2018 I spoke on the Health Matters Radio Show for Kent Channel Radio, interviewed by Neil D’Silva.   Together Caroline Alldis, Natural Mindfulness practitioner and I explained how Gardening for the Mind blends the benefits of gardening and mindfulness and how we came to work together to offer these unique workshops.     Listen to the radio interview here   https://www.gardeningbydesign.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Gardening-for-the-Mind-Health-Matters-Radio.mp3 Hear the whole show (no....

Gardening for the Mind Workshops

The Gardening for the Mind workshops are new in 2018 introducing people to the principles of Mindfulness, how gardening can support and improve our mental wellbeing and, of course, how the two activities blend together. Our Gardening for the Mind Workshops are unique; combining the wellbeing benefits of physical activity together with meditation and mindful movement.  They are open to...

Festival of Learning 2018

I was delighted to be nominated for teaching ‘Learning Well’ gardening courses for mental health and wellbeing across west and mid Kent and Medway.   The programme brought community learning to people who have not previously accessed Adult Education services and I worked with groups ranging from a mental health support group who meet regularly to a housing association new...

Gardens, cake & good causes

What better combination is there than visiting a lovely garden and enjoying tea and cake, knowing that you are supporting a good cause?  Of course I am talking about the wonderful summer institution of ‘gardens open for charity’, whether these are via the National Gardens Scheme in the UK (aka The Yellow Book) or individual and village openings, often...

Community learning for mental health

2018 Festival of Learning Nominated Tutor As a tutor for Kent Adult Education Services I was delighted to be nominated for teaching ‘Learning Well’ gardening courses for mental health and wellbeing across west and mid Kent and Medway. The programme brought community learning to people who have not previously accessed Adult Education services and I worked with five groups ranging from a...

Community, learning & gardening: a winning combination

At the end of February 2018 I was delighted to be part of a ‘delegation’ from Kent Adult Education to the Tes Further Education Awards dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.  A wonderful evening and a welcome opportunity for this gardening tutor to scrub up and wear a frock. We were shortlisted in the Adult and community...