What’s so great about gardening?
Gardening could be the answer to some of UK’s and the world’s toughest 21st century challenges, according to the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH).
At the AIPH’s recent 2014 International Green City Conference the issues of obesity, flooding and air pollution were discussed and those who spoke at the event agreed that gardening could help ease these problems.
Sir Richard Thompson, President of the Royal College of Physicians, said at the conference: “A few minutes of viewing a green garden can improve a person’s physiology…There’s a gym outside your window.”
But it’s not just all about giving us a better outlook on life or helping us burn the calories, there are lots of other benefits to looking after our green spaces.
Leigh Hunt, Principal Horticultural Advisor at the Royal Horticultural Society, explained that people’s gardens made up 50% of the UK’s urban areas, adding that 90% of the UK’s residents have urban gardens.
Together, it was agreed people gardening in these areas could make a real difference to health, city temperatures, bio-diversity and flooding.
Urban outdoor air pollution causes 2.5% of all deaths and gardening can help reduce this too, the conference delegates heard.
And simply planting a tree can lessen the risk of flooding, as 50-62% of the surface water caused by storms can be reduced by a single street tree.
So it really is time that gardening was taken a little bit more seriously…it’s so much more than pottering and resting!